5 Foods That Whiten and Protect Your Smile

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by Karen Simpson, Wellness Contributor

Many people use harsh chemicals on their teeth to whiten them. Unfortunately, while they believe they are helping their smile, they are actually hurting it. Those chemicals that promise to whiten your smile are actually wiping away what protects your teeth from oral problems, such as tooth decay and gingivitis.

One of the best ways to whiten AND protect your smile is to use exactly what will heal and protect your body. Foods that are found at your local grocery store. So before you head out to the store for your next grocery shopping trip, make sure to add these foods to your list to whiten and protect your smile.

#1: Apples

An apple doesn’t only keep the doctor away. It keeps the dentist away too. This is the way it works:

When you bite into an apple, the juices make your mouth water. Not only do you have the juices, but you have your saliva rinsing your mouth. While it’s rinsing, small food particles are being washed away down your throat.

In addition, the crunchy apple rubs against your teeth as you chew. This rubs away all of those particles that cause stains on your teeth. The great news is that it doesn’t rub away enamel, which is what protects your teeth from germs that cause decay. It’s a win-win.

#2: Strawberries

Malic acid is what makes strawberries so great for your teeth. It’s a natural, gentle astringent. If you’ve ever used astringent on your face, you know it wipes away dirt and leaves behind clean skin. Malic acid is a type of astringent that has the same effect on your teeth.

You may not be able to brush after every meal, but strawberries can have a similar effect. Of course, it’s always good to follow up with a brushing if you can.

#3: Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts are hard, so they are perfect for getting stubborn plaque off your teeth. As you chew, the seeds and nuts rub on your teeth and while you may think that over time they would rub away parts of the teeth, they don’t. That’s what’s so great about it. It’s just the right texture to take away plaque and stains, but not the enamel.

“Enamel isn’t easy to rub off. It’s the chemicals in tooth whitening agents that corrode the enamel. That’s what makes foods perfect for naturally whitening a smile.” – Dr. Stevens from Riverside Dental Care

#4: Celery and Carrots

Celery and carrots are amazing for whitening and protecting your smile. Not only are they hard, so they rub your teeth, they are also stringy, which makes them a natural flosser. Does this mean that you don’t have to floss after eating celery and carrots? No. However, you can feel good you’re getting extra clean in between your teeth with these veggies.

#5: Cheese

We’ve given you a lot of foods that help clean your teeth, and while cleaning they protect your smile. Cheese is a bit different. While rubbing away particles that cause staining, cheese gives you a good boost of calcium that you need to strengthen your teeth and gums. And that can really protect your teeth long term.

There you have it. Five foods that will help you whiten and protect your smile. Make sure to eat them regularly and you’ll soon see there’s no need to invest in expensive teeth whitening agents.

Thank you to our friends at Wellness.com for contributing this piece!

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