Your mouth, teeth and gums are more than just tools to eat. They are essential for chewing and swallowing: the first steps in the digestion process. Your mouth is the initial point of contact of your body with the nutrients you consume. So, what you put in your mouth affects not only your general health but also that of your teeth and gums. In fact, if your nutrition is bad, the first signs often appear in your mouth. These are some useful things you should know about how what you eat can affect your dental health.
You can avoid certain foods that can stain your teeth, but for a brighter and whiter smile try eating more of these:
The enzyme bromelain in pineapples acts as a natural stain remover that breaks up plaque, the sticky bacteria that forms a film on your teeth. Citrus fruits such as oranges stimulate production of saliva, which cleans teeth naturally.
Biting into the firm skin and dense flesh of an apple has a scrubbing effect that helps remove plaque, while releasing malic acid that helps dissolve filmy build-up that discolors teeth. Fruits and vegetables that are high in cellulose, such as carrots and celery, are naturally abrasive – so they help remove stains from the enamel surface.
Like apples, strawberries contain malic acid that removes surface discoloration and the berry’s slightly abrasive texture helps buff the enamel for a smoother, whiter appearance. Make your own all-natural tooth whitener by mixing crushed strawberries with a half teaspoon of baking soda.
In their raw state onions contain two sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that dulls teeth by eroding the enamel surface. Garlic contains these sulfur compounds, too.
Cold water fish such as salmon contain omega-3s and phosphorus that help strengthen tooth enamel. Salmon is a particularly good source of vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption for stronger teeth and a brighter smile.