4 Foods That Make Your Smile Healthier

woman about to bite a green apple

In today’s world of coffee, fast food, and soda, it’s easy to forget the importance of protecting the surface of our teeth. Even the smallest adjustments to diet can make a big difference in oral health and tooth color. Although brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash are all important aspects of good dental hygiene, certain foods can still have a dramatic impact on the way your teeth look and feel. With these four teeth-whitening foods, worrying about staining can become a thing of the past:

1. Strawberries

While the sweet taste of strawberries is typically why people enjoy them so much, many don’t realize the wonders the fruit can work for whitening teeth, due to one of its main enzymes, malic acid. Because this enzyme plays such an active role in cleaning and whitening teeth, rubbing pieces of this fruit directly onto the teeth is considered a unique whitening treatment. Allowing the malic acid to rest on the teeth for about five minutes before rinsing is a delicious way to make your smile shine.


2. Apples

Certain fruits and vegetables, like apples, are known to enhance the production of saliva. Saliva can naturally work to whiten teeth over time, thus making apples a great choice for those looking to brighten their smiles while destroying bad breath-causing bacteria. The extra production of saliva helps neutralize the bacteria Streptococcus that causes cavities, helping your smile stay white and bright.

3. Seeds and Nuts

Munching on these slightly abrasive snacks helps rub plaque and other stains off the surface of your teeth, making your smile bright. Pick up some almonds or walnuts to snack on throughout the day and help sweep away the harmful plaque that can lead to cavities or tooth decay.

4. Cheese and Dairy Products

All dairy food products have some level of lactic acid in them, a substance that can shield the teeth from decay. Not only does the phosphate content in dairy help balance your mouth’s pH levels, studies have shown that the lactic acid in yogurt, milk, and cheese shield dairy lovers from cavity-causing tooth decay. Researchers believe that the proteins in these dairy foods bind to teeth, preventing attacks from harmful, enamel-eroding acids.

In our busy everyday lives, it’s easy to forget that some of our favorite foods and beverages can really take a toll on the brightness of our smiles. Some foods (like chocolate and berries) and drinks (like coffee and red wine) can attach to enamel, staining your teeth.

Make your teeth light up the room by incorporating strawberries, apples, seeds, nuts, and dairy products into your meal plans. While these foods help aid in your overall oral health, keeping up with proper dental hygiene and scheduling regular dental checkups is key to maintaining a bright, white smile.