These days, makeup can fix just about any problem you may have with your appearance. Want your eyes to look larger? You can do that.
Want your face to look thinner? Learn how to contour.
There’s one area of your look that doesn’t allow for any tricks, though: your teeth. There’s no makeup you can paint onto your teeth every morning to make them look white. The only solution is to take care of your oral health.
The problem is that not everyone knows how to do that. If you want perfect white teeth, start with these essential tips.
How to Get Perfect White Teeth
Caring for your teeth is both a healthy habit and one that helps your cosmetic look. These tips can give you a healthier, brighter smile.
1. Refresh Your Equipment
There are certain things around the house that are supposed to be temporary but people treat them like they’re permanent. We’re talking about loofahs, sponges, and of course toothbrushes.
You should replace your toothbrush every two to three months. Bacteria can build up on a brush over time, so replacing it often keeps your mouth healthier.
Don’t tell yourself, “I’ll replace it when the bristles are all bent and warped.” If that happens to your bristles, you’re brushing too hard.
2. Avoid Stain-Making Foods and Drinks
Just like some foods stain your clothes more easily than others, the same goes for your teeth. If you want a white smile, tooth-staining foods like coffee, red wine, colorful sports drinks, and berries are your enemies.
There are, however, some foods that clean your teeth when you eat them. The top ones include apples, celery, raw carrots, and popcorn. Skip the movie theater butter on your popcorn, though.
3. Take Some Tongue Time
Why should your teeth get all the attention when it comes to your oral health? Every time you brush your teeth, scrape your tongue too.
Throughout the day, plaque builds up on your tongue. This can transfer to your teeth, making them yellow and causing decay. It can also lead to bad breath. After all, what good is a beautiful smile if you’re too breath-conscious to open your mouth?
4. Wax On, Wax Off
That’s right, we’re taking a tip from Mr. Miagi’s playbook.
When you brush your teeth, don’t scrub back and forth like you’re cleaning floor tiles. Instead, apply gentle pressure and move your brush in tiny circles on the surface of your teeth.
It’s a similar motion to the one you’d use to wax or buff a surface. This will get the plaque off all the surfaces of your teeth without being too rough on your teeth’s protective enamel.
5. Get Your Order Right
Most people’s dentists have told them that they need three steps when they brush their teeth at night: brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. The problem is that many people are doing it in the wrong order.
The proper order is to brush first, then floss, then use mouthwash. Brushing can push plaque and debris into the cracks between your teeth. In other words, if you floss and then brush, you could undo all that flossing work. You don’t have time for that racket.
6. Keep Your Windows Narrow
You already know that sugary and acidic foods can damage and stain your teeth. Most people respond to that by limiting how much of those foods they’re eating and drinking.
In truth, it’s not about how much you eat. It’s about how long it takes to eat it. Those foods do damage when they’re sitting in your mouth on your teeth. In other words, the same cup of coffee does more damage if you spend two hours drinking it versus 20 minutes.
The trick is to eat and drink in small windows of 30 minutes or less at a time. Drink water after your window ends to wash away the damaging particles. You can drink water between your eating windows, but only water.
7. Do a Natural Deep Cleaning
Not all old wives tales are true (please don’t try to get rid of a wart by hiding your grandmother’s favorite dish towel). One tale that is true, though, is that baking soda is a great natural teeth whitener.
Once per week, brush your teeth with baking soda the same way you brush with toothpaste. This will get rid of stains before they become deep-set and stubborn.
A word of caution, though: don’t swallow the baking soda. It’s high in sodium so especially if you’re on a low-sodium diet to control high blood pressure, spit it out instead.
8. Brush Up on Your Flossing Game
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve gotten the flossing lecture before. Maybe you get it with every visit to the dentist. It’s not just a matter of doing it, though. You have to do it the right way.
Don’t just squeeze the floss between each pair of teeth and call it a day. Instead, think of it as scraping the inside edge of each tooth. In areas with larger gaps, this could mean moving the floss in the shape of an arch inside the gap.
9. Mind Your Gums
It isn’t just your teeth you need to care for if you want a full, healthy, bright smile. Don’t forget the unsung hero of your smile: your gums.
In fact, gum disease is the number one reason people lose their teeth. If you’re only taking care of your teeth and neglecting your gums, you could end up losing a tooth or two.
Flossing and using antibacterial mouthwash are two of the most essential ways to care for your gums. Another step that goes a long way is using a water flosser.
It might be an added expense but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a tooth extraction. Don’t believe us? Read up on more details about tooth extraction.
Caring for Your Smile
The more time we spend in our careers, the more clear it becomes that first impressions matter. A dazzling smile of perfect white teeth goes a long way toward giving off a friendly and hygienic vibe to everyone you meet.
If you want more ways to nail that perfect first impression, check out our beauty and wellness blog for tips.