Simple steps to a PEARLY WHITE SMILE!
In the battle against ageing, one facial feature is often overlooked: the teeth. Forget lines and wrinkles — a bright and healthy smile knocks years off your real age; the act of grinning in itself gets rid of furrows and frowns, so it’s worth taking care of those pearly whites!
Where to start. Fear aside, the first stop is the dentist’s chair for a check-up and clean. Surface stains are easily removed and if you intend to invest in laser or bleach-whitening to lift the colour many shades, you must talk to your dentist. Teeth whitening is very effective, less expensive than ever before, but there are people unsuited to treatment and as it is not a pain-free experience for everyone, your mouth and teeth must be considered sound and in good health before proceeding. The Irish Dental Association has information about whitening regulations on dentist.ie and a section for finding dentists nationwide.
If you aren’t going the whitening route, how best can you keep your freshly cleaned teeth pristine? It’s a simple one: be aware of what stains. The obvious culprit, smoking, stains badly and this is another reason to quit. Drinks such as coffee, cola, red wine and tea will also dull tooth colour so try to limit those. If you have a reviving cola to beat the mid-afternoon slump in your day, try switching to some fruit or vegetables to boost the saliva in the mouth and get a natural energy hit. Apples, cucumber and celery are all great ‘clear’ treats that won’t stain your teeth or cause a tighter waistband.
Whitening toothpaste is great. Using one regularly should keep your teeth looking brighter and even make-up can help you flash a brighter smile. Lipsticks have a warm or cool undertone. To help with teeth whiteness, cool tones make the teeth look brighter — something to keep in mind when checking a new shade because if the teeth are yellowing, an orange-red will emphasise that, whereas a blue-red does the opposite.
All of the above will improve tooth colour but if years of neglect have caused a sad smile, then you know where you need to go. Go on, make the appointment. You might get a badge or a sugar-free lollipop at least, and caring for your teeth makes you smile more!