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13 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

13 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

Products and services that promise to instantly brighten your smile can easily be found on grocery shelves or at the dentist’s office. But before reaching for that home whitening kit or enduring another hour sitting on your dentist’s chair, consider these 13 natural, sometimes unconventional (but often delicious!), tooth-whitening alternatives:

1. Oil (sesame oil or virgin coconut oil)

Oil, or more specifically, oil pulling, is when oil is used for gargling, not cooking. Sesame oil or virgin coconut oil is swished around inside the mouth and then spat out after fifteen minutes. As the substance is vigorously “pulled” back and forth between your teeth, the mucous membranes inside your mouth absorb nutrients from it.

Sesame oil has omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B and E; while virgin coconut oil has antibacterial properties that promote healthier gums and cavity-free teeth. Just make sure not to swallow any of the spittle that will form as you gargle.

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2. Strawberries

Malic acid is a natural astringent that acts as a bleaching agent, and it is present in most commercially available tooth-whitening products. Strawberries are filled with this key ingredient, which will whiten your teeth naturally, so make sure to add them to your basket on your next trip to the farmer’s market. The vitamin C in strawberries also aids in removing plaque.

3. Apples

Apples also contain high levels of malic acid. The act of biting and chewing on this crunchy fruit gently scrubs away debris, stains, and bacteria from your mouth.

4. Celery

Say goodbye to tooth stains as you snack on that piece of celery during your break! The fibrous cellulose act as a natural toothbrush, while the high water content stimulates saliva production, your natural mouth cleanser.

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5. Carrots

Chewing on these rabbit favorites raw will increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, cleaning it further. The vitamin A in carrots is good, not just for your eyesight, but helps strengthen tooth enamel as well.

6. Broccoli

When eaten raw, this vegetable gently abrades tooth surfaces, which removes unsightly stains. The iron found in broccoli protects tooth enamel by coating it with an invisible barrier that keeps cavity-causing acids away.

7. Cheese

Being devoid of color, most cheeses will not stain teeth. They also contain calcium and phosphorus, which help strengthen teeth and gums through re-mineralization. Those properties also help in insulating teeth from harmful acids in the mouth.

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8. Water

Drinking water helps you stay hydrated and prevents stains from forming on your teeth. Swish it in your mouth after eating or drinking pigment-rich foods and beverages to keep your smile white and bright. Water also reduces your mouth’s overall acidity, lessening the likelihood of damaging your tooth enamel. Just make sure you stick to flat water, as the sparkling variety increases the chances of eroding tooth surfaces.

9. Pineapple

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is a natural stain remover that also helps separate plaque from the surface of your teeth. This prevents tooth erosion and discourages cavities from forming, resulting in healthier and whiter teeth.

10. Shiitake Mushrooms

This fungi is filled with lentinan, a type of sugar that does not promote tooth decay, but instead curbs its formation by preventing plaque-building bacteria from proliferating in your mouth.

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11. Salmon

The vitamin D found in salmon helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, nutrients that strengthen your teeth and contribute to a beautiful smile.

12. Basil

As a natural antibiotic, this herb has bacteria-inhibiting properties that prevent the formation of cavities.

13. Onions and Garlic

The key is in eating these raw. Doing so releases bacteria-reducing compounds called thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, promoting healthier teeth by reducing the production of plaque. Being colorless, these foods will also not stain teeth.

Do you have other ideas on how to help whiten teeth naturally? Share them in the comments below!

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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