The Power 3
Invest in a good toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss and you've got yourself covered for the basics. Not only is it something you should be doing every day, but it also doesn't take longer than 10 minutes if you keep at it. A good whitening toothpaste like Colgate's Advanced White will keep your teeth clean and help to gradually restore natural whiteness. Brush twice a day for 2 minutes a time, ideally with an electric toothbrush (to aid brushing technique) and you'll start seeing results in as little as 2 weeks! Just remember to brush your teeth correctly; in circular motions at a 45 degree angle is what most dentists recommend for a glistening smile.
Instead of reaching for the water to wash the toothpaste from your mouth, a mouthful of Colgate Total Pro Gum Health Mouthwash could be just the thing you need. It's been clinically proven that rinsing with water directly after brushing your teeth stops all the fluoride (that's the stuff that prevents gum disease) from getting to work. Using mouthwash makes all your hard work brushing more effective, and who doesn't love that minty fresh feeling?
And then we have dental floss, the most time consuming of the three. I didn't quite get to grips with it until I bought dental tape, which is miles more effective for me. I particularly love Oral B's Satin Tape, it glides between teeth like a dream, making it much easier to manoeuvre. Once a day is enough, just really working it into the gums to get out the last of the plaque. If you're having particular troubles, interdental brushes may be the best solution, there's no use damaging your gums trying to wedge a big pile of floss in there!
Whiter than White
If whitening toothpaste just isn't cutting it for you, then an at home whitening kit could be the answer. The strips genuinely do work, and following the instructions to the letter will give you such pay off that you'll be wondering why you hadn't tried it sooner. Something to slip in your handbag for nights out and days in the office is a teeth whitening pen. A quick touch up in the mirror and the you'll be able to keep up your regime when out and about, perfect for when you don't have access to your toothbrush during the day.
If you're still looking for results in your lunch break, it's worth looking into some of the heavier duty treatments available. Compared to the 10% peroxide with over the counter products, dentists and other oral professionals can use a whopping 20-35% formulation with the help of UV light. Now that is the kind of white that's going to make you glow in the dark! With this kind of speed comes a considerable price tag and they can run anywhere from a couple of hundred up to the thousands depending on the company.
Fake it 'til You Make it!
Short of shelling out most of your savings for a Hollywood smile in an instant, using your trusty makeup products can have a huge impact on how bright your smile is. Here are some handy ways to make your teeth shine bright like a diamond without any extra effort on your part.
1. Colours with blue undertones: You know when you get a spot you'd use a green to counteract the redness? Blue neutralises yellow in your tooth enamel - truly sneaky and utterly genius! One of the best lipsticks I've found is MAC's Red, an easily wearable red for all skin tones with a satin finish.
2. Neutral glosses: A subtle nude tone reflects off the teeth for that extra shine. It doesn't overpower the complexion with colour and helps your smile to sparkle.
3. Steer clear of corals: The undertone to these colours is, you guessed it, yellow. These colours are only going to make any slight discolouration on your teeth more vivid.
What are your top tips for a shining smile?
Written by Adrienne Third