You eat for your health, but did you know that you can also eat for healthier, whiter teeth? If you've always wanted to improve your smile, consider adding the following to your diet:

  • Strawberries. The fruit contains malic acid, a natural astringent, that can remove discoloration on tooth surfaces. Strawberries can be added to food items from breakfast to dinner so you can munch your way to whiter teeth all day.
  • Seeds and nuts. Lightly abrasive, seeds and nuts can rub off stains and plaque from teeth surfaces. Much on a few almonds to get a protein-packed mid-afternoon snack while getting whiter teeth.
  • Onions. Not good for your breath but the sulfur compounds in onions reduce bacteria in the mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Best to eat them raw though because cooking destroys thiosulfonates and thiosulfinates.
  • Cheese. Aside from strengthening teeth, calcium also buffers acids to help prevent erosion. Increased saliva production brought about by eating cheese also neutralizes acids that can lead to tooth decay.
  • Pineapple. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, naturally removes stains and aids in breaking up plaque to reduce bacteria in the mouth that can erode the tooth enamel.
  • Fish. Gum disease leads to inflammation that damage connective tissues anchoring teeth. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish keeps inflammation at bay, ensuring gum disease doesn't take away your smile.
  • Cocoa. Love your chocolate? Good news! It can actually help you achieve whiter teeth by protecting against decay and erosion. If you're watching your sugar intake, opt for dark chocolate instead.

Aside from eating food that can actively get you whiter teeth, you should also be mindful of eating food that can stain your teeth. If it can stain your shirt, it can stain your teeth. Except white wine. It might not stain teeth outright but it contains acids and tannins that can cause discolorations.

Chewy food items also help in improving teeth health by strengthening teeth while ridding surfaces of plaque, if abrasive. The effort it takes to chew also massages the gums, stimulating blood flow to the area.

Drink a lot of water as well. Aside from aiding overall health, drinking water washes away food bits that can cause tooth decay. Swishing water around your mouth also rinses away residue from beverage, keeping them from sitting on your teeth and leading to staining.

Regular visits to your doctor will help but there are a lot of things you can do on your own to achieve that bigger and brighter smile you've always wanted.

Photo: Rory Macleod | Flickr

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