By: Brittany Powell
So many people take pictures smiling with their lips pressed together. We brush and floss but our teeth just don't have that commercial white, so we hide them. For the most part, everyone knows what we eat and drink will discolor and weaken our teeth. What about foods that whiten and strengthen teeth, gums, and enamel? Do they exist?
They do and they are delicious.
You can be on your way to a whiter smile by eating things with malic acid. Try mushing a few strawberries to a paste and leaving it on your teeth 2-3 minutes, then brushing as normal. You could also make a paste of strawberries and baking soda to brush with. Malic acid can erode enamel, so I wouldn't recommend these treatments more than every 3-4 months.
There are also foods you can eat to increase saliva production. Saliva will naturally wash away some food particles from the mouth helping create a clean smile and reduce bad breath. Pears, apples, and celery all have a high water content that creates more saliva as well as a crunch that gives a scrubbing effect. Tart, citrusy fruits are great in killing bad breath bacteria and saliva production as well, but they are also more likely to erode enamel when eaten in large quantity.
For a mini brush between you can also try eating raw broccoli. It is another food that won't stain, but the structure creates a scrubbing effect as you chew. Make sure you don't have any bits stuck in your teeth before picture time.
Fish, flax seed, and cocoa are all good for fighting inflammation which has been linked to gum disease. The omega-3 fatty acid contains anti-inflammatory components and ingredients in cocoa are shown to have anti-inflammatory effects as well.
Don't forget your dairy products. Calcium and the proteins provided in these products strengthen bones and protect enamel. They are also colorless for the most part as they break down, so they are less likely to stain teeth.
So go ahead and grab some fruit, jazz up your salad, and don't shy away from the cheese block. Your smile will be picture ready with the help of a few things that are likely already in your fridge and pantry.