Published on April 16th, 2015 | by Neharika Sabharwal
GET PREACHY: A dazzling smile
What do Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston have in common? Besides the obvious global stardom, a killer smile. Here’s how to get yours!
Studies show that the easiest way for a woman to catch a man’s attention is with one flash of her pearly whites. It never fails. Not unless they are dull, yellow or discoloured. A mouth full of white teeth not only makes your smile more beautiful, but it also makes you look younger. No wonder then maintaining a white smile is crucial to looking gorgeous and feeling self confident.
Get the basics right
Before we talk about how to make your teeth sparkle, let’s understand why they stain in the first place. Although the enamel of our teeth is the hardest substance in the human body, it is not flat and smooth. On the contrary, it contains microscopic pits and ridges that can hold particles of food and drink. Also, our teeth are essentially porous and tend to absorb the colour of foods and beverages we ingest, which in turn discolour the enamel. While stained teeth occur naturally as we age, some foods and drinks, gum disease and tooth decay can just hasten the process. But there is good news. We can go from having a good smile to a great smile with the numerous options that remove stains and pamper our ivories. While traditional treatments like whitening gels, at-home trays and in-office procedures are an effective way to get there, most of them deliver far less than they promise and can sometimes cause tooth sensitivity and pain. So steer clear of any chemical treatments with these simple DIY techniques to restore your bright smile.
Do it right
- Brush bashing: Start with brushing right. If you are using a medium or hard bristled brush, switch to a soft one. Hard or firm tooth brushes make your teeth yellow in the long run by eroding the perfect white enamel on your teeth. Also, brush your teeth for at least 2-5 minutes, twice a day. Also, note that staining happens in between teeth as well. Floss you gums to remove the stains in between teeth for a whiter appearance.
- Munch it: Crunchy, crispy fruits have an abrasiveness that can help to lift stains from the teeth and give the illusion that they are whiter. They’re like nature’s toothbrush. Try munching on apples, celery and carrots, which have enough abrasiveness to clean tooth surface without posing any harm to the enamel. Keep in mind to eat them in their whole form rather than cutting them up to benefit from whiter teeth.
- Drool delight: Saliva is the body’s built-in cleaning agent. Chewing gum and indulging in citrus fruits like oranges and pineapples cause the mouth to produce more saliva, which help clean the teeth and whiten your smile. Lemons are natural bleaching agents, so try rinsing with half water, half lemon juice once or twice a week. Make sure you don’t use the lemon straight on your teeth which would be too acidic and damaging.
- Think before you drink: Thumb rule: if it can stain a white t-shirt, it can stain your teeth. Beverages such as tea, dark fizzy drinks, and fruit juices are top offenders when it comes to yellowing your teeth. These teeth stains develop slowly and become more noticeable as we age. An easy solution is to use a straw wherever possible. The less contact your teeth have with damaging substances, the whiter they will be.
- Skip it: Baking Soda: A lot of us rely on the age old remedy of gently brushing our teeth with baking soda to remove stains. While there are properties in baking soda that can remove surface stains, it’s not the ideal long-term tooth whitener as it can be too abrasive on teeth and ultimately damages the enamel. Instead stick with whitening toothpaste that has been clinically tested.
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