What have Simon Cowell, Britney Spears and the Duchess of Cambridge all got in common? One answer would be that they are all the owners of beautiful, straight, dazzling white teeth. No doubt, their personal beauty budgets stretch to the best tooth-whitening products and practitioners out there, not to mention top-notch nutritionists to keep their smiles sparkling.
When someone’s public persona relies heavily on their physical appearance, they are certainly not going to hold back on the finances when it comes to showing off a perfect mouth.
Yet brighter teeth and a more attractive smile are available to us mere mortals too, and not just courtesy of our nearest dental practice. By employing some careful research into the effects that types of food and drink can have on the appearance of the teeth, mouth and gums; not to mention following good habits and rejecting damaging ones, everyone can enjoy noticeable results for very little cost or effort.
Here are just four suggestions to help get a brighter smile using natural methods.
A Clean Sweep
Hopefully, you should be doing this anyway, but one of the best ways to make sure that teeth stay as white as possible is by brushing them regularly – at least once in the morning and again last thing at night. Flossing every day will also help keep them in top condition.
Brushing your teeth not only removes food debris that has built up during the day, and plaque that has formed over night. It also keeps bacteria to a minimum and gives you a fresh-smelling mouth and tongue.
Visit the hygienist at your dental practice regularly. As often as you brush your teeth, you cannot do as thorough a job as the hygienist with their specialist instruments and professional pastes and brushes. They can also watch out for telltale signs of oral disease, such as bleeding gums, cracked teeth or mouth ulcers.
The well-known saying goes that ‘we are what we eat’. This is absolutely true. Not just in terms of diet and weight management, but also in managing health conditions, increasing energy and even brightening teeth. It makes perfect sense. Consuming darker foods and drinks, such as red wine, tea, cola or liquorish will inevitably cause your teeth to stain as a result, unless you brush them soon afterwards.
Or, if you must drink dark beverages and cannot access a toothbrush straight away, try sipping drinks through a straw. That way, the liquid goes straight to the back of the throat, ensuring minimal contact with the teeth.
Another mortal enemy of white teeth is smoking - nicotine, tar and other toxic ingredients will stain your teeth a horrible yellow colour that can be impossible to shift without resorting to expensive cosmetic surgery such as veneers. There are numerous medical reasons why smoking is bad news for your body – this is just one more to consider when deciding whether or not to give it up.
Food For Thought
The previous tip looks at what you should avoid eating and drinking to avoid staining. However, plenty of foodstuffs actively help keep teeth looking shiny and bright. For example, many specialist whitening toothpastes out there purport to contain baking soda, and this is indeed an excellent whitening ingredient in any foods as well.
Another suggestion is to occasionally opt for tart foods, such as oranges, pineapples or apples. This helps making the mouth produce more saliva that then helps clean the teeth and wash away sugary residues.
Dairy products such as cheese or yoghurt are also beneficial, containing both calcium and lactic acid which may help protect teeth from decay. Finally, the abrasive action involved in eating foods such as carrots or celery can help clean particles of other food from teeth to keep them looking healthy and bright.
Please note, however, that none of these ideas are intended to replace a proper, traditional brushing regime involving toothbrush, paste, dental floss and mouthwash.
Colour Teeth Beautiful
Not so much a health tip as some wardrobe advice. Recent fashion trends in clothing and make up have been bright and colourful, which is something that can help make teeth appear more dazzling too.
Careful choice of the colours worn around the head or shoulders can brighten up the whole face, especially for older ladies and gentlemen. Go for pinks and plums rather than yellow-based hues. If these are not your favourite colours, use these shades sparingly and strategically by adding a scarf, tie or chunky necklace.
Ladies can also use blusher and lipstick to help make their teeth appear whiter. Medium coral shades, or light reds bring out the whiteness of teeth, whereas lighter or orangey shades can sometimes make teeth seem dull and yellow. Ask a salesperson’s advice when choosing a new colour.
Simon Cowell, eat your heart out! By following these tips, you can help your smile get brighter, without causing your pocket to get lighter. Give them a try today!