Do Apples Help Whiten Teeth?

Of all the tips, tricks, and products that you've heard help whiten teeth, is it possible the solution may have been in the produce aisle at the grocery store all along?

According to Crest, teeth stains can fall into 3 categories: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related stains. Of these 3 types, extrinsic discoloration is more within our control to correct. Residue from coffee, sodas, or wine, for example, can build up on the surface of the tooth over time, leading to yellowing. Implementing proper oral hygiene such as routine brushing, flossing, and the use of tooth-whitening toothpaste can relieve discoloration for this kind of staining. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, are more deeply rooted within the tooth itself and may require professional whitening.

For those looking to lighten extrinsic staining on their teeth — and if a whitening toothpaste just hasn't quite done the trick — you may want to try incorporating more fruit into your diet, specifically, apples.

Apples can help scrub away tooth stains

Made up of nearly 90% water, apples are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C (via Healthline). Not only that, but studies have linked eating apples to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Among their many health benefits, teeth whitening may also be one of them. According to TruBlu Dentistry, when eating an apple, its coarse texture helps scrub out stains on our teeth and massages our gums. In addition, apples are high in malic acid, which boosts saliva production and further rids our teeth of plaque and other buildup.

But before you go sprinting off to the grocery store, Manhattan Beach Dental Center cautions against the potential downsides of the acid content in apples. Because foods that are high in acid can erode away tooth enamel, this can sometimes lead to further discoloration. To keep teeth from yellowing, experts suggest drinking water after eating an apple. By swishing the water around in your mouth, you remove the stain-causing acids. This can also be done with your own saliva. Lastly, apple lovers should refrain from brushing their teeth immediately after eating the fruit, as doing so can worsen enamel erosion and yellowing.