From your morning cup of coffee to your after-work glass of wine, daily wear-and-tear causes our teeth to look dull and dingy. However, with a little routine care and a few simple tricks, you can easily achieve a brighter, whiter-looking smile.
The first thing you must do to have a brighter smile is brush after every meal. Keep a small toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste in your purse or desk drawer. Throughout the day, especially after meals or after exposure to tooth-staining foods and beverages like coffee, you can brush before the exposure turns to stains.
Just like brushing, flossing is a critical component to getting a brighter smile. Floss every night before bed to help remove stain-causing gunk that builds up between teeth and along the gum line. It’s a good idea to stash a bit of floss in your bag so you can check your teeth throughout the day — no one wants to be the girl with spinach in her teeth.
Chew whitening gum
Brighten your smile by making the simple switch from regular gum to a sugar-free, whitening variety. Chewing gum won’t replace brushing, of course. But if you’re caught without your toothbrush, or if you were going to chew a piece of gum anyway, choose one that will help brighten your smile at the same time.
Make it up
Fake a brighter smile with strategic makeup choices. Select a lipstick with blue undertones to help your smile appear whiter. Skip anything with a gold or yellow undertone — these hues will cause any yellowness in your teeth to stand out.
Know what stains
You don’t have to skip your morning coffee or bail on your girlfriends for the after-work glass of red wine. However, keep in mind which foods and beverages cause stains so you can enjoy them in moderation or figure out a good substitution. For example, in warmer weather consider switching from a glass of red to a chilled glass of white wine. After your morning latte, give your teeth a quick scrub with a travel-sized toothbrush or pop a piece of whitening gum. You don’t have to make major changes, but you can make small adjustments to help prevent stains from building up.
For an inexpensive, at-home whitening solution, brush your teeth with baking soda. Because of its abrasiveness, baking soda will scrub stains off your teeth — but for that same reason, you don’t want to do this more than once or twice a week. Dip a wet toothbrush into baking soda, making sure to coat the bristles. Scrub your teeth for two minutes, and then rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.