Two of our favorite indulgences—coffee and wine—can wreak some serious havoc on our pearly whites. But, according to Dr. Jessica T. Emery, DMD, PC of Sugar Fix Dental Loft, even healthy habits like regular juicing can turn teeth from white to, well, not so much.
Here, Emery and Dr. Carolyn J. Mordas, associate director of product development at Johnson & Johnson, who serves as an expert in developing the company’s Rembrandt teeth whitening products, suggest five foods that can actually reverse the yellowing process and keep your smile nice and sparkly.
Though the following foods should never replace regular brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist, you can think of them as bonus ways to keep your teeth looking their best.
Yes, eating an apple can help clean your teeth between brushes, Mordas says. The crunchy texture helps soften stains while also increasing saliva production, preventing plaque formation. “Plaque can act like a glue that sticks stain to teeth, so reduced plaque can mean less stain,” she says. “Apples also contain malic acid, a natural stain-dissolving ingredient.”
Packed with protein and good fats, nuts (as well as sesame seeds) are slightly abrasive and can rub stain and surface stains away as you chew, Emery says. “They also contain calcium which helps keep teeth strong,” she adds.
Celery is another great, low-calorie go-to snack to help maintain your pearly whites, Mordas says: “Its fibrous cellulose works almost like a natural toothbrush, scrubbing away stains as you chew.”
Mordas and Emery both sing the praises of this tropical fruit, which contains bromelain, an enzyme that works to break up proteins, such as those found in plaque. “By breaking up these proteins, stains are naturally lifted away through enzymatic action,” Mordas says.
This power veggie stimulates saliva and contains the vitamin A you need for healthy tooth enamel, Emery says.