Body & Fitness

Food dos and don’ts for whiter teeth

Here are the best foods to eat and avoid for a brighter smile.

Here’s your go-to guide for food that your teeth will love and food that, well, maybe you should steer clear of if you’re after a sparkling smile.

Foods to eat:

Cheese: As if we needed another reason to eat cheese! But hey, we’ll take it. Cheese is said to be good for your teeth because it’s full of calcium and phosphorus, which protects against the harsh acids in your mouth. Now pass the Brie!

Apples: Chomping on an apple works wonders for your pearly whites. It promotes the production of saliva which helps dissolve tooth stains. Remember, you’ll only get the benefits if you eat an apple – drinking apple juice won’t have the same effect.

Nuts and seeds: The hard surface on nuts and seeds (in particular sesame seeds) helps to remove plaque, which discolours teeth over time.

Mushrooms: Legend has it shiitake mushrooms help prevent bacteria growing in your mouth which leads to plaque. Japanese for dinner, anyone?

Baking soda: Use baking soda while you brush your teeth for an effective way to remove discolouration on your teeth. It may be an old wives tale, but it actually works.

Foods to avoid:

Coffee: If you rely on coffee like oxygen, we’ve got some bad news. While a cup of java may work wonders for waking you up, it does stain your teeth – badly. You know the ick leftover brown stains you see inside your coffee mug? Your teeth suffer the same consequences over time. So try not to guzzle the stuff like it’s going out of fashion and switch to green tea when you can.

Red wine: No doubt after a few glasses of Shiraz you’re the victim of a serious case of purple teeth. And anything that shows signs of staining that early on is a big red flag. Red and white wine both contain erosive acid, which allows stains to penetrate more deeply. Dammit! Rinse your mouth out with water after each glass to help reduce the level of acidity in your mouth.

Soy sauce: Sushi fans beware. A splash of soy sauce may add flavour to your dish, but it will also discolour your chompers. A good rule to follow is anything that will stain your tablecloth, will probably stain your teeth and soy sauce is one of the guiltiest of condiments. So, after consuming soy sauce, rinse your mouth out with water to help reduce stains.

Soft drinks: Because these drinks are so highly acidic, they can cause your tooth enamel to erode – especially when drunk in large quantities. Next time you’re at the cinema, rather than requesting an extra-large coke, opt for water or drink through a straw to minimise the damage.

Berries: Specifically, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and cherries will have a damaging effect on your teeth. They might be chock full of antioxidants and other health benefits, but one downside is they contain dark pigments which can permeate enamel and stain your teeth. If you’re craving berries – try to opt for strawberries.

This article is brought to you by NEW Colgate Optic White® Express White™.

Get The Australian Woman’s Weekly NZ home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories