Our society has become almost obsessed over making our smiles perfect. The quest for white teeth has created a constantly growing multi-billion dollar industry in the toothpaste isle and in dentist offices. Certainly we all know some of the teeth staining culprits: coffee, tea, red wine and some soda. But did you know that there are many common foods that can actually help whiten your teeth over time? They’re not as thoroughly effective as professional teeth whitening products—but they are cheap, effective and natural. And that should leave you smiling !
Strawberries may stain your fingers and lips at first, but they do work to whiten teeth, since they contain an enzyme called malic acid. Try mashing up strawberries and rubbing them on your teeth (or add some baking soda to some mashed strawberries). Leave for five minutes then rinse with water and brush and floss as usual. You will notice a difference in a few months.
These healthy fruits and veggies act like natural stain removers by increasing saliva production, which serves as the mouth’s self-cleaning agent. Because they are crunchy in nature, they abrasively scrub the teeth and also kill bacteria that cause bad breath! Cooked vegetables do not whiten or clean teeth because they are soft.
Eating tart fruits such as oranges and pineapples may cause the mouth to produce more saliva, which washes teeth clean naturally. Beware of using lemons directly on teeth, because too much acidity can damage teeth. For specific uses of oranges, use the inside of the orange peel with the white stringy stuff still attached. Rub it directly on your teeth to whiten them. You can also mix the orange peel with crushed bay leaves. Rubbing this mixture on your teeth will also whiten them.
One 2008 study found toothpastes that contain baking soda — long considered a tooth-whitening home remedy — do a better job of removing plaque than toothpastes without the ingredient.
To try it, your best bet is brushing with a commercial paste that contains the mild abrasive.
Or, once in a while, you can just brush your teeth with baking soda straight from the box (even better, dip it in hydrogen peroxide for a deeper clean).
Dairy products contain lactic acid, which may help protect teeth against decay. A study in the journal Dentistry found kids who ate yogurt four times per week had less tooth decay than kids who didn’t eat yogurt. Researchers think proteins in yogurt may bind to teeth and prevent them from attack by harmful acids that cause cavities. Hard cheeses are best for whitening, since they help remove food particles as well.
Lemon juice is well known for its hair lightening properties. It can also be used to whiten teeth. Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice with a pinch of salt or a little baking soda. Rub this mixture on your teeth. You can also eat lemons by themselves if you can tolerate it. Too much lemon juice on the teeth can cause sensitivity.
Apple cider vinegar is also very effective for getting rid of unwanted stains on teeth. Swish it around your teeth at full strength if you can tolerate it. Using too much too often will cause tooth sensitivity. You can also mix apple cider vinegar with baking soda. This mixture can be rubbed on the teeth like a polish. Apple cider vinegar has the added benefit of relieving symptoms of acid reflux disease. People who suffer from acid reflux disease often get stained teeth.
Weak tooth enamel can encourage staining by allowing foods to soak into the surface of your teeth more easily. Keeping your tooth enamel strong can help prevent staining and might also encourage whitening as well. Dark chocolate contains a compound that helps strengthen your tooth enamel so that high-staining foods are not as effective at discoloration. This substance, called theobromine, hardens the surface of your teeth, which helps keep them whiter. Choose the best-quality dark chocolate you can find to get more theobromine and more of these advantages.
Chewing sugarless gum also can help protect your teeth against cavities. Xylitol is an ingredient in some sugarless gums. This sweetener has been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. It also helps to buffer the teeth against the effect of acid. Most sugarless gums and sugarless candies increase the flow of saliva, which helps to protect your teeth against bacteria.
Resources: health.com, naturalnews.com, droz.com, vivawoman.net