The first thing most people notice about someone else is their beaming smile… or lack thereof. Smiling is contagious – a simple action forces others to reply in kind. The result can be something as simple as a lift in spirit, connection with a potential new love interest, or even a raise or promotion at work. And while the best way to get a gorgeous white smile is by visiting your dentist, there are some not-so-obvious to improving those pearly whites.
Professional Whitening vs. Home Whitening
Professional whitening can be completed during your lunch hour, scheduled around school drop-offs, or fit into just about any busy lifestyle. Your dentist may provide two effective options: an in-office visit or a premixed DIY whitening kit. The in-office variety contains a 35 percent concentrated peroxide mixture which whitens teeth up to 14 shades in a single visit. The premixed trays and gel-filled mouthpieces contain a 10-15 percent peroxide solution and a mouthpiece. This DIY process typically takes about two weeks and whitens teeth up to eight shades.
Whitening strips can be purchased in any discount or grocery store, but they’re a one-size-fits all type of solution. While the box kits are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, you really do get what you pay for. The peroxide solution is only 4 percent, which whitens 2 to 3 shades. Over use of whitening gels or strip kits can lead to blue-tinted teeth and sensitivity issues. But if the kits are used properly and in minimal doses between professional whitening treatments, they can be a beneficial part of keeping those teeth white and bright year round.
Have Fun with Color
Wearing the right colors can brighten the mood and transform a person’s appearance. And one’s choice of colors can impact how white (or not white) the teeth look. Clothing and makeup with red and blue tints tend to make teeth look whiter, while yellow and orange options make teeth look dark and dull. Big date tonight? Skip the coral gloss and opt for a berry lipstick to make those pearly whites pop.
Adding a little concealer around the lip edges makes them look fuller while forcing the teeth to sparkle in contrast to the burst of color. The same holds true for clothing and jewelry. White or yellow clothing will outshine the teeth while cool shades like blue, purple, or a vivid green will make eyes turn. When it’s time to accessorize, opt for silver over gold jewelry to ensure that smile stands out in a crowd. And don’t ignore the gums. A little red food color goes a long way to darken gums and make teeth dazzle. While this tip may border on the extreme, professional makeup artists swear by it.
Your Teeth Are What You Eat
OK, so maybe you’re not actually a blueberry, but eat enough of them and your teeth will show it. Dark-tinted food like berries, pasta sauce, curry, and balsamic vinegar and colorful beverages such as coffee and red wine stain tooth enamel. If you can’t brush right after eating dark foods, drink some water to rinse your teeth. And if you just can’t bear to cut out the staining drinks of choice, at lease consider sipping them through a straw – the liquid will have less If you can’t cut the wine out completely, try switching to white or sipping through a straw. It’s not as classy, but it will save those chompers.
Chewing on hard, juicy produce like apples and pears (within reason) encourages saliva while scrubbing away stains. Chewing sugarless gum is also a good habit to develop as the chewing action creates enzymes which are essential for fighting bacteria. Looking for something outside the box? Don’t throw that banana peel away quite yet. Instead, rub the pulp side in circular motions over the teeth. The minerals are believed to soak into the teeth and create shine.
Don’t forget preventive maintenance. Professional teeth whitening, color play, and chomping away are fun and easy ways to improve your smile, but they’ll be ineffective without a foundation of proper oral care. Brushing teeth twice a day, flossing once, and rinsing with fluoride rinse are critical to keeping teeth healthy between regular dental visits. And visiting your dentist once or twice per year addresses potential oral health issues you may not notice or be able to handle on your own.
Want whiter teeth right now? Contact Sachar Dental in Midtown Manhattan. Just one convenient visit will give you that dazzling smile you’ve always wanted.