The following 10 foods were recommended by the academy for a healthy, brighter smile.
- Pineapples can help whiten teeth. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which acts as a natural stain remover. Bromelain also helps break up plaque.
- Ginger can protect against periodontal disease, an inflammatory process that causes the loss of bone and supportive connective tissue in your mouth.
- Carrots contain vitamin A, which is needed for healthy tooth enamel. Eating them raw stimulates saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.
- Basil is a natural antibiotic that reduces bacteria in the mouth.
- Cheese is rich in protein, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which help reduce acid in your mouth.
- Sesame seeds help “scrub” away the plaque on your teeth. Chewing nuts can also provide this coarse, scrubbing action. Sesame seeds also contain bone and teeth-strengthening calcium.
- Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which inhibits bacteria from growing in your mouth.
- Onions contain the sulfur compounds, thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Eating them raw is a must as cooking will destroy these tooth-friendly compounds.
- Salmon not only provides calcium but also vitamin D, another nutrient needed for healthy bones and teeth.
- Broccoli contains iron, which helps form an acid-resistant film or barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth.
For more information on tooth whitening other ways to brighten your smile, contact the leading expert in cosmetic dentistry Dr. George Kirtley of Indianapolis, IN 317-841-1111 or visit his website www.smilesbygeorge.com.