Tips on how to brighten your pearly whites
Stained teeth can make you look over a decade older so it makes sense to keep your winning smile as sparkling as possible.
Red wine, soy sauce, coffee, tea, beetroot can stain teeth over time. While one solution is to drink from a straw (not hot coffee of course), and chew sugar-free gum, the desire for a Hollywood smile has fuelled demand for teeth-whitening treatments. We give you the lowdown on how to keep your gnashers looking terrific.
No matter how well you brush your teeth, there will always be some plaque or staining you can’t reach. So keep that appointment with your dentist for a half-yearly scale and polish to help remove staining and debris lodged between the teeth. If a regular clean won’t do, ask your dental hygienist about Prophy-Jet polishing, an air-polishing system that uses water and baking soda to remove stains and debris caused by food, drink and smoking. Home polishers like the Rapid White Pro Clean & Polish System can remove more plaque and stains than an electric toothbrush. But ask your dentist for advice on how to use it properly, as they can damage tooth enamel, fillings and your gums if used incorrectly.
Gently does it
Brushing regularly is considered vital for healthy teeth and gums, but vigorous brushing can wear down tooth enamel and push back the gums, exposing the neck of your tooth and the soft inner layer called dentine, which is a dull yellow colour. Most dentists recommend electric toothbrushes which are better at keeping teeth white, healthy and stain-free.
Toothpastes can appear to whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, but they can’t change the natural colour of your teeth, or lighten a stain that goes deeper than a tooth’s surface. Lots of whitening toothpastes are abrasive and will wear your teeth over time. But Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White, is a low abrasive black toothpaste and mouthwash containing activated charcoal for whitening. The Perfect White gold formula is a refreshing double mint version that offers similar stain removal. Oral-B 3D Whitestrips also offer a cost-effective way to get teeth white. Thin, flexible strips are coated with a tooth-whitening gel containing peroxide. They conform to the shape of your teeth, but need to be worn once a day for an hour.
And TINT is an instant teeth whitener you can paint onto your dull teeth for a Hollywood smile in 60 seconds. Apply two coats to the surface of your teeth, tooth by tooth, before allowing to dry.
The effect lasts for 12 hours, and the formula helps to protect against further staining.
If you’re in need of a more intensive overhaul speak to your dentist. Whitening treatments carried out in salons and shopping centres are illegal. And most dentists advise against buying mail-order or online kits as they generally don’t contain enough whitening product to be effective. Plus, there’s a risk that mouthguards aren’t properly fitted to your teeth, meaning whitening gel can leak and cause blistering.