Food and its effects on the colour of your teeth

Many people dream of having white teeth. The brightness of people’s teeth does not depend on their dental hygiene habits alone, as it is well known that some foods can stain our teeth. Some products can darken teeth, while others can help lighten them slightly. Below we present several foods that can have a whitening or discolouring effect on teeth and tell you what you can do to whiten your teeth in a natural way.

Some foods can stain your teeth

Almost all of us want to have a radiant smile. This includes white teeth, although very few people actually have them. Discoloured teeth are not necessarily the result of poor dental hygiene. Alongside natural ageing processes, what we eat and drink also has an influence on how white our teeth are. Certain foods can stain your teeth. Basically, anything that stains clothes can also stain teeth.

Wine, coffee, curry, black tea and tobacco are among the main causes of tooth discolouration. The fact that they can stain teeth is related to special dyes such foods contain. These colour pigments can be deposited on the teeth when these foods are eaten, leaving an unsightly tarnish on the white of the teeth.

Does this mean that you have to avoid eating pigmented foods if you want to have white teeth? Not necessarily. You can counteract tooth discolouration by brushing your teeth thoroughly after eating such foods. If this is not possible because you are on the go, you can rinse your mouth with water instead. This flushes the discolouring pigments out of your mouth. Professional teeth cleaning or gentle bleaching can also help you re-whiten your teeth.

Below are several foods that can whiten your teeth

Certain foods can also help whiten your teeth. Cheese and other dairy products can help maintain the natural whiteness of the teeth. Dairy products contain lactic acid and calcium. Calcium has a strengthening effect on the tooth structure, while lactic acid can promote natural tooth whitening.

Strawberries can also whiten teeth. The fruit may look like it could stain your teeth, but this is not the case. Strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid, which is beneficial for maintaining natural tooth whiteness.

Apples, broccoli and other high-fibre fruits and vegetables with a crisp consistency also help maintain whiter teeth. Eating a piece of apple or carrot requires a lot of chewing. Chewing stimulates the production of saliva, which in turn helps the mouth clean itself and promotes dental hygiene. Bacterial plaque and colour pigments are diluted and washed away by increased saliva production, making it less likely that consuming pigmented foods results in tooth discolouration.

How a healthy diet promotes teeth whitening

Saliva has another positive effect: it help remineralise your teeth and thus has a positive effect on your dental health. Its mineral components make enamel harder and protect it against the harmful effects of acids and bacteria. The gums are also better supplied with blood when there is sufficient saliva production.

Not only your choice of food, but also how thoroughly you chew food in general can influence your saliva flow. Thorough chewing stimulates the production of saliva. A healthy diet that includes plenty of raw foods and fibre can help you whiten your teeth.

If you want bright white teeth, you should also drink enough. Low fluid intake can result in reduced saliva production. Chewing sugar-free chewing gum also has a positive effect on saliva flow.

As you can see, there is no reason to avoid pigmented food and drinks – especially since foods like black tea can counteract tooth decay thanks to their fluoride content and thus actually promote dental health. If you make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet and rinse your mouth with water afterwards, you can look forward to having a naturally white smile.

Adonyi Gábor

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