Red wines, colored foods, sodas, and coffee all have the ability to leave stains on your teeth, leaving you with a less than attractive smile. The good news – eating the right foods can prevent and combat those unsightly stains. Some of these foods even help to improve overall oral health when you eat them regularly. If you want a whiter, brighter smile, try eating the following foods to fight off tooth stains.
Add a pack of sugarless gum to your pocket or purse to help fight stains. Chewing on sugar-free gum helps to stimulate saliva production, and saliva helps wash away the acids in your mouth that can cause staining. It also bathes your teeth in phosphate and calcium, which strengthen teeth. Many types of sugarless gum contain xylitol, which can reduce bacteria in your mouth too. Just make sure you stick with min flavors.
Crunch, Fibrous Veggies and Fruits
Start crunching and munching on fibrous veggies and fruits if you want to prevent and treat tooth stains. Eating fibrous, crunch veggies and fruits like broccoli, apples, pears, celery, and carrots can help scrub teeth and massage gums while you’re eating, working to prevent tooth stains. These foods also contain essential nutrients and few calories, so they’re a healthy snack to add to your diet.
Start eating dairy products to fight tooth stains and boost overall oral health. Dairy products are a great source of calcium, an essential nutrient for healthy teeth and bones. Calcium helps strengthen tooth enamel and dairy products also include casein, a protein that can help repair and stabilize tooth enamel. The calcium, protein, and phosphorus found in dairy products like cheeses can also help protect teeth against staining acids.
Since strawberries are red, you probably don’t think about them when you think of foods that fight tooth stains. However, they contain malic acids that are important for strong, healthy teeth, since these acids have the power to dissolve the superficial stains on your teeth. Other fruits that contain stain-fighting malic acid include peaches, cherries, bananas, apples, and nectarines.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are tough and crunchy, and they actually help to exfoliate your teeth. Walnuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, and other nuts and seeds have an abrasive texture that can help strip away stains from tooth enamel, whitening the surface of your teeth and buffing away discolorations. Along with fighting tooth stains, nuts also can help prevent heart disease, so they’re a great snack to promote both oral and overall health.
While they won’t do your breath any favors, eating onions can help you fight tooth stains. They contain sulfur compounds, which can prevent plaque from forming between and on teeth. However, if you want to the benefits of onions, you need to eat them raw, since cooking eliminates the sulfur compounds. Throw a few onions on a salad or a few slices on your sandwich to enjoy the benefits.
Pineapple is another great food to add to your diet if you’re looking for ways to fight tooth stains. It contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps to reduce inflammation. It also works to help disrupt proteins found on the surface of tooth enamel, reducing discoloration and breaking up tooth stains. After the bromelain works to disrupt those stains, then saliva can wash away those stains, so you’re left with shinier, whiter teeth.
Along with knowing what foods will help you fight tooth stains, it’s also a good idea to be aware of the foods that can stain your teeth. Common foods that may be causing tooth stains include:
- Black tea and coffee
- Sports drinks and colas
- Both red and white wines
- Sauces like tomato sauces and soy sauce
- Highly pigmented juices
- Balsamic vinegar
- Ketchup and pickles
Of course, even if you’re avoiding foods that stain teeth and eating foods that fight tooth stains, you’re still going to notice some discoloration at some point. Tooth discoloration comes with aging and wear and tear to the teeth. If you’re interested in rejuvenated your smile and eliminating those stains, you do have options. Our office offers a variety of teeth whitening options, and our dentist can help you decide on the whitening option that best suits your needs. Call today for an appointment and get on your way to a whiter, brighter smile.