Save Your Smile: White-Hot Tips to Sink Your Teeth Into
While most of us don’t have the cash nor the time to sit in the dentist’s chair for hours getting our teeth professionally whitened, there are steps you can take at-home and on-the-go to keep your smile bright and beautiful. Here’s to looking on the bright side. No appointment necessary.
When we think about anti-aging, we’re usually thinking of ways to prevent future wrinkles, while ironing out existing ones, slathering our falling faces with copious amounts of miracle-magic creams, serums, and lotions, injecting our heads with Botox and fillers, and other sometimes unorthodox age-defying methods in an otherwise modest attempt at perpetuating our youth. But, what about your teeth? Your pearly whites are one of the first things people notice about your appearance AND usually the first to reveal the unwelcome signs of aging. And, if your morning cup of Joe is a non-negotiable must, you’ll want to take a bite out of these get-gleaming tips to keep your grill gorgeous and lips youthful-looking.
Make the Switch
…to whitening toothpaste and rinse, that is. If there is one thing you can do on the daily, it is to swap out your regular toothpaste for one with whitening power. Usually, they come in the form of added hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or Calprox® (a patented hybrid of calcium and hydrogen peroxide ingredient found in beauty insider fave Supersmile® professional tooth whitening products). Just take a walk down the toothpaste aisle at the market and you’ll see you’ve got your research cut out for ya, as there is no shortage of whitening toothpastes designed for every tooth type – from sensitive to aging to tartar control to plaque fighting to fluoride to non-fluoride. We’re obsessed with Supersmile Professional Teeth Whitening Toothpaste in Icy Mint ($21) made with Calprox® and cavity-fighting fluoride, a beauty store shelf staple developed by an A-list cosmetic dentist to the stars. This stuff virtually eliminates the need for any other whitening methods, so long as you use twice a day. Red carpet-ready smile here we come! Give your whitening power a one-two punch with a hydrogen peroxide-infused mouthwash for double the dazzling intensity.
Remove the grill-staining gunk between your teeth with a whitening floss. Yes, they do exist and thankfully so. Use in between meals and before bedtime as this special hydrogen peroxide-infused waxed thread not only helps whiten those hard-to-reach areas in between teeth, but the hydrogen peroxide leaves gums clean and pink – a sure sign of healthy teeth, gums, and overall oral hygiene. Plus, using whitening floss helps ward off the dreadful possibility of developing gum disease or gingivitis. Try Supersmile Whitening Floss ($9) with signature smile-saver Calprox® and baking soda.
Rinse Between Meals
If you don’t have your toothbrush handy, no worries! Simply swish with some lukewarm water following meals and snacks to dislodge any staining substances and dazzling-derailing debris that may be trapped in between teeth just waiting to discolor them. Anything is better than nothing. Also, never brush teeth immediately after eating sweets, as saliva hasn’t had time to completely breakdown the sugar and you risk brushing the granules into your teeth, promoting decay. So, if you’ve eaten a piece of cake or candy, wait at least thirty minutes before taking to the brush. It’s okay to swish and spit, but don’t brush right away.
Eat This, Not That!
Keeping your pearly whites bright and light takes more than just brushing, rinsing, and flossing with tooth-whitening products. It also has very much to with what you put in your mouth on a daily basis. We all know the usual saboteurs – smoking, vino, coffee/tea, dark, highly-pigmented foods, etc. But, you can have your drink of choice and sip it, too. Just use a straw! This way, the incriminating liquid doesn’t touch your teeth and you still get to enjoy your beloved beverages. (We totally get it – but, first, coffee!) Also, if you’re an avid tea drinker, try switching to lighter hued versions, such as green or chamomile to prevent imminent and unsightly discoloration. As far as foods, nature has amazingly bestowed upon us yummy fruits and veggies with cavity and stain –fighting powers to fill our plates with. Strawberries are one of the few fruits that can naturally whiten your teeth due to their astringent malic acid content which gently removes surface discoloration, plus they’re one of the healthiest, body-benefitting berries you can eat due to the high levels of collagen-promoting vitamin C. Chopping on raw, fresh fruits and veggies are nature’s toothbrushes as they promote saliva flow, which kills cavity-forming bacteria, bad breath, and enamel discoloration. Apples, carrots, and celery sticks wash away food and debris from tooth surfaces and gently scrape enamel of plaque and yellowing tartar. So, get those choppers chomping with a bag full of fresh-cut and crispy celery and carrot sticks and some apple slices to keep on hand when hunger strikes. And, ban the bar – the candy bar, that is. Not only does an apple a day keep the doctor away, but the dentist, too.
Glow from Home
With drugstore whitening strips all the rage and at-home professional whitening kits, like Supersmile 6 Minutes to a Whiter Smile ($49) and Glo™ Science GLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device ($220) designed to lighten, brighten, and whiten your grill up to five shades in one week or less, you can flash a mega-watt smile in no time. Plus, whether you stick on some strips or use a device, it usually takes no more than 30 minutes per tooth whitening session (GLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device takes only 8 minutes a day!), so they’re perfect for using while binge watching Game of Thrones, texting, reading, or whatever. However, it is not recommended to do more than one session in a 24-hour period due to sensitivity issues. Here’s an at-home teeth whitening hack that you can brush up on: combine a crushed strawberry with a pinch of baking soda until blended. Apply mixture to a soft toothbrush and spread along surface of teeth and leave for 5 minutes. Brush teeth with your normal whitening toothpaste to remove berry/baking soda mixture completely.
Gleam on the Go
Take your whitening wonders with you wherever you go with whitening pens, whitening gum, or whitening rinse to-go packs. Try Go Smile On-the-Go Teeth Whitening Pen ($19), Supersmile Whitening Gum ($5), or Supersmile Single-Dosed Powered Mouthrinse with Calprox® ($16/ 24 pk.) for getting grill gleaming on-the-go! Or, use all three. Although highly-effective, you won’t cause tooth sensitivity if you use multiple times a day, since these whitening wares are just on-the-run, maintenance tooth-whitening tools and don’t contain a high level of hydrogen peroxide. They’re just “go-between” products to keep things sparkling. The best part is you don’t need to brush before using any of these, as they’re meant for using anytime, anywhere! Just toss in your tote, keep in your car, or stash in your desk drawer for on-the-spot smile saving.
Coconut Oil Pulling
This ancient ritual of swishing pure, organic coconut oil in your mouth for at least 20 minutes a few times a week has been shown to have a plethora of health benefits from digestive to skin to hair to heart and to smile saving. Simply swish a teaspoon full between teeth for no less than 20 minutes and expel into the trash – not sink – as oil can clog pipes and drain. Used in ancient Chinese medicinal practices for centuries, the art of oil pulling was shown to keep teeth tartar and stain –free, and is believed to promote overall health and vitality, including optimal oral hygiene.
The skin on your pucker plays a definitive role in the look of your teeth, too! The backdrop to your gleaming grill, make sure you exfoliate with a lip scrub every night before bed to gently scuff and buff pout to polished, pampered perfection. Try rose and peppermint essential oil–imbued French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish ($15) with cocoa and shea butters plus coconut oil and sugar cane to de-flake, de-cake, and re-hydrate lips in a single lip-smacking step. Follow up by drenching lips with an ultra- hydrating lip balm like trade secret sea algae-infused La Mer The Lip Balm ($60) to keep lips lubed and luscious all through the night. Then, be sure to use another lip balm with SPF protection to keep pout pretty, plush, and protected all day long. And, stop the licking! Licking lips is not only gross, but causes chapping, dryness, flaking, and bleeding. And, that is nothing to smile at. On days you want to give lips a hot hue, go for lipsticks with blue undertones. Lip colors with blue undertones naturally cancel out the yellowish tint in teeth. So, opt for berry, wine, and cherry tints and steer clear from pale pinks and peachy pigments.
Brush on the Bronzer and Brighten Your Smile
Believe it or not, a tanned complexion makes choppers pop! Now, we’re not promoting skin-sinning sunbathing to boost your smile’s brightness and brilliance. Instead, go faux and you’re teeth will glow! Simply brush on some bronzer – cream, liquid, or powder – and get glowing skin PLUS a gleaming grill. The color contrast between your skin and teeth is what makes a mega-watt smile stand out and sparkle. It’s the same when you want to boost your body bronzer by wearing a white tank top. Always works.