Most of us know that certain foods and drinks can really stain our teeth – coffee, tea, red wine and curry, among others. But did you know that some foods actually help to whiten your teeth? It may sound hard to believe, but it’s true! Here are some foods that can help make your pearly whites whiter.

  • Carrots, celery and apples: These vegetables and fruit are not only tasty and nutritious, they help to increase the saliva production inside your mouth, and saliva is our body’s way of washing away leftover food particles and keeping our teeth and gums healthy. They are also all crunchy foods, and that helps to brush your teeth the natural way.
  • Strawberries: This delicious fruit contains an enzyme called malic acid, which is actually an effective teeth-whitening agent. Some people go so far as to mash up strawberries, rub them on their teeth, and leave them there for a few minutes before rinsing.
  • Pineapples and oranges: Tart fruits – such as pineapples and oranges, for example – increase saliva flow. And that helps to wash out your mouth the natural way. You do need to exercise caution about eating too much citrus, however, since the acid in these fruits can wear away the enamel on your teeth over time.
  • Cheese, yogurt and milk: This may sound counter-intuitive, but dairy products are actually helpful in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean. The lactic acid in products like cheese, yogurt and milk helps to fight cavities and guard against harmful acids that occur in other foods and drinks. And the harder the cheese, the better it is for removing leftover food particles in your mouth as well.
  • Water: Drinking water – particularly right after eating – is an excellent habit to get into, especially if you don’t brush right after meals. The water helps to wash away tiny bits of food. It also keeps your mouth hydrated, which contributes to good oral health.

We’re so used to seeing lists of foods to avoid when it comes to keeping our teeth healthy and clean. What a nice change to see a list of foods and drinks that we actually should be enjoying! Of course, nothing on this list will replace regular brushing and flossing, as well as regular trips to your dentist for oral exams and professional cleanings. And if you want whiter teeth in a hurry, there’s no replacement for professional whitening services provided by your dentist. Still, it’s great to have a list of healthy, teeth-whitening foods the next time you reach for a snack.

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