Foods That Actually Brighten Tooth Enamel

Foods That Actually Brighten Tooth Enamel

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Many people are self-conscious about the whiteness of their teeth – after all, the whiter the brighter. Typically, a dentist tells a patient to avoid certain foods and beverages, like coffee, red wine, sweets, and acid-producing foods that can stain tooth enamel. But if that doesn't happen, people often go out of their way to spend money on various home-based tooth whitening products, which can actually do more harm than good by weakening and stripping tooth enamel. 

On the other hand, it may be a relief to know that you can still enjoy some foods that actually brighten tooth enamel. Here are some favorites:

Sweet Strawberries

Most people love strawberries. Not only are they one of nature’s sweetest treats, but they also contain malic acid, a substance known to whiten tooth enamel and commonly used in toothpaste. Vitamin C found in strawberries helps fight gum inflammation and periodontal disease. Strawberries also contain ellagitannins, strong antioxidants that reduce stain-producing bacteria. Instead of a candy bar, grab some strawberries for a healthy, smile-brightening snack.

Crunchy Apples

Sure, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it also fights off yellow stains on teeth. The high concentration of malic acid in apples helps to increase saliva, the mouth’s natural cleaning agent, plus it kills bacteria that can cause bad breath. The actual bite into an apple – with its juicy, delicious crunch – also scrubs off buildup from enamel.

Fiber-Filled Vegetables

Eating fibrous vegetables like celery, broccoli, onions, garlic, and carrots creates a crunching action that works to eliminate the presence of plaque buildup and naturally whiten teeth. Broccoli contains high amounts of iron, which naturally protects enamel, and carrots contain vitamin A. Onions and garlic contain thiosulfinates, which slow the rate of plaque production in the mouth.

Delicious Dairy Products

Dairy contains lactic acid, calcium, and phosphorus, all substances that prevent tooth enamel from decaying. Studies have proven that children who eat yogurt four times a week had a lower presence of tooth decay than children who did not. Proteins present in yogurt bond with teeth and protect them from harmful acids that decay tooth enamel. Even the act of eating hard cheeses is helpful because they remove food particles and whiten teeth.

Tips to Brighten Your Teeth

Besides beneficial foods that can brighten your teeth, you can take these steps to further protect your enamel: 

  • Drink beverages with a straw so the liquid is not constantly coming into contact with your front teeth.
  • Drink teas instead of coffee. While coffee stains teeth, drinking tea actually helps fight stains. Both black and green tea contain fluoride and polyphenols, which benefit overall oral health by decreasing the presence and concentration of harmful bacteria. 
  • Use toothpastes that contain baking soda, which does a good job removing harmful bacteria due to its mild abrasiveness. Even brushing with baking soda and water alone can significantly whiten teeth, and there is no harm in brushing once with baking soda and a second time with regular toothpaste.

Expert Cosmetic Dentistry in Minnesota

If having a brighter smile is important to you, Hagerman Dental Care can help you make it happen. Dr. Hagerman believes that it’s never too late to have a beautiful smile. 

For skilled and experienced dentistry in the Twin Cities area, call our office at (651) 646-2392, or use our form online to request an appointment – so you can start smiling better today.