Gleaming white teeth are an outward sign of great oral health. The dazzling smiles of movie stars and television celebrities have given rise to a tooth-whitening market that is worth billions of dollars. At-home tooth whitening kits can be expensive, however. Professional tooth whitening treatments under the care of an experienced family dentist or cosmetic dentist, such as Thomas E. Cooke, are expensive as well – and such treatments are usually not covered by dental insurance plans.
Want to whiten your teeth naturally? Here are several foods and natural products you can use to achieve gleaming teeth in the comfort of your own home.
Foods that Naturally Whiten Teeth
Getting a mouth full of dazzling white teeth is possible right at home and it is achieved simply by eating certain foods:
- Broccoli – chewing raw broccoli has a natural toothbrush effect, gently scrubbing away food particles and stains as you eat. Broccoli has high levels of the mineral iron, which has been shown to reduce bacteria in the mouth and may help to protect the enamel of the teeth.
- Strawberries – for years, people have made a blend of strawberries and baking soda. By mixing the two together to make a paste, you can create a natural tooth whitener that works surprisingly well. Acids in the fruit help to strip away stains. Be sure to brush with a regular fluoride toothpaste afterwards, however, as the sugars in the strawberries can promote tooth decay.
- Oranges – fruit acids do a good job of keeping our teeth bright and shiny. In oranges, the white inner part of the peel is the key to a dazzling smile. Simply rub this inner peel against the teeth to help fight plaque buildup and to naturally polish the tooth surfaces.
- Carrots – just like broccoli, chewing on raw carrots scrubs away stains and built-up plaque. Carrots are a great healthy snack, too. These orange veggies can also be rubbed against the teeth to serve as a natural polishing agent.
- Cheeses – believe it or not, cheeses can help fight off tooth stains. The lactic acid in cheese actually prevents tooth decay. Biting into harder cheeses can also remove the food particles and plaque that lead to stained teeth.
More Natural Tooth Whitening Tips
The foods we eat and the beverages we drink can influence the color of our teeth. As noted above, certain foods help fight off stains. Unfortunately, other foods can stain the teeth over time, erasing all that whitening work we’ve done. Here are some tips to keep the teeth white and bright:
- Avoid dark-colored beverages – colas, coffee, red wine, and teas can contribute to tooth staining. By reducing or eliminating these drinks from our diets, our teeth can remain whiter, especially after an at-home or dental-office tooth whitening procedure.
- Polish the teeth with baking soda – baking soda is a natural abrasive and is much less harsh than commercially-available tooth polishes. A paste made from baking soda and water can help keep our teeth smooth and bright.
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco – cigarettes and cigars leave nasty stains on the teeth. Chewing tobacco products stain the teeth and can irritate gums, causing them to recede and exposing the roots to harmful bacteria. Besides not being good for your respiratory health, chronic smoking can make our teeth look yellow and aged. It is best to avoid these tobacco products altogether.
- Visit the dentist – regular checkups and cleanings by your family dentist can help keep your mouth healthy and gleaming. Schedule an appointment with the dental office today!