9 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth

Did you know that many of the healthy foods you eat actually whiten your teeth while you dine on them? Better yet, they serve to protect and brighten your teeth without including such potentially harmful chemicals as bleach.

We have listed nine foods that can lighten your teeth and help remove stains. These all-natural ingredients and compounds can help you improve your teeth's appearance and give you a confident smile. This post will go over how best to use the various types of foods for the most significant impact on your dental health. Each one has useful traits that we will explore so that you can understand the mechanics behind how they can whiten teeth or reduce the risk of staining. 

And, if you would like to achieve the whitest smile possible, we highly recommend professional teeth whitening treatments from Hornbrook Center for Dentistry. Our San Diego dental office is equipped with the right whitening technologies that deliver fast, safe and effective results!

9 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth

While using natural solutions will be good for your overall health, it is essential to remember that teeth whitening foods are not substitutes for regular brushing with toothpaste. The American Dental Association has some guidelines for keeping your smile healthy. They recommend flossing at least once a day and brushing your teeth with toothpaste twice a day. Doing that will make it easier for your teeth to benefit from the following foods that can whiten your teeth over time. 

Raw Cauliflower

Saliva naturally cleans your teeth by washing away bacteria and other substances that may cling to the surface and cause stains. Cauliflower is useful in keeping teeth white by being more challenging to chew than most foods, which causes an increase in saliva production. Other foods contain this same effect, including those listed directly below. 

Raw Celery, Carrots, and Apples

Crisp vegetables like celery can work to protect the teeth while being eaten in much the same way as Cauliflower, except instead of taking a long time to chew, they are made of strong fibers that can dislodge plaque and other debris from on and around your teeth. They also cause the mouth to produce more saliva while being eaten, which can remove additional debris. Celery and other chewy vegetables also contained vitamins that can help keep teeth and gums healthy. Other foods that provide the same effects as celery include fibrous fruits. 


It has been well documented that strawberries can help fight off plaque and keep teeth from staining. Strawberries are capable of producing such brilliant results due to the high levels of malic acid enzyme they possess. It breaks down the material that is stuck to your teeth. 

Orange and Lemon Peels

Some people use orange and lemon peels to whiten teeth. These are not going to result in a pearl white, but they are believed to help lighten stains. The citric acid and d-limonene present in the peel can work to remove plaque and other matter from your teeth. T

Apple Cider Vinegar

A minuscule amount of apple cider vinegar can be used as a mouthwash to remove substances like plaque from the surface of teeth. It works similar to bleach and is quite strong, so you should only use small amounts for short periods. Vinegar is naturally acidic, and this allows it to breakdown the layer of buildup causing yellowing or darkening of the teeth. 


Pineapple can be eaten in various forms to help make your smile whiter. There is no need to make a specific paste out of pineapple and apply it because the acid and bromelain enzyme in the fruit will be able to work while you are eating the fruit. The bromelain specifically will work to dislodge plaque and dark stains which will lighten your teeth. 

Cheese, Yogurt, and Milk

Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese have high levels of calcium and lactic acid. While you are eating foods like cheese, the saliva produced will work to remove the outer layer of plaque and bacteria while the lactic acid breaks down harder stains that may be causing discoloration. The calcium is also good for strengthening your teeth. 

Baking Soda

While not strictly a food, soda ash is what makes up baking soda, and it is often used in compounds with other ingredients to create teeth whitening pastes and mouthwashes. Studies have shown that toothpaste that contains baking soda is more likely to remove dangerous levels of plaque. It can be used in a traditional store-bought toothpaste, or you can make your own paste at home using a box of baking soda and water. It is safe to use and works well to kill germs, remove substances from on and around the teeth, and destroy plaque buildup.

Coconut Oil

You want to use only the highest quality coconut oil for this process. Organic oil is best and always check the ingredients to ensure that there are no e which could be potentially harmful when used on your teeth. Strong data for teeth whitening has yet to be produced, but it is known to remove bacteria and help reduce plaque buildup, which may yellow the teeth. 

Foods That Can Darken or Stain Your Teeth

Some foods or drinks are more likely to leave behind stains and discolor your teeth. It is impossible to avoid teeth yellowing entirely since that is a natural part of teeth aging. There are some things you can avoid to make the change less noticeable. Here are a few foods to avoid to keep your teeth looking bright and clean. 

Coffee and Tea

Some of the most common contributors to darkened or yellowed teeth are drinks. While any dark-colored drink (e.g., cola, red wine, etc.) can cause discoloration, tea and coffee are the most popular. The natural acids in these drinks can strip off the tooth enamel and leave behind unsightly stains. 

White Wine

Darker wines can cause stains but so can white wine. This is due to the acid and chromogens, which can leave your tooth vulnerable to staining from any foods or other drinks you consume at the same time or shortly afterward. 

Fruit Drinks

Many fruits contain acids, and these can break down the protective barriers on your teeth's skin and cause them to become more porous and soak up darker colors. In particular, fruit juice is more problematic because it has the acid that can break down the surface layer of your teeth while also being full of added sugars, which can promote bacteria growth. This can cause cavities and stains. 

Fruit drinks are very healthy for you and contain many useful vitamins and minerals, so you do not want to cut them out of your diet; you simply need to be aware that they can damage your teeth. Brushing within a few hours of drinking juice can help remove excess sugars and acid from the mouth. However, you do not want to brush immediately after since the enamel may have been weakened, causing possible erosion of the outer layer. This goes the same for other acidic substances. If you brush your teeth too soon after eating or drinking them, then your teeth may lose some enamel.

Foods With Artificial Colors

These are hard to avoid entirely since food colorant can be found in so many things (e.g., chocolate, ketchup, soy sauce, etc.), but lessening the amount you consume can be helpful. While there are no studies showing that all artificial colors can cause this kind of problem, it is believed that they can contribute. This is especially true when eaten with or after something with a high acid content, which may leave the teeth more prone to staining.

Balsamic Vinegar

Vinegar has a high acid content, and that makes it useful for teeth whitening when used sparingly and correctly. However, some vinegar can have the opposite effect. Balsamic vinegar is both acidic and dark-colored, making it more likely to leave stains, especially if it is used often. If you eat raw vegetables like celery or carrots with meals containing balsamic, it can help to counter these effects.

Now that you know how diet can affect the color of your teeth, it's time to whiten your teeth the right way - at Hornbrook Center for Dentistry. Call today to schedule your teeth whitening consultation with our talented cosmetic dentists!

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