Eat Your Way to Whiter Teeth: Foods for a Radiant Smile

Mother Nature blesses some people with sparkling white teeth, while others are not that lucky. Despite your genetic legacy, good oral hygiene, and tooth whitening products and treatments, what you eat is also important to maintain and even improve your teeth’s appearance and health. Besides the beneficial foods for your teeth, you can always use some excellent homemade toothpaste recipes for that shiny smile.

Wine stain

Foods that can stain your teeth

Tooth stains are not just caused by food with a dark, intense color. Acidity is also a factor as it erodes the tooth enamel and makes it easier for chromogens (molecules that pigment the foods) to stain it.

As you can imagine, all foods with an intense color that can stain a white shirt can also stain your teeth. Some of the most popular ones are wine, berries (blackberries, blueberries, cranberries…etc.), cola and other soft drinks, tea (especially black tea varieties), coffee, sports drinks (these also have high acid levels), dark-colored sauces (soy sauce, curry sauce, tomato sauce…etc.) and sweets that contain coloring agents.

Some of these foods are healthy, so avoiding them completely is not a solution. Just make sure that after you eat any of them, you brush your teeth, chew sugar-free gum or at least swish your mouth with water.

Lemons and baking soda

Foods for a brighter smile

Some foods promote dental health, and while some can act as mild whitening agents, don’t confuse them with bleach. The main benefits of eating these foods are regulating acid levels and keeping your teeth clean. Expecting a brighter smile overnight is unrealistic, albeit visible results will appear within a few months.

Water and sugar-free drinks will remove most of the acid-producing food leftovers from your mouth, reducing the risk of developing cavities.

Lemons have a mild lightening effect. Eating lemons can be tough, so mixing lemon juice with baking soda and using the resulting paste to brush your teeth might be easier. Because the citric acid found in lemons can damage tooth enamel, use this method only once a week.


Strawberries may not seem like the best choice for whiter teeth as they have a pretty intense color. The truth is, strawberries are the exception among the list of fruits with names ending in “berries.”

You can eat them fresh to scrub your teeth or make a paste out of mashed strawberries and baking soda and use it to brush your teeth it on a weekly basis gently.

Cheese will not whiten your teeth but can successfully prevent tooth stains and cavities. Its high protein, calcium, and phosphorus contents help neutralize acids and remineralize tooth enamel. If you’re worried about calories, opt for low-fat cheese varieties.

Carrots and celery

When eaten raw, crunchy vegetables and fruits such as carrots, celery, peppers and apples have a mechanical cleansing effect on your teeth and increase saliva production, flushing away acid-producing bacteria.

Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain which can significantly reduce tooth stains and plaque. Bromelain also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that helps protect your gums.

As you can see, nature has a lot of beneficial foods that can clean our bodies. As always, don’t go overboard with any of these beneficial foods; avoiding bad meals (such as processed foods, fast food, juices etc) and eating more natural nutrients is a good balance to achieve.

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