The Commandments of White Teeth

teethA brighter smile makes you look younger, fresher, prettier…the list goes on. Here are our experts’ top teeth-whitening rules.

BRUSH THE RIGHT WAY

Believe it or not, the way most people brush their teeth strips enamel, which can make teeth yellow over time.  Whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, make sure it has a soft head. Hard brushes are like sandpaper on your enamel.  If you only spend a few seconds brushing your teeth, it’s time to step it up: The American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes at least twice a day— gently. Scrubbing teeth like a frying pan not only wears on your enamel, it’s bad for your gums

USE A WHITENING TOOTHPASTE

We love Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste, which uses a combination of both calcium peroxide and baking soda to dissolve stains gently while strengthening the enamel. After brushing with the paste plus Supersmile Professional Whitening Accelerator every day for a week, we noticed a difference.

CRACK OPEN A BOTTLE OF HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

The combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is tried and true for a reason: It works!  Mix together one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts baking soda, and brush. At less than $3 for each ingredient, it’s hard to imagine a better bargain whitener. Another option? Dip a washcloth in hydrogen peroxide and rub it all over your teeth. The peroxide lightens stains while the cloth helps to scrub them away.

AVOID FOODS AND DRINKS THAT STAIN

Basically, anything that can stain a white shirt—coffee, tea, red wine, cola—can also stain your teeth. The absolute worst is something that’s hot, darkly pigmented, and sticky. Whenever possible, choose the lighter option: iced cappuccino over espresso, champagne over red wine, grapefruit juice over cranberry juice. When you do indulge in the dark stuff, limit contact with your teeth: use a straw, rinse immediately, and pop some mini disposable brushes.

WEAR BLUE-BASED COLORS AND GLOSSES

As with most things, makeup helps. Choose blue-based lip colors—cherry red, wine, or berry shades. Skip pearly lipsticks, matte finishes, and beige, brown, or yellow undertones, which can accentuate discoloration.

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