Sim­ple steps to a PEARLY WHITE SMILE!

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - BODY & SOUL -

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 den­ 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!

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