The Best and Worst Foods for a Bright Smile

Everyone craves that bright smile of TV personalities and movie stars. It exudes youth, attractiveness, and confidence. But then the cost of that smile turns those cravings back a notch, right?

Good news! There are a few simple ways you can get that movie star smile without breaking the bank.

Those pearly whites are usually the first things most people notice about us, but if they are not so pearly white, people surely notice that too. If you’re craving that confident smile, but not a large bill, pay attention to the best and worst foods on this list.

Surprise Surprise

woman at home eating strawberries

Have you ever thought that strawberries could keep your teeth white? It’s true. They contain malic acid, which assists in converting carbs into muscle energy, but the right amount of malic acid can help to dissolve stains on our enamel.

Try crushing up raw strawberries and mix it with baking soda to make a paste. You will be amazed how bright your teeth will look. Be sure to use a fluoride dental rinse afterward to remove any remaining malic acid.

Scrub Away the Stains

You might also be surprised to know that raw cauliflower and broccoli have whitening powers. Because they are difficult to chew, these two foods help to remove stains from our enamel. The longer you chew, the more excess saliva you create to begin breaking down stains and washing them away.

Cheese and Yogurt

Dairy is good for your bright smile. Mom always told you to drink your milk for healthy bones (and teeth, right?) Well it’s true! More dairy gives you a whiter smile.

These foods promote the production of more saliva in your mouth to break down stains. Even better, cheese also has lactic acid that contains properties similar to malic acid.

Seeds and Nuts

Think almonds, cashews, and walnuts. These all act like exfoliants for your teeth as you chew them. Just as we exfoliate our skin to keep it fresh and new, these nuts and seeds will do the same for your teeth. Whiter, brighter smile – here you come!

Make a Natural Rinse

The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, which kills bacteria and helps with whitening or bleaching teeth. Just be careful not to overdo it. It can turn against you and soften and erode your enamel when used too frequently or in overly concentrated doses.

Mix with water to create a mouth rinse that you can use occasionally. Then finish by rinsing with plain water.


Celery is loaded with water so as you chew, you are scrubbing away stains and debris from your teeth.  Plus it’s a perfect snack that can also help keep a few extra pounds off your waistline.

Making Smart Choices

Sometimes what not to eat or drink is more beneficial than proactively trying to whiten your teeth.

Having a wonderful meal of pasta with red sauce and a glass of red wine might sound like the perfect night out. Beware of what the staining tomato sauce and red wine will do to your bright smile. Of course you will continue to dine out, but take some precautions when you do. Drink water along with your favorite red wine, or drink from a straw to prevent the wine from sitting on your teeth. Brush your teeth as soon as possible to keep the sauce from penetrating your enamel.

Coffee lover? We know you won’t quit, but you can cut back a bit. Tea and soft drinks are almost as bad since they all can damage your enamel.  The amount of sugar in a single serving of soda and other drinks can do real damage to the surface of your teeth. Drink lots of water afterward and brush as soon as possible to protect your pearly whites.

We can spend lots of money on professional whitening treatments and religiously use our whitening toothpaste, but the most important thing you can do for your bright smile is to brush and floss daily. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once. It’s truly the best way to wow the world with your bright white smile!

See East Village Dental Arts regularly to keep your smile shining bright, and be sure to ask questions about what sort of treatments may be able to bring you your most confident smile yet!

To schedule an appointment, please call (212) 979-6300 or request an appointment online today.

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