June 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Hot Flash: My Obsession With a Smile

By Barbara Bishop

 

I am obsessed with teeth. I go to the dentist every three months for a cleaning. As one (aka me) gets older, teeth start to yellow and wear down. After many years, I had veneers “installed” on my my upper teeth that are a beautiful white color that will never turn yellow. Yeah, they were expensive, but they transformed my smile and how I felt about myself overnight. Before I got my veneers, I hated smiling.

The benefits of a beautiful, straight white smile are enough to make you, well, smile. Flash your pearly whites when you’re stressed and you’ll feel calmer. Smiling lowers blood pressure and releases the body’s natural painkillers. When you smile, people like and trust you more. They also think you’re younger than you are.

You don’t have to spend thousands on veneers to get a beautiful white smile. Here are some tips that I got from Web MD to keep your teeth their whitest:

Avoid Anything That Stains a White Shirt. Coffee, tea, cola, or red wine can also stain your teeth. Try to cut back if you drink these liquids every day. And rinse your mouth with water when you’re finished. I won’t be cutting back on coffee or wine anytime soon, but I do brush my teeth after drinking coffee and rinse my mouth after drinking red wine. I am not a tea or cola drinker.

Choose a Red Lipstick with Blue Hues. Slick on a lipstick or gloss in a shade like cherry red, wine, berry, plum, or rosy pink. The blue-based or pink-based undertones will make any yellowish tones in your teeth less obvious. I just got a gorgeous lip color from Nars that’s more like a pigment; it stays on very well. It is the most gorgeous blue-red; and when I wear it it compliments my blonde (yeah fake) hair and makes my teeth look even whiter.

Guys, sorry you’re out of luck on this one.

Brush, Floss, and Rinse. Follow the basics of good dental hygiene for a dazzling smile. Brush your teeth twice a day – better yet, after every meal. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or earlier if the bristles start to fray. Floss at least once a day. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to fight plaque and to keep your breath fresh. See your dentist for a professional cleaning regularly. This is something I follow religiously.

At-Home Whitening. You’ve got plenty of choices to brighten your teeth without a visit to the dentist’s office. Whitening toothpastes remove surface stains with gentle brushing. Try whitening gels, pens, rinses, strips, swabs, and trays that you can by in the drugstore. They work by bleaching teeth with a mild peroxide. They work, but it takes time. Some are better than others. Check the reviews.

Whitening by a Pro. See your dentist for the quickest ways to remove stains and whiten teeth. In the office, your teeth will be painted with a peroxide gel and then activate the solution with a light or laser.

Your dentist can also give you a custom-fitted mouth guard to use at home. Follow instructions for using a safe and effective gel for the right length of time. This works well, but does not last.

Braces for Beauty. They’re not just for kids. Braces can straighten your crooked teeth and close gaps in your smile. They can be made with ceramic, tooth-colored brackets or even clear plastic. In some cases, you may need to wear them for only six to 12 months. I was lucky enough not to have to wear braces. But, I encourage anyone with crooked teeth to get the newest braces; after six months you’ll have a beautiful set of choppers. It makes all the difference in the world.

A beautiful white smile is not too hard to achieve.
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