Teeth are like eyes—they come in a wide variety of shades, and we should perhaps celebrate that fact.
However, over time they tend to darken as a result of both natural processes and the food to which
we expose them, and we would all like to restore them to an earlier appearance.
At the same time, we are subject to relentless image pressure from the media, and all actors, models,
and celebrities seem to have startlingly white teeth.
Are there simple ways we can get that bright white smile back again?
Avoid the Stainers
The first thing we can do is to cut down on the foods and drinks that darken our teeth.
The prime culprits are coffee, strong tea, red wine, and all sugary snacks and drinks.
These either stain the teeth directly or allow bacteria to attack the enamel, which is the first stage
Promote the Cleaners
Look for foods that can protect your bite.
This usually means that either they stimulate the production of saliva, the body’s own first line
of defence against bacterial attack, or they help to form a protective layer on the enamel.
Although there is little research that is absolutely definite, there are some foods that have a
reputation for helping to maintain a white smile.
Broccoli is rich in iron, and some studies have suggested that it may be effective in creating
a bacteria-resistant film that protects the enamel from acid attack.
Crunchy raw broccoli, like other raw vegetables, is also a good polisher of teeth.
Cheese seems to be very effective in stimulating the salivary glands and lowering the acidity
levels present in the mouth.
Hard cheeses such as cheddar are more effective since they need more chewing.
Not all acid is bad.
Oleanolic acid, found in raisins, may do more harm to the bacteria than it does to the enamel.
It particularly seems to be effective in controlling the two main bacteria responsible for tooth decay.
Bromelain is an enzyme, found in pineapple, that may be able to break down stains on the tooth
surface without damaging the enamel itself.
Some toothpastes have also used bromelain successfully.
At the same time pineapple and citrus fruits, used in moderation, stimulate natural saliva production.
The Limits of Natural Remedies
All these foods are likely to be effective against staining (if the sources of stains are also reduced)
and may work to lighten coloration in the long run.
However, if you are looking for quick results, you will probably have to resort to a chemical treatment.
Your dentist can advise or it is easy to find out more about home-use kits.
White and Bright
There is plenty of evidence that people who are confident about their smile appear confident about
Though it may be no healthier, most people would say that it is worth taking a little trouble to keep
that smile white.
About the Author
Naomi May loves health and beauty, always striving to look her best. She enjoys sourcing ‘beauty products’ from her fridge and cupboards, making her own beauty creams and living as green a life as possible.