There are several different ways to start improving the color of your teeth: you can buy whitening strips, avoid coffee, red wine, and other dark drinks, or get them professionally whitened by a dentist. However, one of the simplest methods is to add some of these teeth-whitening foods into your diet.
It’s easy to think that the best things for your teeth would be white, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, different foods affect your teeth in different ways, and strawberries are among the best options for those looking to improve their coloration.
Eating strawberries can contribute to whiter teeth because they contain a high concentration of malic acid. This affects the color of your teeth and can lead to noticeable changes if you stick with it for a long period of time. However, it can also have a negative impact on your enamel, so consider rinsing your mouth out with water to protect your teeth.
While we think of them as apples, the term for the genus is actually Malus, which is where the name for malic acid comes from. Just like strawberries, apples can lead to healthy, white teeth, with the same caveat about enamel.
Another benefit of apples is their texture—thoroughly chewing any food promotes saliva production, which naturally cleans your teeth, and the contact between them and the apple itself scrubs particles from the surface.
Everyone knows that calcium leads to strong bones, but it has the same effect on teeth, as it reinforces your enamel. Most dairy products contain high levels of calcium, along with another nutrient: lactic acid. Like calcium, it protects your teeth from decaying while also improving their color.
On top of that, casein, another protein found in dairy, has a positive impact on the minerals in your tooth enamel. Since some whitening techniques can lead to more sensitive teeth, it’s important to remember that your dental health goes beyond aesthetics, and protecting your teeth from decay and damage is even more important.
Staying hydrated is a key part of any healthy lifestyle for many reasons, but most people are unaware of its effects on teeth. If you’re eating or drinking something that could leave stains, it’s a good idea to swish water around your mouth afterwards to remove any particles left on the surface.
However, sparkling water can erode your teeth over time, so still water is a better choice. While we’re on the subject, carbonated or sugary drinks such as soda, juices, and energy drinks are extremely harmful to your teeth and should be avoided as much as possible—water can only make up for some of the damage.
Onions probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of whitening your teeth, but they contain allicin, another compound that improves your dental health. Allicin stops bacteria from growing on your teeth, but you’ll only see the tooth-strengthening benefits if you eat them raw.
Tooth-whitening foods come in all varieties and colors, so it’s easy to adjust your diet to include them. However, no quantity of strawberries, water, or onions will compensate for the harm you can do to your teeth with sugar, dark-colored foods and drinks, or other damaging ingredients. It’s just as important to avoid the negatives as it is to add the positives.
Eating healthy food and staying hydrated is important for reasons beyond your teeth. Compared to treatment from a dentist or whitening strips, simply changing the foods you eat regularly is a much more convenient way of getting whiter teeth, but be patient—it won’t happen overnight.
Daniel Hatcher works as a resident writer for Houston Dental Implants Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery, and Periodontics who is owned and managed by Dr. Holly Gregory, DDS, MS. He loves writing about health and fitness topics and new discoveries in the medicinal field.