If your goal is to have a white, bright smile, you may be driving yourself crazy brushing, flossing, & visiting the dentist. But it turns out that for a healthier smile, you can do more than following basic oral hygiene practices — research suggests reaching for certain foods can help whiten your teeth, & remove stains & plaque.
An obvious option is a cheese: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, & cheddar induce saliva, which helps remove food from your teeth. They also contain calcium & lactic acid, keeping teeth strong & protecting against tooth decay.
But if you aren’t a dairy fan, you can still eat your way to a brighter smile.
Here Are 5 Non-Dairy Products That Can Help You Get a Whiter Smile:
Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme with stain-removing & anti-inflammatory qualities, making it a natural antidote for plaque-ridden smiles. A healthy & delicious way to add more pineapple to your diet is to pair diced pineapple with low-fat cottage cheese for breakfast. Opt for your DIY bowl with 1 cup of fresh-cut pineapple & 1 percent cottage cheese, which contains only about 7 grams of sugar compared to the nearly 15 percent in store-bought varieties.
An apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away — it can keep the dentist away too. Apples contain malic acid, an enzyme & natural astringent that helps remove surface stains from tooth enamel. Not to mention, apples’ fibrous peels help scrub surface stains & remove bacteria from your mouth.
Are you searching for an excuse to eat sushi this evening? Now you have one. The bacterial enzymes in seaweed can help fight plaque & produce a whitening effect on teeth. If you don’t like sushi, you can snack on baked seaweed snacks to get the same benefit — & enjoy a healthier alternative to traditional potato chips, which are packed with sodium & often artificial ingredients.
Carrots & celery
Raw veggies are one of the healthiest types of snacks out there, & now, you can reach for your crudités knowing your smile will benefit too. Grab-and-go-friendly vegetables — like green beans, broccoli, celery & carrots — contain saliva-stimulating nutrients that help prevent plaque buildup & whiten your teeth. What’s more, biting into crunchy vegetables gently scrubs your teeth & can help lift surface-area stains. Convenience & whiter teeth? Talk about functional foods!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City 7 the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet & The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories & Fat Disappear – with Fiber.