Get A Red-Carpet-Worthy Smile With These Tips For Pearly Whites
A great smile and white teeth are so critical to making a good first impression. Aging contributes to teeth yellowing, and you can't turn back time. But you can control some factors that'll help get you the red-carpet-worthy grin.
Lay off the dark food and drink
Brace yourself, ladies: If you want a bright smile, you're going to have to lay off not only the red wine, but also coffee and colas. These dark beverages will stain and discolour your teeth (although using a straw will help reduce staining somewhat). Same goes for dark foods such as blueberries. If you cannot refrain, aim to brush your teeth immediately after consuming any of these.
Quit your smoking habit
A telltale sign you're a smoker are your dingy, yellow teeth -- and right there is another reason, besides your health and well-being, to quit smoking for good.
Practice good brushing habits
Brush twice daily (and immediately after eating or drinking any staining food or beverage -- see above) using the technique you learned growing up -- gently, and away from the gums (not back and forth). Plus, make sure your toothbrush is in good condition. If you've been using it for three months or longer, it's time for a new one, as the bristles may be frayed and harbouring bacteria.
When plaque collects in the nooks and crannies between your teeth and at the gumline, it gives staining foods and drinks something to stick to. Flossing daily, however, will reduce plaque, so there'll be less opportunity for staining. For the non-flossers out there, you may find the Philips AirFloss easier to use (and thus, easier to use regularly). This handheld tool looks like an electric toothbrush, but the nozzle delivers a quick burst of pressurized air and water into the space between your teeth to dislodge plaque and bacteria. You can also use mouthwash in the unit.
Stock up on teeth-whitening products
At-home tooth-whitening products have been proven to reduce stains and give a brighter smile and are an affordable and convenient option. If you've tried these in the past but haven't managed to make them part of your routine (we confess -- that's us!), check out Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips, which require only two hours' wear, with results lasting three months.