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Foods That Brighten Tooth Enamel

Cartoon tooth on blue background that contains cartoon foods including: broccoli, meat, cheese, shrimp, fish, orange, apple, banana, pear, carrot, and a bottle of water.

It is common knowledge that eating a healthy diet can have many benefits to your overall health, but did you know that it can also benefit your oral health? Certain foods in particular have been found to have qualities that can actually brighten the enamel on your teeth, resulting in a whiter appearance. When it comes to eating for your teeth, there are certain nutritional guidelines you can follow.

Generally speaking, foods that are good for oral health usually have a high water content, a high amount vitamins C & D, and, of course, are comprised of high calcium and phosphorus levels. Foods with a high water content are ideal for saliva production. Saliva is important to oral health because it is the body’s way of keeping the mouth clean. Vitamin C is required to produce collagen and reduces inflammation, while vitamin D is required for calcium to be absorbed into the body. Finally, foods high in calcium and/or phosphorus help to strengthen your teeth’s enamel. Listed below are some specific foods that contain one or more of these guidelines:

 

  • Yogurt, milk, and cheese: all three of these dairy products contain high levels of calcium and phosphorous in addition to lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural preventative against tooth decay. Hard cheese also helps increase saliva production to keep the mouth cleaner.
  • Pineapple: This fruit is primarily associated with high water content, but it also contains bromelain. Bromelain acts as a natural stain remover and can also loosen plaque.
  • Onions and Garlic: Both onions and garlic reduce plaque production when eaten raw. It has been found that they contain thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which are essential in decreasing plaque.
  • Broccoli: This vegetable stimulates saliva production while naturally removing plaque and cleaning the teeth through its unique texture. In addition, it contains iron which protects the tooth’s enamel from acidic erosion.
  • Strawberries: This fruit is commonly smashed up and applied to teeth for its naturally-occurring malic acid. Malic acid is a natural bleaching agent that instantly brightens teeth enamel. Strawberries are also good for saliva production.  
  • Carrots: In addition to cleaning teeth through promoting chewing, carrots contain vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to improve the health of tooth enamel.
  • Shiitake mushrooms: These mushrooms have an antibacterial property within them. They contain a sugar known as lentinan that kills plaque-causing bacteria.
  • Apples: This fruit, like strawberries, contains malic acid, a natural bleaching agent. They also have been found to eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath and their texture is beneficial for saliva production and teeth cleaning.
  • Tea: Tea has two primary components that are beneficial to oral health. The first are Polyphenols that function to reduce bacteria. The second is fluoride, which is a common ingredient in many toothpastes and has been found to improve oral health.
  • Water: Since our bodies have such a high water content, it is important to always make sure we are adequately hydrated. Drinking water boosts saliva productions while also flushing your mouth of debris and loose plaque.

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