White teeth not just make you look beautiful and younger, they may even make you look all the more educated and employable.
A recent British survey carried out in this regard revealed surprising statistics. A survey conducted by the dentists has revealed that a sparkling and glossy smile makes an individual look five years younger, much more educated, wealthier, and around 20% more attractive.
Another survey carried out by leading research firm Strategy One revealed that the majority of Americans believe that having sparkling white teeth plays a pivotal role in making a great first impression, with a massive 60% of the participants claiming the stained or discolored teeth were a major turn off in a job interview – even more so than having unmanicured nails or perhaps acne.
What Causes Your Teeth to Stain in the First Place?
To begin with, it is important to understand as to what causes the formation of stains on your teeth. Tobacco(1) is the leading guilty party behind those embarrassing and discolored teeth. Coffee and tea are two of the other major factors. However, bacterial action can also result in forming plaque on your teeth, leading to orange and green stains.
Early tooth decay may also result in teeth discoloration, therefore it is imperative for us to exercise proper oral care to keep our teeth looking healthy, white, and full of life.
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, certain diseases and medicines you use can also contribute to the formation of stains on your teeth. Excessive fluoride, aging, and medicines can cause or aggravate the problem.
Stained teeth not only are embarrassing, but they also lower your self-confidence, thereby harming more than just your oral health.
While there are numerous oral care products available out there such as brushes, teeth whitening procedures, mouthwash products, teeth whitening paste, and so on – none of them actually live up to our expectations. These products damage our enamel and induce a wide range of side effects, thus doing more harm than good.
Fortunately, there are several effective and safe natural ways to eradicate or prevent stain formation on your teeth. There is a list of foods that helps you make your teeth look great.
[Read: Benefit of Oil Pulling]
While they may not remove the stains formed over the years overnight, they can gradually reduce the discoloration and prevent further accumulation of stains on your teeth. Walk through this brief post to find out the top 8 foods that are proven to whiten your teeth naturally.
8 Foods for Teeth Whitening
1. Green Tea
Green tea is lighter in color, therefore it is unlikely to cause any stains. In addition, it also has several benefits to improve the health and appearance of your gums and teeth.
A 2009 research evaluated the dental health of 940 men. The researchers found that men who consumed green tea daily had healthier gums and teeth as compared to men who didn’t.
In reality, for each 1 cup of tea consumed a day, there was a clearly visible reduction in the markers of gum and tooth disease.
A study carried out in 2010 found that eating fruits daily is the most effective and simple way to keep your teeth white. Researchers tried different methods for teeth whitening over three months and found that orange peels, lemon juice, and strawberries were some of the most efficient teeth whiteners we can use.
All of these fruits contain acids and enzymes that are known to facilitate the breakdown of stains. Just exercise some caution, as excessive acid can wear out the enamel, so do remember to follow it with a glass of water, always!
Another study carried out in 2013 at the University of Granada also revealed that malic acid, one of the major components present in apples tend to increase saliva(2) production, which aids in removing stains to cleans your teeth.
3. Shiitake Mushrooms
The Shiitake Mushrooms consist of “lentinan,” a natural sugar that exhibits powerful antibacterial properties.
A research conducted by Japanese scientists revealed that mushroom extracts helped to eradicate bacteria in the mouth, thus reducing the risk of stains caused by plaque. Better yet, the extracts of shiitake mushrooms proved efficient in fighting bad bacteria, without harming the naturally present ones.
Which means, the extracts of Shiitake Mushrooms actually did a better job than some of the best gingivitis mouthwash products available in the market today.
[Read: Maitake Benefits of Mushroom]
This vegetable is an excellent source of iron, which aids in fortifying the teeth against a wide range of bacteria that tend to cause tooth decay and stains.
A research analysis of the positive effects of broccoli on the teeth enamel found that it is effective in both preventing and reducing the teeth stains.
Researchers also presented a theory that the iron in broccoli creates an acid-resistant thin coating on the teeth surface, which in turn decreases the contact of the teeth with materials that could lead to stains.
5. Sesame Seed Oil
Ancient Ayurvedic philosophy suggests that swishing sesame seed oil for 15 to 20 minutes in your mouth not only kills bacteria but also helps whiten your teeth.
According to a 2009 study conducted by Indian researchers, the practice of swishing sesame seed oil reduced the formation of plaque on teeth and promoted gum health.
6. Plain Yogurt
Yogurt is a great and abundant source of calcium, which is extremely important to keep your teeth looking bright and healthy.
Dentists claim that foods rich in calcium help in strengthening your teeth enamel, the thin outer layer of your teeth that provides them their sparkling whiteness.
In addition, yogurt is an excellent source of phosphorus, a vital mineral that works as a catalyst to increase the potency and usefulness of calcium. Though phosphorus does not aid specifically in teeth-whitening, it does help in maintaining the enamel that provides your teeth their outer appearance and beauty.
Just stay away from the flavored stuff as the added sugar can break down the enamel over time, leading to a dull smile.
[Read: Health Benefits of Yogurt]
7. Baking soda
A 2008 study found that toothpaste containing baking soda, an ancient tooth-whitening home remedy in Ayurveda, proved more efficient in removing plaque as compared to toothpaste with no baking soda.
To give it a try, you can brush with a commercial toothpaste that contains a mild or moderate quantity of baking soda as an abrasive.
As an alternative, you can also simply brush your teeth with a small quantity of baking soda.
[Read: Benefits of Baking Soda]
Milk is widely known for its rich and diverse nutrition that is extremely important for building stronger bones. Well, did you know it has the same effect on your teeth too? Consumption of milk is one of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy, strong, and sparkling white.
It is also an excellent source for both phosphorus and calcium. Just remember that the mineral content in milk increases as the fat content in your milk drops and, therefore, you must consider drinking skim milk to get the maximum benefit of both the nutrients.
A medium cup of skim milk contains around 316 mg of calcium along with 255 mg of phosphorus, whereas a medium cup of whole milk consists of about 276 mg of calcium along with 205 mg of phosphorus.
Other Food Option To Naturally Whiten Your Teeth: Xylitol-Sweetened Gum
OK, it is technically not a food item. But chewing gum also aids in producing more saliva. But then, there are several types of chewing gums available out there, then why go for the Xylitol-Sweetened Gum?
There is a key reason behind it. Xylitol aids in avoiding different types of plaque-promoting sugars, to begin with. In addition, the sugar alcohol is proven to decrease the formation of plaque on your teeth, which makes it tougher for stains to retain.
Try spearmint or cinnamon flavors, since several studies suggest they are efficient in improving the production of saliva in comparison to the other flavored gums.
We all understand the common culprits that generally tend to stain our pearly-white teeth. Red wine, tea, coffee, etc. Despite numerous treatment methods available out there, we mostly find it hard to keep the stains at bay and maintain a sparkling white smile.
Fortunately, the natural foods discussed in this post actually work wonders to keep teeth stains away, achieve sound oral health, and maintain a pearly-white smile.
Not only these food items help scrub away those embarrassing stains to make your teeth look better and brighter, but they also help strengthen your chompers from within. More importantly, these foods are absolutely safe and offer no known side effects as such.
So, why wait? Here’s your chance to flaunt a sparkling white smile with confidence. Give these foods a try and, rest assured, you won’t be disappointed.