Are there foods that can whiten your teeth?

Some people with stained teeth dish out hundreds of dollars on DIY teeth whitening kits or trays to achieve whiter-looking teeth. However, this can get pricey and with the number of products on the market, results are bound to be varied. Luckily, Dr. Cureton and our team in Salinas are here with a list of foods that will naturally help whiten your teeth, no harsh chemicals or unknown ingredients involved:

  1. Strawberries

Even though they’re bright red, strawberries still help whiten your teeth. Full of an enzyme called malic acid, which is known to brighten teeth, strawberries are an unlikely but useful candidate in whitening teeth. They also contain ellagitannins, antioxidants that deter stain-attracting bacteria from your mouth.

If you’re looking for an interesting application process, try smashing up the strawberries and mixing them with baking soda. Then use the mixture as a whitening toothpaste. Congratulations, you’ve just made your very own strawberry toothpaste!

  1. Apples

An apple a day just might keep the doctor away, if all your health issues were centered on stained teeth. The chafing motion that comes with biting into an apple repeatedly is excellent for removing debris, stains, and harmful bacteria from your mouth.

Much like strawberries, their high percentage of malic acid will leave your mouth feeling squeaky clean. In fact, malic acid is even used in several popular brands of toothpaste.

  1. Cauliflower & Other Greens

A vegetable that requires a lot of chewing, cauliflower is a healthy option to naturally whiten your teeth. The more you chew, the more saliva you produce, and saliva is a great cleanser for your teeth. Plenty of other vegetables also have this same effect, from broccoli to celery.

  1. Cheese, Yogurt, and Milk

The old myth about dairy strengthening your bones turns out to be true, to an extent! How does it work? Dairy is another food group that will make you produce an overabundance of saliva, which breaks down enamel stains. Cheese gets bonus points because of its lactic acid, which eats away at stains on the tooth’s surface.

How long will it take to see effects from these remedies?

There are no definitive scientific studies that reveal the duration of treatment required to achieve visible effects. However, as with most natural remedies, you should not expect effects to be instantaneous. 

Repeated use over weeks or months is the best way to achieve the effects you desire. If your teeth are severely stained or you eat a lot of foods that counteract the whitening process, expect this process to take longer.

Foods to Avoid

To help you in your quest to naturally whiten your teeth, here is a list of some foods to avoid. These foods will hamper the stain removal process:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Red wine
  • Coffee
  • Black tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Dark soda
  • Dark berries

As you can see, foods that are darker will generally lead to more staining. If you avoid foods that are sure to damage your teeth and make more of an effort to eat things like cauliflower, apples, and cheese, you will see the desired effects of the treatment sooner.


While these natural techniques for removing stains are fun and useful, you may be in need of a professional consultation to address your stained teeth. If this is the case, we are here to help!
If you’d like to know more about natural ways to improve your oral health, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cureton and his friendly staff, contact us today! We are available online or by phone at (831) 449-8363.

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