It's time to load up your plate with broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. if you pay attention to what you eat -- and what you don't eat -- you can clean and whiten your teeth naturally, says UK dentist Dr. Anthony Zybutz. There are three components to the white teeth diet: chewing, saliva production and staining, Zybutz tells London's Daily Mail:

1. Chewing
Fruits and vegetables that must be chewed act like a toothbrush while you eat, scrubbing the surface of your teeth, removing food particles and preventing plaque build-up. These foods also massage the gums, which stimulates blood flow and helps keep gums healthy. Best foods to eat: Apples, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, pineapple, celery and hard cheeses.

2. Saliva
When the flow of saliva is increased, it helps keep teeth whiter by essentially rinsing your teeth as you eat. Best foods to eat: Citrus fruits, such as grapefruits, limes, lemons and oranges, as well as strawberries.

3. Staining
What you don't eat is almost as important as what you do eat when it comes to maintaining white teeth. Zybutz offers this rule of thumb: If a food will stain your shirt, then it will also stain your teeth. Foods to avoid: Red wine, tea, coffee, cola and sports drinks, blackberries, blueberries, pomegranates, curry sauces, soy sauce and anything that is artificially colored.

And if broccoli and cauliflower aren't your favorite foods, take heart. White teeth were just as fashionable in ancient Roman times as they are today, but the Romans gargled with urine to whiten their choppers. Suddenly, broccoli doesn't sound so bad, does it?


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