A shining smile starts with what you eat. Every food or beverage that goes in your mouth has an influence on your teeth. You may not usually think of it this way because you are thinking about the way food affects the rest of your body, but after all, the mouth is where it all begins. I’m sure you know the recommendation to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to always floss and eat all healthy foods for teeth.
This is all to keep plaque from building up and harming the teeth. Sticky and sugary foods and drinks are among the worst offenders for those with a sweet tooth for damaging teeth because they feed the bacteria in your mouth, creating more plaque.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
We know that certain foods may be harmful to teeth but is it possible that there are foods that are good for your teeth?
The answer is yes! Certain components in food may be beneficial to teeth. These are functional foods, meaning they have benefits throughout the body aside from their nutritional benefits.
Here are 8 foods to help keep your pearly whites shining:
These juicy berries may be a surprise to see on this list due to their bright red color. Strawberries actually contain a natural astringent called malic acid which helps clean away discoloration from the surface of teeth. Malic acid is a hidden gem of natural teeth whitening. It can also be found in other fruit such as apples. Be careful though because malic acid is an acid after all and can wear away at your tooth enamel, so always brush and floss after enjoying acidic fruits such as strawberries.
2. Apples, Carrots & Celery:
Just to name a few, this mostly means raw fruits and vegetables that “crunch” when you bite into them. These foods have a high water content which stimulates production of saliva. Saliva helps wash away food remnants on the teeth before plaque can form.
Raw broccoli in particular is great for “scrubbing” teeth during meal time. Broccoli is not a sticky food which will cling to teeth; instead the florets may actually provide a mini-scrub for your teeth. This can help loosen any food debris that is left behind to build up to form plague.
4. Apple cider vinegar:
This one seems to pop up on a lot of lists for homemade remedies. Apple cider vinegar is used as a cleaning product, an air freshener, and a pest-repellant, just to name a few. Now we can add another use to that list: teeth brightening! Rinsing with 2 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar for about one minute can help freshen up your smile and your breath.
For starters, cheese is a great source of calcium, which is an essential nutrient for strong, healthy teeth. On top of that, research has shown that eating cheese might even neutralize the pH in your mouth. This means that it will help neutralize acids which can erode your enamel. While other dairy products like milk and yoghurt are also great sources of nutrients for teeth health, they did not yield the same neutralizing results.
Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins. These compounds disrupt the environment which allows bacteria to feed off sugars and other carbohydrates from starches on the teeth. This does not kill the bacteria but makes it difficult for bacteria to feed off the food debris, meaning the teeth are more protected from bacteria. Please note that fresh cranberries are the best option for utilizing these compounds. Other cranberry products likely contain added sugars.
7. Black and green tea:
Tea is another one of those items which seems to be used as a remedy for nearly everything, but I’m not complaining. While tea may get a bad reputation for staining teeth, there are some benefits which should be noted. Black and green tea contain polyphenols which are known to slow the growth of bacteria in the mouth, thus helping prevent cavities and gum disease.
Of course we can’t forget good ol’ water. Not only will drinking plenty of water keep you well-hydrated, it can help rinse out the mouth. Swishing a gulp of water around throughout meals and after snacks can help prevent staining from dark foods and drinks. It also can help rinse away high acidity foods which will damage tooth enamel.
Drinking more water also means you may drink less sugary drinks. That means less sugar coating your teeth for bacteria to feast on! There you have it. No tricks or chemical products, just healthy foods that will keep your smile sparkling. Check out also how benefits of coconut oil. Now go on and dazzle the world with that smile!