A healthy white smile is on everyone’s wish list, and it’s no secret that time will yellow your enamel. Why? According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, the outer layer of enamel wears away as you age. Multiple factors cause tooth discoloration, from the food and beverages you consume to genetics, trauma, fluorosis, and even previous dental work. That’s why it’s important to speak with your dentist if you have any plans to whiten your teeth. They will suggest the safest options for achieving a whiter smile based on lifestyle factors such as smoking and vaping.
Achieving healthy teeth takes a lifetime of care starting at home. The best way to whiten teeth is with daily oral hygiene, routine dental cleanings, and professional teeth whitening. Even if you’ve been told you have great teeth, it’s crucial to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, use mouthwash, and keep sugar to a minimum.
Which Foods and Beverages Will Brighten My Tooth Enamel?
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), several foods effectively brighten teeth and flush out bacteria. Here is a list of food and drinks to consider for a healthy and happy mouth:
- Crunchy vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic, and celery contain a generous amount of fiber and eliminate plaque buildup. Did you know that broccoli is a source of iron, strengthening enamel, and onions slow the rate of plaque?
- Apples produce the same malic acid found in strawberries and remove plaque particles. You might say, “an apple a day keeps the dentist away!”
- Dairy products like milk and cheese contain calcium, which strengthens your bones and prevents tooth decay. Chewing hard cheeses removes particles from the crevasses of your teeth, and yogurt should be your first choice of dairy because it protects them from harmful acids.
- Water, water, and more water! Sugary beverages are the leading cause of tooth decay and acid found in juices and coffee can yellow your teeth. Water removes and rinses these contaminants leaving you with a brighter smile, fresher breath, and clean mouth! Next time you’re thirsty, consider ditching the colas and energy drinks and reach for water, instead.
- Seeds and Nuts act as a natural exfoliant by stripping stains from the teeth, leaving them bright and white. Sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds can buff away discoloration.
How Can I Prevent Foods From Damaging My Tooth’s Enamel?
While all of the above foods brighten tooth enamel, it’s also important to take precautions in other areas when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Here are more tips and tricks to keep your chompers pearly white:
- Limit how many sodas, juices, and coffee you consume per day.
- If you drink juices and soda, imbibe them through a straw so the liquid has less contact with your tooth enamel (helps avoid staining your teeth) and don’t swish or hold liquids in your mouth longer than you need to.
- After eating or drinking (juice, coffee, or sodas), you should rinse your mouth out with water immediately! This benefits your teeth by removing food residue, so there’s less bacteria in your mouth and rinses away any acids that soften your enamel.
- Wait an hour before brushing your teeth after eating or drinking anything acidic such as tomatoes, berries, citrus fruits, soft drinks, wine, and juices to give your teeth a chance to naturally wash away acids and re-harden the enamel.
At Asheville Dental, our goal is to provide the highest-quality dentistry to our patients. For instance, we believe food that is healthy for your body is healthy for your teeth. If you’re ready to take the next step to get the smile that you deserve, give us a call today! Our team looks forward to assisting you with checkups, appointments, or any questions you may have.