12 foods that naturally whiten your teeth

We’ve all been told to avoid red wine, dark berries, and black coffee in our quests for pearly whites, but what about foods that actually brighten your smile? Try these natural solutions for a brilliant beam


They may be bright red, but malic acid, a chief component of this summery fruit, acts as a natural astringent to remove surface tooth discoloration, says Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. Fresh, juicy strawberries taste great in any meal—salads, desserts, cereal—and are widely available at farmers markets this time of year, so getting your daily dose is both simple and delicious


Seeds and nuts

Chewing these lightly abrasive, hard foods rubs plaque and stains off the surface of teeth, says Dr. Matthew Messina, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Pop a few almonds for a mid-afternoon snack—they’re full of protein, healthy fats, and the crunch you need to get pearly whites.


Although they may not be the ideal pre-date snack, the notoriously bad-for-breath alliums could be beneficial to teeth. Because they’re colorless, they won’t cause surface stains, says Messina, adding that after eating them you’re more likely to brush—which is a surefire way to get whiter teeth.


The loud crunch you hear when you bite into this hard fruit may be annoying, but it’s also good for your choppers. Apples’ crispiness strengthens gums, and their high water content increases saliva production, dispersing and neutralizing colonies of bacteria that lead to bad breath and plaque, says Smigel.


Baking soda

Take a toothpaste break and try brushing with this common ingredient. Baking soda is a base, like bleach, notes Messina, and the “soda”—which is actually a form of salt—in this pantry staple is a mild abrasive that works to scrub off plaque and surface stains.

Celery and carrots

The same high water content that makes these veggies great for your waistline and your health also helps them whiten your teeth by stimulating saliva production, which aids in washing away food debris and strengthening gums, according to Smigel.


Unlike beets and cranberries, this crunchy vegetable doesn’t stay stuck to teeth, so it won’t cause unsightly surface stains, says Messina. Throw some raw broccoli into your lunch—the florets will scrub the surface of teeth, giving them a brief and natural midday


Hard cheese, like the little blocks you get on those delicious appetizer trays, is full of calcium, which strengthens teeth and gums, explains Smigel. Plus, most cheeses are near colorless, meaning they won’t stain your teeth. So go ahead, order that cheese plate.


This bright fruit contains citrus, an acid that can wear away tooth enamel if ingested in large doses, making teeth whiter—but at a cost, says Messina. So while we don’t recommend gulping down bags of oranges in the spirit of a bright smile, a juicy helping once in a while is good for your pearly whites, and thanks to loads of vitamin C, your overall health too.


Drink lots of water to keep your mouth hydrated and your smile bright, advises Smigel, who recommends sipping and swishing between glasses of wine and when eating dark, pigmented foods to prevent staining. However, while water reduces the acidity in your mouth and the resulting damage to your enamel, Dr. Smigel warns against imbibing too much


Smigel recommends munching on a pear to neutralize pesky odor-causing and staining bacteria colonies on teeth. Increased saliva production brought on by this sweet, delicious fruit also washes away food debris, leaving teeth clean and sparkling.

Source: yahoo shopping

Does green tea stain the teeth?

Does green tea stain the teeth? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, say oral health experts. Here’s how to prevent the damage.

Nobody debates it and wellness gurus swear by it. We’re talking about the health benefits of green tea. But who would have thought that while looking chic sipping multiple cups of this beverage, one can get his/her teeth stained in the bargain? Not very chic after all, right? Well fret not, as you can correct the damage and prevent it too. Read on to know how…

Riddhima Choudhary (name changed) a call centre employee in her mid-20s was habituated to drinking green tea frequently, around four cups a day since two years now. She did so as she worked around the clock. This had stained her teeth because of which she was not confident about her smile. She wondered why her teeth were getting stained, until she visited a dentist who pointed out the probable cause.

Green tea does stain the teeth
Considering its popularity, not many are aware that green tea can stain the teeth. “Green tea today is the most consumed beverage amongst youngsters and adults specially women as it contains essential nutrients which are very low in calories and high in antioxidants. Two cups of green tea is healthy, but when you tend to turn something into habit and increase the amount of intake there are some drawbacks which otherwise could be cumbersome. Excessive intake would not damage the teeth to that extent but does dampen the teeth mildly. It can change the natural white colour of your teeth to a more yellow and stained appearance,” opines cosmetic dentist Dr Karishma Jaradi.

How does it happen?
Not just green tea, the same can be said for herbal teas as well, though their staining properties is lesser than that of black tea. Agrees dentist Dr Rani Shah saying, “I definitely agree, tea in general is a hard-hitter for stains. Green tea contains plant compounds known as tannins which increase the staining potential of teeth although to a lesser degree than black tea.” But how and why do teas in general stain the teeth? “Such beverages are acidic in nature and increase the porosity of the enamel (outer layer) of teeth. This makes it easier for the pigmented molecules found in teas to adhere to the enamel and therefore cause staining,” she explains.

Other foods and drinks that stain the teeth
Caffeine in coffee has a corrosive effect on the tooth enamel. In addition, the acid in coffee can contribute to the wearing away of enamel, which exposes the yellower layer beneath it called dentin. Some other drinks which are high in acidic in nature are orange juice, tea, tomatoes and other citrus juices. Cola, wine, sauces like soy, tomato and curry sauce also tend to stain teeth. Smoking also causes staining and discolouration of the teeth due to the nicotine present in it. Both red as well as white wine too can stain the teeth. Excessive intake of sugar can lead to tooth staining, warns Dr Jaradi.

Treating the damage
Stains are normally removed by a dental procedure called Oral Prophylaxis which includes scaling and polishing of the dentition. This is a one-sitting procedure which should be done every six months along with a routine checkup. However, it is not to be treated a substitute for daily brushing and flossing, says Dr Shah.

One could also opt for teeth whitening, an hour-long one-time procedure. However, some things that need to be kept in mind are that no two people are alike and the procedure may work faster for one person than another. Also, teeth whitening costs will range from dentist to dentist and patient to patient depending on the difficulty and severity of the case.

Preventing the damage
Dr Jaradi lists the following guidelines:

  • Flossing at home is one of the immediate preventions for teeth staining. It also helps in limiting plaque.
  • Rinsing the mouth with water is advisable after consuming tea/coffee/green tea.
  • Whitening strips or toothpaste can also be used to remove stains.
  • Proper dental care which includes brushing, flossing and rinsing after meals will definitely assist in stain removing stains.
  • If discolouration of teeth appears to be of an abnormal colour without a logical explanation it is advisable to see your dentist.

Source: Dna India

How to inspire your child to brush his/her teeth regularly

Children are often told that what they inculcate as habits now, will help improve the quality of their life later. However, lack of wisdom often makes them ignore this advice. Many kids have cavities and other dental issues because of inadequate brushing. These problems often magnify when they grow older. Inspiring your child to brush his/her teeth regularly may not be easy, but there are a few things you can do to make sure the child has good teeth.

Set an example
Children learn from their parents. Make it a point to seriously brush your teeth in front of your child twice every day. Not only will this rub into your child, it will also ensure good oral hygiene for you!

Buy him an electric toothbrush
Children love gadgets, especially in today’s times. Buy him/her an electronic toothbrush that will make brushing more effective and fun. Most of these toothbrushes even have a timer which tells you when to stop. They maybe a lot more expensive than a normal toothbrush, but compared to dental treatments they are quite cheap.

Use a toothpaste the child enjoys
Some toothpastes have a sharp taste which children do not enjoy. Thankfully, toothpaste manufacturers realise this and there are many toothpastes available in the market with different flavours. If required buy your child 3-4 flavors, and make him/her brush with one flavour every day. It will keep things interesting and make the routine a non-monotonous affair.

Set a time-limit
Ideally, your child should be brushing his/her teeth for 2 minutes. Buy an hourglass for the same instead of an electric stopwatch. The hourglass’ only purpose would be to time their brushing, and thus give it a sense of exclusivity. Also, using a historical device instead of a modern gadget will delight your child.

Make a reward system
If your child is slightly rebellious and fights on the topic of oral hygiene, do not go easy on him/her. Stop access to the things he/she enjoys like watching TV, playing games, etc. and tell him/her that brushing teeth for two minutes is a small price to pay for these luxuries.

Visit a dentist every six months
Even if your child’s oral health is good and there are no problems, make sure you make him go to a dentist every six months. This will inculcate certain seriousness about the issue in your child. Being in a clinic with so many equipments and a person whose job is to fix people’s teeth will stick as a image in your child’s mind. Regular visits will make sure that this image doesn’t go. Also, if the dentist says that your child’s oral health is good – he/she will feel extremely pleased about all the hard work done.

Tell him/her a story
If you are a good storyteller, tell your child a story about how cavities are like monsters that are out to destroy your teeth. And brushing is like a rifle that is used to knock them down. This will make brushing an enjoyable activity like playing. However, beware your child doesn’t brush his/her teeth every hour as that can do more harm than good. The monsters need to be killed just twice every day, for two minutes.

Buy him books related to oral hygiene
There are several books like Melvin the magnificient molar and I know why I brush my teeth which are illustrated with interesting characters and stories that inspire your child to brush his/her teeth. What more? It will also inculcate the extremely desirable quality of reading. (Read: Are you brushing your teeth right?)
Hopefully, these tips will ensure your child ends up with a great smile as an adult.

Source: dentistry IQ