If you haven’t had time to do serious teeth whitening lately, employ these three quick tips from New York-based cosmetic dentist Dr. Marc Lowenberg to keep your teeth as sparkling white as possible. Number two will come in very handy this weekend if you plan to indulge in a glass of red wine — or three.
Tip 1: Munch on raw, crunchy vegetables to help mechanically remove surface stains.
Tip 2: Before sipping on red wine (or other teeth-staining foods or drinks) coat your teeth with a thin layer of Vaseline to help protect them from stains.
Tip 3: Wear lip colors that have blue undertones. The contrast with your teeth will help your smile appear brighter. Try MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, $14.50.
Reader question: “Are there any natural teeth whiteners that work??” — Gloria
Answer: In short, yes. But, you likely won’t get the dramatic results you’ve seen from using commercial at-home whitening products or undergoing professional whitening. But, if you are looking for a natural alternative, there is one key ingredient that is proven to whiten teeth successfully — baking soda. “Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has been utilized by individuals across the world as a cleaning agent for a large number of usages as well as anti-bacterial properties. As a natural solution, baking soda is popular as a tooth bleaching agent to make teeth whiter,” says Dr. Irwin Smigel, President of the American Dental Society and founder of the at-home whitening line Supersmile. “Lots of people who have experienced using baking soda to brush their teeth swear that this non-chemical formulation … performs in terms of whitening teeth stained from darkly colored foods and beverages,” he adds. Continue reading
Reader question of the day: “… what shades of lipgloss make teeth look whiter? I’ve heard mixed things.” — prettygirl
Answer: I agree that there are varying opinions on what shades of lipstick and gloss make teeth look whiter, which is why I asked makeup artist Taylor Chang-Babaian, author of Style Eyes to weigh in.
In general, she recommends “look[ing] for shades in cooler tones.” Think “pinks [and] blue reds,” but “avoid[ing] anything in browns or dark peaches that would pull up the yellow and browns in teeth,” she adds. And when it comes to formula, “I like darker colors in matte formulas,” she says, but suggests going with a gloss if you opt for mauve or more natural-hued colors because they will “reflect well with bright whites,” and “draw positive attention” to your teeth, she says.
A couple of cool-toned lip products to try:
MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, $14.50 Continue reading
Wine Wipes, $20 for three compacts of 20 wipes.
Why: My husband and I spent last saturday at the LA Wine Fest — wine tasting is the one hobby we both enjoy and do together (probably more than we should). And, after an hour or so of swirling the red (and white) stuff and sipping away, my husband’s teeth turned a terrifying shade of burgundy. This is not an uncommon occurrence for him. Nearly every time he swigs the red stuff, it leaves its color behind — on his teeth. Continue reading