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How do you whiten your teeth? Will you try any of these foods to brighten your smile?

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 4:01 AM
  • 7 Replies

10 Snacks for a Sparkly Smile

Posted by Jacqueline Burt on April 25, 2012 

strawberriesFull disclosure: I hate my teeth. Always have, probably always will. They're just not white enough and never have been -- even when I was a kid and my "grown-up" teeth were brand new (apparently this has something to do with too many antibiotics for multiple bouts of tonsillitis).

I've tried just about whitening treatment on the market but none of them have done the trick (unless by "trick" you're referring to the magic enamel-destroying powers of those dentist-approved bleaching trays. Root canals are awesome!).

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I'm pretty skeptical about anything that claims to have smile-brightening properties at this point. So when I heard that some foods are actually capable of making teeth whiter, I was like, "Says who? The tooth fairy?" TGTBT.

BUT there's a surprising amount of research out there suggesting that certain foods really are dental dazzlers.

So I'll definitely be adding these to my grocery list (unlike the bleach, at least none of these will destroy my teeth).

1. Strawberries. Who knew? I would've thought strawberries would give teeth a pink glow if anything, but it turns out they contain malic acid, which is a stain lifter.

2. Broccoli. Another one I didn't see coming. Eating broccoli actually protects enamel by creating an acid-resistant film on teeth. Reason #489 to chow on the stuff!

3. Shiitake mushrooms. Huh? No, for real! Shiitakes contain a sugar called lentinan which prevents bacteria from taking over your mouth and making everything yucky.

4. Apples. Okay, this one's not a huge surprise -- but crisp apples really are nature's tooth brush.

5. Carrots and celery. Like apples, crunchy crudites help to scrub all the stain-causing gunk off your chompers -- plus, they stimulate saliva production (nature's mouthwash).

6. Oranges and pineapples. These citrus-y guys also stimulate saliva production, and rubbing the white side of an orange peel against your teeth has the unexpected ability to remove tartar.

7. Sesame seeds. Think of sesame seeds as tiny little exfoliating beads, for your teeth. Because that's what they are!

8. Apple cider vinegar. Mmm, tangy! Mix this with baking soda to make a paste for super-whitening wonderfulness.

9. Hard cheese. Not only does the lactic acid in dairy foods help to prevent decay, hard cheese has a similar scrubbing action to apples and sesame seeds.

10. Green beans. Fresh, raw green beans do an excellent job of lifting less-than-white stuff from the nooks and crannies in between teeth. (Not cooked beans! Raw!)

How do you whiten your teeth? Will you try any of these foods to brighten your smile?

by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 4:01 AM
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Replies (1-7):
batjmom
by Sarah on Apr. 26, 2012 at 6:09 AM
We eat a lot of those on the list. I have had teeth whitener from the dentist too
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soccerchik8287
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM
We eat a lot of apples. We had a dentist come to school when I was in 3rd grade and he told us one of the reasons they feed horses a lot of apples was because it helped clean their teeth. I ate apples for like 2weeks straight instead of brushing my teeth after that :)
countrymomma81
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM

I had no idea about any of these. I eat most of them, but not for the teeth whitening benefits. 

PoehlerBear1983
by Meghan on Apr. 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM
We eat most of those on the list
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nngmommy83
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM

interesting. I use crest whitestrips if I want to whiten my teeth. Isn't the acid in some of these bad for teeth though? we still eat them but for the nutritional values

sunshine86912
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 2:12 PM

why not!  I like lots of those foods

bethany169
by Bethany on Apr. 29, 2012 at 12:33 AM

I like all those foods so I'll have to eat more of them.

I used whitening strips when I was younger, but my teeth are pretty white on their own so I never worried too much about it.

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