Your smile is one of the first things people see when you meet them. It’s an attribute that’s remembered and a way for others to begin reading your personality. You really only get one chance at a first impression, so make sure your pearly whites are helping you to do just that!

You do have choices from a number of natural, chemical-free toothpastes out there on the market, and the flavors and textures are not repulsive! Or, you can make your own fresh tasting toothpaste powder at home from natural ingredients like baking soda, bentonite clay, sea salt, and peppermint oil.

It’s safe to say that you would prefer to have naturally white teeth over obviously chemical forced bright white teeth. So, what can you do at home and everyday for whiter teeth? Along with drinking water daily, which promotes saliva production while rinsing teeth of loose plague, start eating foods, like these plant-based foods, that may help to maintain your naturally white smile.

  1. Strawberries

    These contain malic acid that acts as a natural way to remove surface stains on teeth, so don’t let that red color confuse you! The berry also has antioxidants that can help reduce stain-attracting bacteria.

  2. Pineapple

    This fruit has a naturally occurring enzyme called bromelain, a compound with anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties. According to a recent study in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, bromelain is effective as an ingredient in a stain-removing toothpaste.

  3. Broccoli

    This veggie has iron, which helps form an acid-resistant barrier that can protect the enamel of your teeth from staining and forming cavities. Eating fresh, raw broccoli aids in cleaning and polishing teeth.

  4. Apples

    Apples are fantastic at scrubbing your teeth and strengthening your gums. High in malic acid, eating apples can increase saliva production which cleans teeth, helps to remove stains, and attacks bacteria colonies that cause bad breath and plaque.

  5. Carrots

    Carrots contain vitamin A, which contributes to healthy tooth enamel. Eating raw carrots also stimulates saliva that naturally cleanses the surface of your teeth.

  6. Shiitake Mushrooms

    These foods contain a compound called lentinan. This compound is said to inhibit bacteria from growing in your mouth and helps to reduce plaque and prevent future build-up.

  7. Nuts and Seeds

    When chewed on, nuts and seeds can be abrasive in a good way. A spokesperson for the American Dental Association says hard foods rubs plaque and stains off the surface of teeth. Snack on nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and add delicious sesame seeds to cooking.

    Stained and discolored teeth can occur with age, but there are day to day foods, beverages, and other substances that contribute to staining. Consider cutting back on or cutting out these teeth stainers — coffee, dark teas, red wine, sodas, some fruit juices, soy sauce, blueberries, cherries, blackberries, acidic foods and drinks, and tobacco use. This is not to say you must stop consuming or using such things (although it would be a healthy decision to quit using tobacco products altogether), but it’s important to be aware of the potential culprits.

    Let us all raise a glass of water and bowl of fruit to healthier, naturally whiter teeth!

    Image source: Maria Isaac/Flickr