“Everyone is more attractive when they are smiling.”
I agree, but only if you have a healthy-looking set of teeth.
By “healthy-looking,” I don’t mean you need to have perfectly straight teeth, but at least reasonably white.
Are your teeth looking a bit yellow or stained lately?
If you love coffee or tea like me, it’s hard to maintain a white smile – but here are 3 of the best ways that I’ve discovered to achieving and maintaining white teeth:
Note: This is my personal regimen that I’m currently using – and is working for me – I’m sharing it in hopes that it’ll work for you too if whiter teeth is something you want.
Here are the teeth whitening products you need for this regimen:
I’ve tried a lot of “whitening” toothpastes, but nothing will whiten your teeth faster and more effectively than Arm & Hammer toothpaste. Make sure to get the one with “Baking Soda & Peroxide”. Baking soda is really great at penetrating the teeth’s enamel and lightening the stains from a yellow or brown to give a much whiter appearance. Combined with peroxide, you will notice your teeth getting whiter with each use.
This is your first line of attack, and will later help you maintain your whitest smile.
If your teeth are becoming very yellow from coffee or smoking, I recommend a higher level of treatment.
Crest Whitestrips are by far one of the best teeth whitening products out there. The “Intensive Professional Effects” is the highest level of whitening power. It guarantees whitening as well as the $500 professional treatment you would get at a dentist. I think it’s worth it even for the retail price $64.99 (which you can pick up today at a local convenience store), but I got mine on Amazon.com for $38.80.
I really love this product (even compared to the lower level Crest Whitestrips) because it’s not gooey or slimy on your teeth, and leaves very little residue when you take them off. It sticks to your teeth like strong tape and stays put – making it comfortable to still talk to people or go about your business (although not ideal).
A friend of mine complained that 2 hours is too long for him, so he went for the “Advanced Vivid” level. This one directs you to use it for 30 minutes a day, for 14 days. If you want to stick to getting it over with in 1 week, the directions say you can use 2 strips back-to-back (so adjust it to your schedule).
This is a powerful whitening mouthwash – and the one to buy if you want noticeably whiter teeth in record time.
The secret to getting the most out of this product is to follow the directions. It says to use after brushing, and “vigorously swish 10 ml (2 teaspoonfuls) of rinse between your teeth for 1 minute and then spit out.”
Doing this for one minute burns! Only the strong will actually go the full minute. If you can’t do it, make sure you rinse for at least 30 seconds.
You’ll notice that it’ll foam up really quick too, which is a result of the chemical reaction between the hydrogen peroxide and the contaminants in your mouth. If the foam is making your mouth full, spit out half and keep going until the minute is over.
I’ve witnessed my teeth literally getting a shade whiter in front of the mirror when using this mouthwash. You’ll notice that your teeth feel cleaner and look whiter after a few days of proper use.
You’ve just been given a regimen that will make your teeth super white really fast. However, here are some extra habits you can incorporate into your daily life to maintain your best smile:
a) Rinse your mouth out after every meal
The food or coffee that is remaining on your teeth is what stains your teeth. Imagine a car that is splashed with mud – if you want to keep this car clean you would clean it right away. If you leave the mud on your car for a long period of time, some parts will harden and remain on your car even after rain or a first car wash. Just like this, you need to keep your teeth free of debris and gunk. So after every meal, rinse your mouth out with water as soon as you can.
If I’m eating out with friends, I’ll do it when nobody is looking with the glass of water in front of me, or make a quick trip to the restroom and quickly rinse my mouth out there.
b) Brush your teeth after every meal if you can
If you’re at home, make a habit of doing this after a meal. If you’re at the office, you may feel a little anal doing this after breakfast or lunch.
True story: When I was living in Korea, every time I went to the bathroom I saw people brushing their teeth. At first I thought that these workers probably stayed at the office overnight or forgot to brush their teeth at home!
Then I realized that in that culture, a lot of people keep a small travel toothbrush kit in their drawer at work. While at first I thought it was weird, eventually I realized it was a smart way to make sure you don’t have food stuck in your teeth at the next board meeting, and a great habit for maintaining a clean and healthy smile.
Try to brush your teeth after a meal when possible – it only takes a minute of your time.
Why do dentists always give you a lecture about flossing? Because, flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth. As one professor at the NYU school of dentristy puts it, “Each tooth has five surfaces. If you don’t floss, you are leaving at least two of the surfaces unclean, floss is the only thing that can really get into that space between the teeth and remove bacteria.” In other words, if you don’t floss, you’re gross. Plaque and tarter buildup is not only disgusting and unhealthy, it’s not attractive.
If you think flossing takes too long, it doesn’t. Start the habit by just flossing 2-3 teeth (as silly as it sounds it’ll help you build the habit). At least go for the molars (on the side that you naturally chew), where most of the gunk will be stuck between your teeth.
Hate messing with a long string of floss? Try the cleaner, simpler, and faster way to floss: floss picks.
That’s it! Start with one of these easy steps this week!
If you know any other great ways to whiten your teeth, leave your comments below!