A beautiful white smile makes a knockout impression. Scientific studies have shown it’s one of the biggest reasons a person is perceived as more attractive, successful or youthful than perhaps they actually are. On the other hand, discoloured teeth can have exactly the opposite effect. There are numerous options for whitening your smile, whatever your budget or time constraints.

1. Watch what you eat – and not just for weight control!
Cut consumption of staining agents such a coffee, tea, red wine and cola drinks. Clean your teeth for 2-3 minutes at least twice a day using a brush with a small head and soft bristles or, better still, an electric toothbrush. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, aiming the bristles toward the gum line. Jiggle the brush gently back and forward, only brushing one or two teeth at a time. Use an advanced formula whitening toothpaste to help reduce stains. Rinse with a whitening mouthwash and floss every day to keep plaque and decay at bay.


"[…] a great celebrity smile isn’t difficult to achieve if you have a regular routine..."

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2. Dental checkups
Regular dental checkups and professional scaling and cleaning to remove tartar once or twice a year are highly recommended if you want to keep your teeth healthy. Indeed, keep them in your head, as well as clean and bright.

3. Do-it-yourself whitening
DIY whitening kits, paint-on solutions and adhesive strips will give subtle, cumulative results at home. For more “wow” and longer-lasting results, you can’t beat professional teeth whitening from your dentist. He or she will use either laser or bleaching systems, or both, with take-home kits to enhance results.

Not everyone is a suitable candidate.  If your teeth and gums are not in a healthy condition before you whiten, the procedure may cause more damage. There may be other reasons. See your dentist first. This caution applies to commercial whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses, as well as cheaper shopping centre/beauty salon tooth-whitening systems that are usually performed without dental supervision.

4. Smile restorations
Smile restorations are a huge investment of time and money. If your teeth are making you feel self-conscious, are beyond whitening techniques but you can’t right afford a substantial outlay, Snap-On Smiles (www.snaponsmile.com) are an effective means of achieving a stunning smile , instantly. They are a custom-made set of teeth molded from a top-secret formula. They simply slide over the top of your existing teeth, giving you the appearance of an ideal smile. You can jslide them out again whenever you want.

5. Dental crowns and veneers
To transform the look of your smile (and thereby your whole face) or simply to protect damage to a tooth’s surface, dental crowns and veneers have become an integral offering of modern cosmetic dentistry.  With veneers, a thin layer of material is placed over a tooth or teeth and can be used to recontour their shape, fill gaps, improve the contour of the gum line and overall make the smile look straighter, whiter and more beautiful. Veneers are usually made of porcelain or a composite resin (the latter is also known as bonding, and is a somewhat cheaper option). But only a highly qualified dentist can determine if veneers are the best solution for your teeth issues. Technology has advanced so that, with some veneers, there is no need to remove any of the tooth’s natural structure. An added benefit is that veneers can add more support to the lips, making them look fuller and more youthful.

A dental crown is a “cap” that covers a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and to improve its appearance. When the crowns are cemented into place they fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Crowns can restore an already broken tooth or one that has been severely worn down by grinding (bruxism) or general wear and tear. They can protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth, hold a dental bridge in place, cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left, cover a dental implant or misshapen or severely discoloured teeth.

6. Change your lipstick
Astonishingly, the colour of your lipstick/gloss can make or break a beautiful white smile. Using a dental color guide, cosmetics giant Clinique compared the brightness of teeth before and after applying certain lipstick colors. These 10 were found to make teeth look a full shade whiter, depending on your individual colouring: Peach Pop, A Different Grape, Cranberry Cream, Red-y To Wear, Raspberry Rush, Raspberry Glacé, Go Fig, Pink-a-boo, Ice Bloom, and Twilight Nude.

Have you tried teeth whitening? What worked – or didn’t – for you? Share it in the comments!