If anyone out there tells you that teeth aren’t that noticeable or that they don’t really pay much attention to them – then they are lying. If there is only one thing from today that you take away with you and remember, then try to remember that. Teeth are noticed as soon as you meet someone and they begin to speak. You may think teeth are just a minor observation when it comes to someone’s beauty, but in reality, it’s actually a friggin’ huge one.
I have had a bit of a random struggle/journey with my teeth. I had braces from a very young age because I have such a small mouth, yet lots of teeth crammed in. So I needed a fair few removed from being quite young. This meant wearing a brace to straighten them up and fill the gaps, which I despised back in the day. Plus, I have the most annoying front tooth which when left to it’s own devices, wants to travel across to rest slightly on top of its neighbour. Not cool.
I always remember being in High School and having my ‘train track’ braces removed, and asking my orthodontist how long I have to wear a retainer for at night. “Until the boyfriend complains” was his response. Well, say that to a 14 year old girl and that doesn’t really answer the question. So I wore mine for a year or so, and then it become slightly uncool at sleepovers and whatever life throws as you when you are a teenager, therefore I soon broke the habit.
Unfortunately, as I hit my twenties, my teeth started to move back. So I have now been focusing on a number of methods to ensure I keep my teeth as healthy, white and straight as possible over the past few years. Here’s a little guide for how you can do the same if you are looking to improve your smile too…
1. Invest in a good whitening toothpaste
I’ve been using Blanx advanced whitening toothpaste for the past two months, which is a non abrasive paste suitable for daily use. It’s also anti-bacterial, and has fluoride salts to reinforce the enamel (vital for night time teeth grinders like me!). It aims to naturally lift the whiteness by a subtle shade or two with regular use, whilst cleaning and protecting your teeth as all other professional toothpastes do. So far, I’ve noticed my teeth don’t seem to look as discoloured as before, but I mainly notice this during the time just after I have brushed them. Which is a good thing, but as I’m a huge green tea and coffee drinker, I feel I have a lot of stains from regular drinking that need to be tackled to keep this gleaming white smile whiter! But just by using this instead of my usual toothpaste means I’m making a step in the right direction. Blanx costs around £6 for 100ml which is more than reasonable too.
2. Visit a dentist
I know this sounds blatantly obvious but you would be surprised by just how many people avoid the dentist. For some people this is due to busy schedules; for others, it’s due to the fear of treatment. Or just that they have never really been, and don’t want to start now. Check-ups are crucial for checking the overall health of your teeth and mouth, and provide cleaning and plaque removal too when you visit. Regular appointments every 6-12 months is great for peace of mind that your teeth are being looked after properly.
3. Try coconut oil
Ever heard of oil pulling? It was something I had heard of a lot, with people telling me stories of swishing coconut oil around their mouth and kind of ‘sucking it’ through their teeth in a bid to whiten teeth, and promote an all round clean mouth. It’s also said to kill off bacteria too. I recently got my hands on this huge lovely tub of Vita Coco Coconut Oil and I have to say I’ve been giving it a go whenever time allows. People swear that they rinse the coconut oil around their mouths for 5 minutes in the morning after brushing, and the same at night, and after 6 weeks, teeth really are a shade or two whiter. I have to admit I’ve been on and off with this, as it can be time consuming, but I have noticed my mouth feels cleaner and fresher from the few weeks I have been giving this a go. I’ll report back if I find it a miracle worker! Coconut oil in general is amazing for everything though, and I highly recommend this tub from Vita Coco.
4. See an orthodontist
I was booked in to see an orthodontist as a dentist referral when I was in my early teens, but later on down the line when I turned 25, I went to a new one privately on my own accord, to try and get my teeth as straight as they could possibly be. Sometimes it’s easier to go directly to a professional orthodontist if you have an idea what you would need carrying out – such as braces, alignment or Invisalign. Have a look online for some of the best recommendations, or one’s that are running deals. If you are located near London, start with checking out Hampstead Orthodontic Practice, which offers a full range of services.
5. Consider all options
Sometimes a full on treatment may be a little too much for your needs. Six month smile treatments include half a year dedicated to wearing braces, and then a lifetime of retainer wearing to keep your smile in it’s perfect place. Sometimes, options like veneers can be a long lasting alternative, completed in one treatment. Do your research properly before making any decisions, or discuss with a trained orthodontist.
6. Beware of the ‘stainer-ers’
We all know them, so we need to make more effort to avoid them! It doesn’t mean cutting them out, but just to reduce our intake can make a difference. Drinking red wine, black tea, coffee and smoking are all notorious for giving your teeth a darker, duller appearance. One that most people aren’t aware of is green tea, which is horrendous at staining teeth. Try to brush teeth or chew sugar free gum after consuming these teeth baddies!
7. Chew sugar-free gum
The above point lead me nicely to this little tip. Xylitol – which is found in sugar-free gum-has been shown to decrease the incidence in tooth decay when chewed regularly. So chew it.
I don’t do this nearly enough, but flossing will help keep tooth decay and periodontal disease in check, plus it can also make your teeth whiter and brighter.
9. Use an antibacterial mouthwash
Mouthwashes can get to places we sometimes miss from brushing and flossing, due to the liquid form. A good anti- bacterial mouthwash also has the ability to lower the bacteria count in your mouth in general, meaning fresher breath! So it’s definitely worth doing as a great all-rounder.
10. Chose lipstick carefully
Sounds like a silly one, but is a good little light hearted point to end this post with. Lipstick colour can make a difference to how the shade of your teeth look, so chose one carefully. Although it can be fashionable to wear bright, striking lipstick colours on evenings out, they can make your teeth appear yellow or stained (not for everyone, but for most people). If you are thinking of wearing a bright colour, I recommend trying a medium coral or a light red lipstick – perhaps a red with an orange based tone. These colours will make your teeth appear whiter, whereas lighter-coloured lipsticks tend to bring out the yellow and darker tones in teeth.