NUTRITION

These Foods Can Help You Get Brighter, Stronger Teeth

A bright smile can be your best accessory this season. Find out what foods may help whiten your teeth naturally and improve your overall dental health.

By SAHAJIYA HALDER

Consuming things such as sauces, candy, red wine, tea, or coffee can stain your teeth. With all these toothpaste ads featuring picture perfect pearly whites, it can make you conscious about your smile. While there are many teeth whitening products available on the market, they can be expensive and may have abrasive effects. But did you know there are some foods for teeth whitening which could help you have whiter teeth naturally? Although there is not enough research regarding natural teeth whitening methods, these foods may help you get a brighter smile without much effort on your part.

 

Foods That May Help You Get Brighter Teeth

  1. Strawberry: Strawberries contain malic acid, which may help your teeth look brighter. A 2018 study published in the Padjadjaran Journal of Dentistry suggested that strawberry juice can have an effect on the re-whitening process of teeth enamel stained by coffee. Keep in mind that too much acid can damage your enamel.
  2. Pineapple: Nutritionist Charmaine D'Souza says, "Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain breaks down the pellicle layer of the teeth that normally gets stained." While pellicle acts as a protective barrier, it can also aid bacteria to accumulate on your teeth, which leads to plaque build up and staining of your teeth. By dissolving pellicle, pineapple can also help break down plaque and reduce stains.
  3. Milk and Milk Products: Not only is the calcium in milk good for your teeth, the lactic acid in dairy products can also help you get cleaner teeth. The protein casein can also help maintain dental health—by inhibiting the ability of bacteria to stick to teeth, and by protecting tooth enamel from demineralisation. According to a study published in Caries Research, casein and casein-derived proteins may have the potential to act as agents to reduce or prevent enamel erosion.
  4. Broccoli: Broccoli contains a range of nutrients such as calcium and kaempferol (which has antioxidant properties) which contribute to better oral health. Some say that raw broccoli can also have a scrubbing effect that removes plaque. A study in the European Journal of Dentistry presented that the iron in broccoli may help against the erosion of teeth.

 

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  1. Apple: Apple, too, contains malic acid. Malic acid can also increase saliva production. Saliva is very important for maintaining proper dental and gum health. The crunchy texture of the fruit also promotes more chewing, which also stimulates the production of saliva.
  2. Oil Pulling: D'Souza recommends, "Oil pulling with sesame or coconut or mustard oil also helps in maintaining good teeth." Oil pulling is a method of oral hygiene, derived from Ayurveda, which involves swishing around edible oil in your mouth like mouthwash for some time and spitting it out. Oil pulling may have benefits such as reducing bad breath, killing bad oral bacteria, preventing cavities and promoting better gum health. A study in 2016, published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, showed that oil pulling can reduce bacterial count in saliva. So besides brushing and flossing, practising oil pulling may help you brighten your teeth. Just swish around a tablespoon of coconut, sesame, or mustard oil in your mouth for about 15 minutes or so on a regular basis to reap the benefits of this method.

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