A healthy smile starts with a healthy diet. Most of us follow the standard advice to stay away from foods and beverages with a dark color, like coffee and wine, which have a tendency to leave stains. What we don’t know is what causes the staining and that really, these are the worst of all staining culprits.

Nutrients play a significant role in tooth health and color. Like foods that naturally whiten teeth, some foods that naturally prevent tooth and gum disease.

A healthy mouth requires a balanced pH level, which can be improved or disrupted by certain consumption choices.

In general, we want to stick with low GI foods- meaning foods with low glycemic indexes.  High GI foods lead to tooth decay.

When foods cannot be broken down properly and right away, their remnants stay on the teeth.  These remnants become plaque, which is sticky and hard to remove.  The plaque becomes a trap for incoming foods.  High GI foods (like starches) stick to the plaque, turn to sugar, then to acid and become corrosive.  This is why it’s best to stick with low GI choices.

Foods that help whiten your teeth:

  • Probiotics lessen risk of periodontal disease, plaque, and gingivitis
  • Raw vegetables make for great snacks between meals
  • Grains like wheat bread and brown rice
  • Dairy is a clean, easy choice for the mouth
  • Lean proteins make for a balanced meal
  • Xylitol gum shows tooth decay prevention- chew briefly after meals
  • Calcium rich foods like sardines, canned salmon, leafy greens, cabbage and almonds
  • Antioxidants to help fight off bacteria
  • Vitamin C for healthy gums can be found in citrus, broccoli, kale and berries

Foods to avoid:

  • Sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame
  • Empty calories.  This includes cookies, cakes, mints, candy and chips
  • High GI foods and beverages. This is usually indicated by a high sugar content,  which raises the acidic pH in your mouth and welcomes bacteria
  • Smoking and tobacco products. Not only your lungs are at risk, here!

Don’t spend too much time memorizing the list of foods that whiten teeth. Instead, take particular note of the ingredients that are both protective of your teeth and mouth and show low staining properties.

You’ve already made a step toward healthier teeth by reading about best practices, and now you have to keep it up! Besides at-home oral care, in-office professional cleanings are vital the health and beauty of your smile.

Come and see a Miami dentist at Gables Sedation Dentistry and come up with a plan to get your teeth healthy. Gables is the preferred cosmetic dentistry Miami, and we look forward to showing you what exemplary care and services we offer.