Smile bright

Friday, 13 July 2012

Smile BrightThe guys at Men’s Health were kind even to share their tips to sparkling, white teeth. Here’s how to get and keep that million-dollar smile.

 

Brush with the best

You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes, holding the head at a 45-degree angle away from your gums. Go with medium or soft bristles – stiff brushes will scrape your gums raw. Best, though, are the electrics – they clean better, they’re gentler on gums, and they make you commit to the entire two minutes. You should ditch your stick every 60 days or when the bristles become bent, whichever comes first.

Watch your whites

First-time users of tooth whiteners often experience sensitive teeth, says Richard Price, D.M.D., of the American Dental Association. A study in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry reports that people who brush with potassium nitrate toothpaste for two weeks before starting at-home whitening are less likely to feel increased sensitivity. Just as important is knowing when to stop your whitening routine – like if your chompers start to turn blue around the edges. ‘This signals a breakdown of dentin,’ says Jonathan Levine, D.M.D., founder of GoSmile, ‘which is the substance beneath the tooth enamel that’s being whitened.’

Make your teeth shine

When picking an at-home whitener, use common sense. ‘Don’t be fooled by false whitening claims,’ says Gerard Kugel, M.D., an associate dean of research at the Tufts University school of dental medicine. Simply put: Stronger bleach concentrations work faster. If you want a complete overhaul from a home kit, look for a carbamide peroxide concentration of at least 10%. In a German study, in-office trays whitened teeth six shades in three sessions and the at-home variety required seven uses. Whitening strips required 32 applications. But you can’t just suck a strip and forget it. Use a whitening toothpaste to keep the shine from fading, and a whitening floss – the plaque-heavy areas between your teeth soak up colors. Finally, watch the coffee, juice, and wine: They’re oral-bling killers.

Banish dragon breath

If brushing and flossing aren’t doing the trick, go hunting for tongue gunk. ‘Your tongue is like a shag carpet from the 1960s – bacteria are hanging out, clinking champagne glasses,’ says Levine, which means they’re probably smoking pot, too. The answer: a tongue scraper. Look for one with a rigid edge. Reach as far back as you can, then pull forward, scraping your tongue. Follow with a peroxide mouthwash. Don’t overscrape, warns Fuad Malik, D.D.S., a New York City dentist. It can cause ‘hairy tongue’, which isn’t kinky at all.

This article originally appeared in Men’s Health

Image: AISPIX by Image Source/Shutterstock.com

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
Megan on Google+

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  1. Pseudo_kate

    Nothing fixes bad breath during the day than a quick brush of the tongue with a toothbrush. I always keep one on me.

    6 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    Anybody know a brand that sells whitening strips

    6 years ago •

  1. Blazezn

    Will be moving to an electric brush

    6 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Thanks for these tips for my pearly whites!

    6 years ago •

  1. Le Noir Pearl

    Great article,will surely try the electric brush sounds more effective than the conventional manual brush

    6 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    Great article!! “Your tongue is like a shag carpet from the 1960s – bacteria are hanging out, clinking champagne glasses,’ says Levine, which means they’re probably smoking pot, too.” LOL!!!

    6 years ago •

  1. GREEN

    I SURE HAVE MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE,FAVOURITE WHEN IT COMES 2 ORAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS! I’D LOVE 2 REVEAL WHAT IT IS,BUT WOULD RATHER NOT! MIGHT JUST STEP ON SOME 1’S TOES! I HONESTLY LOVE,LOVE THIS TOOTHPASTE AND THE MOST RECENT ADDITION! DEFINATELY HAVE WHITER AND BRIGHTER SMILE AFTER RELIGIOUSLY USING THIS TOOTHPASTE! WILL BE OPENING MY VERY OWN WELLNESS SPA SOON, AND AM SO EXCITED BY THE IDEA OF ADDING A DENTAL SECTION WHERE WE’LL BE HAVING TEETH WHITENING FACILITY,AND WITH AN ORGANIC PRODUCT! YES AN ORGANIC PRODUCT! CAN’T WAIT 2 CONVERT MY CLIENTS 2 THIS BRAND! SOOO EXCITED!!!!!

    6 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Bicarb still does the best job, although it feels like you’re brushing your teeth with soaps. I usually mix it with toothpaste

    6 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    Am not a fan of tooth whiteners but good flossing and brushing a way to go

    6 years ago •

  1. NaTaShA

    electrical brush seems lke a graet idea, thanks a lot! Im surely going to visit my dentist in this month for a teeth whitening cleaning thing!

    6 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    I’m not advertising for Gum product, but the truth is their electric tooth brush is so good at brushing and leaving my teeth clean and me so confident to smile. But I guess all electric brush are of same benefit.

    6 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    The home remedies for teeth whitening are not that good, they leave teeth glassy than white!!!

    6 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    Got myself GUM tongue cleaner, it helps with a milky layer on my tongue that had made me think my toothpaste ain’t working!! Scrapping tongue can also be done with mix of salt and sugar and clean cloth

    6 years ago •

  1. Zu

    I have tried once thise whitening strips, whitening toothpaste… But it is P- A -I -N- F -U -L especially the CREST whitening strips.. I ended up giving it away??

    6 years ago •

  1. McConney

    My dentist said tooth whiteners are very harmful for your teeth. So won’t be whitening my teeth. But love the electrical brush.

    6 years ago •

  1. julandism

    very informative article, and funny tooo…. 1960’s shag carpet… lol

    6 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Kay

    Great tips! It’s so embarrasing if you have bad breath issues! Yikes!

    6 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    There’s almost nothing more off putting as someone with bad breath! Great tips!!

    6 years ago •

  1. joubert

    Never to old to learn love the article.

    6 years ago •

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