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Busy lifestyles and hectic work schedules tend to mess up our eating habits big time, forcing us to binge on foods and beverages like coffee, fizzy drinks, sports drinks, junk food with sauces, sweets, and so on. Unfortunately, these also happen to be the foods that cause your pearly whites to stain the most.

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Nevertheless, if you’re willing to modify your eating habits for the sake of your pearly whites, there are a number of foods that help keep your teeth healthy and white. Following is a list of 6 foods that not only help in whitening your teeth, but also strengthen your teeth and gums.

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1. Apples

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If you’re on your way to work and you realize that you forgot to brush this morning, pull over at the next fruit seller on your way and get hold of an apple.

Yes, apparently crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery act like a natural toothbrush, gently buffing away the surface stains and polishing your teeth. As you bite and chew away on these crunchy delights, they help in getting rid of food particles and bacteria from the mouth. Also, these crunchy fruits and veggies increase the production of saliva, which helps combat plaque and bacteria.

Besides, apples also contain malic acid, which is known to be a common chemical used in teeth whitening products. Need any more reasons to munch on a scrumptious apple?

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2. Cheese

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Dairy products such as cheese and milk are known to be rich sources of calcium, lactic acid, phosphorous, and proteins, all of which are excellent for your oral health. They help in combating the buildup of bacteria in the mouth and strengthen your teeth’s enamel.

Dairy products, especially cheese, have a type of protein called casein, which works with the phosphorous and calcium to repair the enamel, thereby making the teeth and gums stronger. The proteins bind the teeth together and prevent tooth decay caused by acids present in the food.

Also, hard cheese and most dairy products are devoid of and color and so they’re good for naturally whitening your teeth.

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3. Onions And Garlic

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Onions and garlic release bacteria-reducing compounds called thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, which effectively help in reducing bacteria that cause tooth decay. These antibacterial properties effectively help in wiping out bacteria that causes cavities and gum diseases.

However, the key is to eat the onions and garlic while they’re raw, since cooking them destroys the compounds. Hereafter, you may want to add a slice or two of raw onion to your food all the time, but hey, watch out for the killer breath you’re going to end up with after munching on raw onions.
4. Water

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If you want to keep your smile white and bright, drinking a lot of water just might be the key.

Drinking water not only helps you remain hydrated, but also helps prevent dental decay and keeps your teeth stain-free. What’s more, drinking water is great for your skin and the digestive system too! Water helps in reducing the overall acidity and dryness of your mouth by stimulating adequate production of saliva.

Try gargling or swishing your mouth with water after each meal and even after drinking any pigment-rich beverages. Doing so will flush out the remaining food particles and debris from your teeth and gums, thereby reducing the effect of damaging acids on your tooth enamel, and lessening the likelihood of cavities, gum diseases, and bad breath.
5. Shitake Mushrooms

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Do you love mushrooms so much that you end up adding them in almost everything that you make? Well, here’s another reason that’s going to make you love mushrooms all the more; they help in keeping your teeth bright and white!

According to research and studies, shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, an anti-microbial property that targets the type of bacteria which causes tooth decay. It does this by preventing the formation of plaque-building bacteria from spreading in your mouth.

So the next time you’re having a salad or if you’re preparing some soup or a stir-fry, try throwing in a few slices of shiitake mushrooms, and you’re good to go!
6. Strawberries

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If there are any berries you should be gorging on to keep your pearly whites as bright as ever, its strawberries!

Yes, apparently strawberries are loaded with malic acid, a natural astringent that acts as a bleaching agent and is present in most common tooth-whitening products. Malic acid helps in naturally whitening your teeth, and strawberries also contains vitamin C, which is great in combating the buildup of plaque.

So the next time you plan a trip to the fruit market, don’t forget to add some strawberries to your shopping basket!
Guest article by Nicola Joseph, an employee at Advanced Dental Centre, a renowned cosmetic dentistry in Australia. Nicola takes keen interest in the medical field and loves researching about the latest developments. You can get in touch with Nicola via Twitter @NicolaJoseph.

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