Say Cheese!

A white smile can change how a person looks (and usually feels) unlike anything else. Flashing a flirty grin, smiling for the camera, even talking; your teeth get more notice than you might think. So how do you keep your precious pearly whites in tip-top shape? Here are quick and easy (and inexpensive!) ways to keep those pearly whites beaming all year long.

1) Straws

Everyone knows coffee, dark sodas, wine and juices are some of the worst offenders when it comes to staining teeth. If you don’t want to cut these (and other staining foods and drinks) out of your life completely (who would?), simply use a straw when you drink them. It may not prevent stains entirely, but by limiting your teeth’s exposure to the liquids, you can cut back on excess yellowing. It also helps to drink such beverages in a single sitting whenever possible, instead of sipping on them all day long.

2) Water

Besides being healthy for you, having a bottle of water around to “chase” dark food and drinks can further help to cut back on yellowing. Think of it as a mini shower for your teeth.

3) Booster

Recently it seems as if whitening toothpastes are everywhere. There are options for sensitive teeth, regular, extra strength….take your pick. However, if the toothpaste itself isn’t enough, you can opt for a whitening “booster”; a gel/paste that you add to your toothpaste each time you brush. It may sound a little bizarre, but Arm & Hammer sells a great one for just a few bucks- all you do is add a small ribbon of the gel to your toothpaste and brush as you normally would. It tastes no different than toothpaste and bumps up your whitening power a notch or two.

4) Supersmile

If the toothpaste and booster combo still isn’t enough, you can choose a more powerful option. Supersmile brand toothpaste has more whitening power than your typical toothpaste, but the price reflects it. For about $20, you can get a tube and try for yourself. With all the great reviews though, it might be worth a try.

5) Electric Brushes

It’s no surprise that an electric or battery powered toothbrush can clean your teeth better than a manual toothbrush. Some people may be scared off by the high price tags on some of the plug in brushes, but there are other options. For as little as $8, you can grab a name brand battery operated toothbrush. Pop in 2 AA batteries, and you’re on your way to whiter (cleaner!) teeth in a flash.

6) Rembrant 2 Hour White

I’ve personally used this system multiple times because I find it’s so much faster than waiting days or even weeks to see results from traditional strips or trays (and it’s only about $20). This system provides you with two trays that you conform to fit your teeth and 8 small gel packs. For a two hour period, you switch off wearing the trays (with a ribbon of gel, of course) for 20 minutes, followed by 10 minute breaks with no trays. So sit back, pop in your favorite movie, and by the time it’s over, viola! White teeth. (Note: Even the directions themselves say that each gel pack is far more than enough for each tray (trust me, they definitely are), so I usually keep any extras and use them for touch-ups later on.)

7) Whitestrips

Crest has been the undisputed leader in the whitening strip market, and has consequently continued to come out with better and better products. The newest “3D White” strips promise that in 2 hours daily for a 7 day period, your teeth will be whiter than ever- and will run you around $50. Not to worry though, some of the earlier versions are more inexpensive, but may take more time to complete.

And finally…

8) Stop smoking

…Duh.

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