Teeth whitening has become one of the most requested and performed procedures in dental offices across America and the world. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth whitening is the number one requested cosmetic dentistry procedure requested by patients to improve their smile. We have long known that the importance of feeling good about our smile increases our self esteem and confidence. It alters how others look at us and interact with us.
So it is no surprise that people want a whiter smile. But did you know teeth whitening can occur using natural ingredients? The first step is the maintenance of good dental hygiene. Our Health and beauty are one and the same. Start with clean, healthy teeth and gums. Removing plaque, and stains will help give your smile the sparkle you need and the confidence to smile. Teeth covered in plaque, tartar and debris, and red, swollen puffy gums are never beautiful. Maintaining a regimen of brushing and flossing as well as regular visits to dentist and hygienist are the first step in any improvement to our smiles.
Foods To Eat for Teeth Whitening
- -Crunchy, crispy fruits and vegetables have an abrasiveness that can help remove stains from the teeth and give the illusion they are whiter. Consider these like nature’s toothbrush. Apples, fresh green beans, cauliflower, carrots, celery and other crunchy fruits and vegetables help whiten by gently scrubbing the teeth. These abrasive vegetables and fruits have enough abrasiveness for teeth whitening without causing any harm to the enamel. A great snack for teeth whitening are crudités (sliced, fresh, raw veggies). Fibrous fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients and massage gums and promote blood flow to help keep oral tissues healthy. They also help to increase salivary flow. Good salivary flow is an important key to help protect our oral health.
- -Strawberries. This delicious fruit contains an enzyme called malic acid that helps with teeth whitening.
- -Eating tart fruits such as oranges and pineapples. These may cause the mouth to produce more saliva, which washes teeth clean naturally. Beware of using these very acidic directly on teeth, because too much acid can cause damage to the teeth.
- -Cheese and other dairy products (like yogurt and milk). These products contain a type of lactic acid that helps prevent decay. Hard cheeses also scrub teeth similar to the crunchy fruits and vegetables to help with teeth whitening by removing stain build up.
- -Ginger Root. This help is owed to the anti inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients of the fruit. Patients with periodontitis will receive some benefit by introducing ginger into their diet.
- -Basil. This is known as a strong natural antibiotic. Basil can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the oral cavity. Basil also acts as a defense mechanism deterring the bacteria from multiplying. –Sesame seeds. Nature’s scrubbing toothbrush. These will help in reduction of plaque deposits. Just take a few teaspoons of sesame seeds a few times per week, and you will begin to note a change in how clean your teeth are. You will probably see reduced plaque deposits.
- -Baking Soda. Studies have found that toothpastes that contain baking soda do a better job of removing plaque than toothpastes without the ingredient. To try it, your best bet is brushing with a commercial paste (like Crest Baking soda teeth whitening toothpaste) that contains the mild abrasive. This will happen with teeth whitening due to removal of stains by the abrasive paste
Foods to Avoid for teeth whitening
I am sure most people can rattle off the worst offenders pretty quickly. Tea, coffee, red wine, and sodas. But there are a few foods that might surprise you. They include:
- White wine. This can promote staining because it contains tannins and acids that can actually etch tooth surfaces. Alcoholic drinks are generally not acidic unless mixed with acidic beverages in cocktails. These can include drinks such as screwdrivers (vodka and orange juice) or cosmopolitans (vodka with cranberry and lime juice).
- Sports drinks. These drinks tend to have a higher acidic content regardless of whether they are regular or sugar free.
- Most people won’t give up staining foods. So they must maintain regular visits to the dentist as well as adding the next two to their diet on a regular basis.
- Water works to reduce staining. Drink water with meals and rinse your mouth with water after eating. Just sip and give a final swish (and swallow) after a meal.
- Sugar-free gum can also help clean teeth. This is helpful when you won’t be able to brush for a while. Xylitol (artificial sweetener) in some sugar-free gums also helps prevent decay by stimulating salivary flow. Following some of the steps above will probably not get you the results of professional teeth whitening but they will help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile for many years to come. Teeth Whitening comes in many forms!