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Foods for Natural Teeth Whitening

Achieving a bright, white smile has become a priority for more and more people in our society.  In fact, Americans alone spend 1.4 billion dollars a year buying over the counter products to do so.  In this article, we will focus on natural teeth whitening options that are both cost effective and safer choices for whiter teeth. It is important to understand how our teeth get yellow in the first place.  Your teeth are made up of four materials:  enamel, dentin, pulp, and cementum.  The enamel is the white outer covering of your teeth.  There are many foods and drinks that can cause your enamel to wear off of your teeth.  When that happens, the dentin layer is revealed, and your dentin is naturally yellow in color.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 9.47.31 AMWhile certain foods cause erosion of your enamel, there are other foods that actually help strengthen it.  These foods include:

Apples - Simply eating an apple can actually scrub your teeth.  Apples contain malic acid, which is an ingredient used in many commercial toothpastes.  Malic acid helps remove stains and also increases saliva, which helps clean your teeth.

Pineapples - Pineapples contain something no other food has - bromelain. Bromelain contains anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties and is used in stain-removing toothpaste.

Broccoli - Broccoli also helps reduce inflammation in your mouth, because it is high in fiber.  Eating raw broccoli will actually clean and polish your teeth.  It also contains iron, which helps protect your enamel from erosion.

Raisins - While a bit gooey and sticky, raisins provide natural teeth whitening, because they stimulate saliva, which helps prevent stains, plaque, and cavities.

Cheese - Cheese contains calcium and phosphorus that keep your teeth stronger.  It also contains a protein that helps protect your enamel.

Strawberries - In addition to containing malic acid, strawberries also provide an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and bacteria in your mouth.  They also contain Vitamin C, which helps prevent periodontal disease.

You can also make a whitening paste from various foods found in your kitchen.  One example includes mix baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste.  Apply it to your teeth for one minute, then rinse.

Though these foods won't deliver immediate results, they will help whiten your teeth over time!