Hello, hello! Although I am well aware that it is Tuesday, today kicks off an exciting series on the blog I deemed Beauty Week.
For the remainder of the week, my afternoon posts will answer specific questions I have received from you guys about beauty tips and tricks.
First up, I am revamping one of my very first non-wedding related blog posts. I have kept it up for reference since I wrote it back in 2011, but figured it was time to spruce up the information and make it a little easier to follow.
Here, friends, are my go-to products and strategies of getting and maintaining a sparkling white smile!
Easy, Every Day Teeth Whitening Routine
We all brush (and hopefully floss!) our teeth every single day.
We all buy products to keep our mouths and dentists happy, and here is the routine I keep up with on an every day basis to achieve the healthiest, pearliest whites I can get!
1. Listerine Whitening Rinse
(This is – hands down – my favorite whitening product out there!)
I have always turned to Listerine and rotate a few different versions, including a regular strength, Multi-Action Vibrant White (for extra whitening) and a Whitening + Restoring with Fluoride (pictured).
I used to only buy the Pre-Brush version, but have mixed it up with others over the years. I do, however, gravitate towards using it before I brush anyways. I love the way it gets rid of that first layer of who knows what after you wake up in the mornings!
Simply use this rinse for 60 seconds, at least once a day but no more than twice a day. Since I started using this rinse over eight years ago, I can’t go more than a few days without it and even bring a travel version with me on trips longer than a weekend.
2. Vibrating Toothbrush
Having a toothbrush with a built in vibrating motion really helps you get into all of the tiny spaces in-between your teeth, on your gum line and even on your tongue. There are a lot of fancy electric toothbrushes out there with replaceable heads and different speeds equipped with a rechargeable battery.
Personally, I prefer the disposable version of the electric toothbrush because of the medium brush size, versus the usual small circle pattern of brushes on most. They come in single or value-double packs and I like that I have to replace it when the battery runs out, which helps me stay fresh and fight even more germs.
I’ve tried a lot of different brands and sizes over the years, and the Oral-B Pulsar is what I consistently turn to.
3. Whitening Toothpaste
I always try to go for a whitening toothpaste. Recently, I’ve been loving the Crest Complete Whitening + Scope flavor, and it feels a little more gentle.
I know I am not a dentist, but I would recommend getting a Complete or Pro-Health version of your whitening toothpaste if you decide to go that route. Whitening is great, but having an all around health focused toothpaste protects against tooth sensitivity and helps fight tartar, plaque, stains, gingivitis and bad breath.
Believe it or not, flossing every day can do more than just keep your gums happy. Removing excess build up every night also prevents stains and tartar build up!
I prefer to use some kind of Pro-Health thick, coated floss that feels more comfortable weaving in and out of the hard spots.
5. Soft Picks
Thanks to a dinner date with a friend, I discovered these GUM soft picks made to keep your teeth clean after meals and in-between brushes.
I love the travel case they come with and always have them accessible and in my purse.
Stain Preventing Tips + Tricks
• Try to limit the intake of dark liquids and staining foods.
I said try. It’s no secret that I am an avid coffee, tea, and red wine drinker, and I know those beverages are the biggest culprits of my teeth fading. When drinking, try to be conscious of where it touches and if you can, brush or at least rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
• Drink through a straw.
It may look silly, but if you can drink those teeth staining beverages through a straw, go for it.
No one will judge you while you are at home or in the car enjoying your morning cup through a straw.
• Brush your tongue!
Do you brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth? If your answer is no, why not? Not only will it keep your breath fresh, but it will also rid your mouth of extra bacteria that happens to be lingering.
• Drink plenty of water.
I admit that I have a water problem. I drink it all day long, and as a result have to visit the potty quite often. But you know what? That’s a small price to pay for staying hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep help keep your skin clear and your saliva production up, which coats your teeth.
Also, if I just finished eating something sticky (candy) or crumby, I’ll do a good few swishes while I’m drinking it.
• Chew sugar-free gum after meals.
I don’t always chew gum, but when I do I make sure to buy a sugar-free, whitening pack. Trident White is my favorite, and I have to admit that my mouth always feels minty and fresh after a few minutes of chewing!
Teeth Whitening + Bleaching
A few months ago, I mentioned that I received an at-home whitening kit from my dentist as part of a new costumer package.
Since I am good at staying on top of my every day whitening habits, I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to purchase a whitening kit, but since the cost was covered I gave it a try.
The kit is from the Pola line, an advanced tooth whitening system.
The package from my dentist included a full Poladay package with four hydrogen peroxide gels, as well as customized whitening trays made from my teeth mold.
You don’t have to be that fancy, and can find easy fit mouth whitening trays in most drugstores as well as on Amazon.
Inside the box was four gel syringes as well as a whitening tooth scale.
Besides the trays, all you really need is the whitening gel, which you can purchase refills for online for much cheaper.
My dentist recommended using the trays for 7-10 consecutive days, thirty minutes each night. The box tells you to only use the gel for a few minutes at a time, which is a total scam. Coming directly from my dentist: “They only tell you three minutes versus thirty so you have to purchase refill gels more frequently.”
After seven nights of using the trays, my teeth started feeling sensitive, so I stopped there. I also came close to running out of gel and went ahead and ordered more for future treatments.
Do I think it did a world of difference? Possibly. Here are two shots of me mid-way and all the way through the treatment.
I failed you by not taking a before photo, but the biggest difference I noticed was around my gum lines. By the time I finished the process, my teeth were closer to all the same color, rather than more discolored closer to the gums.
Now that I have it, I plan to do the gel treatment a couple times a year.
Besides the kit pictured above, the only other whitening treatment I have done was ZOOM whitening at a dentist office back in 2008.
The process took a little over an hour and I went through three different treatments, twenty minutes each. It didn’t really hurt, but with each treatment my teeth became a little more sensitive, and by the third one I was really feeling it. But, I got through it an by the end of the visit I had noticeably whiter teeth.
In-office treatments, like ZOOM are said to last up to six months. In-office whitening treatments have a national average of costing $650, and professionally dispensed take-home whitening kits from the dentist office average anywhere from $100 – $400. Yeesh.
For this reason, I created and turn to my easy, every day whitening routine you see above. I hope this helps!
Question of the Day
• Do you do anything special to keep your teeth healthy and sparkling?
I’m sure we would all love to hear more tips and tricks in the comments section below!