The pharmacy aisles are filled with teeth whitening products that boast pearly whites in a matter of a few applications. Maybe rather than a reactive approach we should be considering a proactive one. In fact, a lot of dentists agree that people don't even use the at-home whitening products effectively. In addition, turns out the grocery story might be the place you should be checking out to get those teeth brighter.
Here are some of the foods that help keep your smile white:
Cheese-- (seems like a no-brainer right?) It's not only the calcium in cheese with strengthens teeth as well as the jaw that does the trick. The waxy texture also helps brush food particles away.
Green Tea-- This beverage contains polyphenol antioxidants--they fight plaque forming free radicals and help to prevent gum disease. To add an extra punch, experts suggest brewing your tea with tap water, which is fortified with flouride. Drinking tea after meals can also be helpful--as its antioxidants curb bad breath.
Mushrooms--They contain the most common, natural source of vitamin D. They help the body absorb tooth-strengthening calcium.
Pistachios--These nuts contain huge amounts of magnesium, which also increases the absorption of calcium. They also have beta-carotene which can lessen gum inflammation--the main cause of periodontal disease.
Yogurt--Probiotics (found in yogurt, also known as "good bacteria") offer protection against gum disease by lowering levels of bad bacteria in the mouth. Yogurt also contains the triple threat of: calcium, whey protein and phosporus, the ultimate strong-tooth trio, according some experts.
If you are going to opt for the over-the-counter tooth-whitening remedies a word of caution; according to Dr. Pankaj Singh, founder and CEO of Arch Dental, read the directions and use the products properly--because a lot of us don't! "People tend to use too much (of the whitening) material in the tray and the extra material leaks out and you can end up swallowing it. People also tend not to pay strict attention to the directions and either don't use it for the appropriate amount of time or not regularly enough. Most importantly, people tend to continue with these habits, that eventually cause staining to develop, countering the effects of the whitening on a daily basis."
More from GalTime:
- Your Genetic Destiny: Will You Look Like Your Mom?
- Is Skipping Dental X-Rays a 'WISE' Decision?
- Using Food as Medicine
- The 'Basic's to Teeth Whitening
Tara Weng is the national editor of parenting and health for GalTime. She is also a media consultant with a focus on medical and consumer topics. Her professional experience includes a stint as a medical/features producer at the NBC affiliate in Boston, MA and a media relations position at a top teaching hospital in Boston. Tara has also done public relations consulting work and has written for several online and print media outlets. She is a wife and a mother to two children (who are fantastic) and an enthusiastic New England sports fan.