There are many things that can give your look an instant pick-me up.. but few are as simple as whitening your smile. White teeth give the appearance of youthfulness, good hygiene and overall good health. And as an added bonus, you'll also appear more confident because you'll most likely be smiling more! :D
There are tons of ways to go about brightening your smile these days: having it done professionally (which can be pricey) or doing it yourself with a plethora of rinses, toothpastes, strips and gels. As with anything I review for y'all, what works for me might not work best for you.. but I'm going to tell you how I choose to whiten my teeth because I'm slightly obsessed with it.
First, I'm going to show you the products I use and tell you why I like them, and then I'm going to explain how I use them.. because the way I do things is different from the package instructions.
CREST 3D PROFESSIONAL EFFECTS ADVANCED SEAL WHITE STRIPS
I have always preferred the Crest white strips because I feel they work the best out of all the OTC strips. However, I hated having them slip and slide around in my mouth and having the peroxide gel get everywhere. Because let's face it, the stuff just tasted plain gross..
But then Crest came out with the new "AdvancedSeal Technology" and all of my peroxide gel swallowing days were over! These things really DO stay put and keep the gel from foaming over. They are a bit challenging to get off of your teeth when it's time to pull them off, but if that's the price I have to pay for not tasting that awful gel.. consider this beauty sold!
Also, I love the 3D White/Professional Effects because it really is the strongest OTC strip you can buy. Yet another plus if I'm going to be spending $50 on a box of strips. Crest strips are sold in boxes of 20 pouches (each pouch contains 1 upper and 1 lower strip) and are readily available basically everywhere (supermarkets, superstores, drugstores). you can usually find coupons for them in papers, in stores and online which can make them a LOT more affordable if you combine the coupon with an in-store sale!
CREST 3D WHITE VIVID TOOTHPASTE
As a general rule, whitening toothpastes can only do so much to brighten up your smile. Therefore, I definitely don't recommend them as the only method you employ. However, I've found that using the 3D White toothpaste day and night really does help keep my teeth brighter between whitening sessions. I really like the Crest Vivid toothpaste. The minty flavor it great and long lasting, even though I don't know if I'd go as far as to call it "radiant" ..but I guess that's why I'm not in marketing.
And I'm pleased to say that for a whitening toothpaste, it's not nearly as expensive as some of its competitors. Granted, it's no 97 cent econo-tube, but you can get a full size tube for under 3 bucks. We actually picked up another one last Sunday and it came with a free Crest White Strip sample, a single use pack of dental floss AND over $10 worth of coupons. SCORE! (For the record, we got ours from WalMart.) And like the Crest white strips, the 3D White toothpaste is widely available, plus it has fluoride and protects against cavities and a multitude of other bad things.
MY WHITENING ROUTINE
Before I share my routine with you, I need you to understand that my teeth were fairly discolored to begin with. Basically all I drink is Coke, sweet tea, and iced coffee. Occasionally there will be another beverage thrown in for good measure, but essentially everything I drink is dark and staining and I don't use straws like I should.
I buy one pack of white strips at a time and use them as needed. I will always use them before a big event, but other than that.. I grab for the box about every 3 months. Granted, I've been slacking and this time it's been about 6 months since the last time I applied them.
The instructions say to apply them to teeth that haven't been brushed and to leave them on for 30 minutes. Based on my teeth, I can leave them on for 45 minutes to an hour without any sensitivity. Now, I'm not recommending that you do this because everyone's teeth are different. But for me, personally, I'm able to get away with it.
Every time I whiten my teeth, I use two pouches. Sometimes I will do them morning and night, sometimes I'll do them on 2 consecutive days and sometimes I will even do them back-to-back. It just depends on how motivated I am and how fast I need my teeth to be whitened. Again, I don't suggest doing the back-to-back method if you have any type of sensitivity to your teeth. As I said, I do not, so I'm more comfortable pushing the limits with my own teeth. Please act according to your own best interests.
So.. if you figure that I use 2 pouches every 3 months (because my teeth get stained so frequently).. excluding any "special event whitening" that happens between my normal whitenings, I use 8 pouches a year. Which means 1 box will last me about 2 years. Even if I bought the box at full retail, that means I'm only spending $25 per year on teeth whitening and that is amazing!
And like I said, I do use the Crest 3D White toothpaste morning and night and I think that also helps my teeth from turning completely yellow between using the white strips. And.. like I said, it's actually well past time for me to whiten my teeth again so you know what that means.. BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURES!!!
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OTHER WHITENING TIPS
- Drinking through a straw will help prevent dark beverages from coming into contact with your teeth, thus helping to prevent staining.
- Also, brushing your teeth immediately after drinking dark beverages can help minimize the time the liquid has to linger on (and stain!) your teeth.
- Eating parsley and apples after meals can help freshen your breath and clean your teeth of debris left over from your meal, which can possibly help whiten your teeth.
- Another home remedy is to mash up strawberries into a paste and use this to brush your teeth with. Just make sure to use a separate tooth brush because the seeds can be hard to rinse out of your main tooth brush. Also, be sure to rinse your mouth and/or brush your teeth with regular toothpaste because the strawberries have a natural acid in them that can be harmful to your enamel if left on your teeth for prolonged periods of time.
- Interesting to note that celebs like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tyra Banks have both used and promoted this technique!
- Get a tan! Any extra color will instantly make your teeth look whiter! And...
- Used blue-hued red and pink lip colors, as the cooler blue undertones will bring out the whiteness of your teeth.
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So those are my methods and tricks! Do you have any of your own that you'd like to share? Leave a comment below!