Consumer Health News
Tooth 101: What the celebrities know to keep teeth bright and white
By April MacIntyre Apr 27, 2010, 22:52 GMT
Supersmile user Sarah Silverman - The 24th Annual American Cinematheque Award Honoring Matt Damon - Arrivals - The Beverly Hilton Hotel - Beverly Hills, CA. USA © Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos
Tooth and gum health are crucial to happiness, overall well-being and positive self-image.
Teeth do not have to be stick straight and perfectly lined up Chiclets, but everyone wants the most bright, white smile they can achieve without hurting the interior dentin and exterior enamel of the tooth.
Without breaking the bank either.
Healthy teeth and gums reflect a good health overall. Vanity aside, neglecting your mouth can lead to all sorts of issues, from bad breath (Halitosis) to heart disease.
After years of invading the makeup rooms of various TV shows and films, I always asked the pros who keep celebrities looking good, what do they use? Whose products perform for teeth whitening?
And all the questions have paid off by way of excellent recommendations and useful products that have given me a terrific smile and teeth as bright and white as I could hope for. Best of all, my dentist tells me I have textbook gums," healthy and pink and perfect. Nicest compliment from a Doctor, ever.
Here is some excellent advice and some products that deliver the white:
The first rule: Brush your teeth twice daily: This is basic teeth 101 stuff. Use a good toothbrush like Sonic care or Oral B that is motorized, it does the job 100% better than a hand held.
Dental Floss: Flossing sticks can be kept everywhere, purse, car, backpack; you eat several times a day, no one wants to see what you had for lunch stuck up in your eyeteeth.
Scrape that tongue: Really, invest in one, makes your mouth all the cleaner and helps keep plaque at bay too.
Good Mouth Washes: Listerine is an effective antiseptic. There are excellent enamel restoring rinses like Act too. I use Rembrandt Whitening rinse daily.
Good diet. Eat good food and good things happen, eat crap and watch your mouth and your body go to hell. Calcium can come from vegetables like broccoli if you cannot drink milk. Avoid corn nuts, sticky taffy (crowns lift up) eating unpopped popcorn kernels, and don't use your teeth to open bottles and rip open stubborn bags. Don't chew ice, ever.
No sodas, energy drinks even diet stuff: Corrosive and fattening; it is rumored that coroner technicians have cleaned up fatality wrecks and murder scenes with Coke soda. Allegedly its acid nature gets the blood right up and out of the tarmac. it does clean the corrosion off your battery cables efficiently.
These drinks cause mass scale decay and enamel erosion with phosphoric acid and citric acid. Energy drinks contain organic acids in addition to the above which directly damage the tooth calcium. Mass-produced lemonade (with corn syrup) is awful, don't drink it unless it was homemade with real sugar, water and lemon juice only (then rinse your mouth afterwards). Diet sodas are destructive to teeth too.
Still Smoking? Smoking wrecks your mouth, along with the cancer thing. Bad breath, stinky clothes, home, car and hair are just a bonus.
Gum: Unless it is sugar-free gum - don't do it.
Dentist twice a year: Spend the money; find a dentist you love, go.
Piercings around the mouth: Oral Piercings such as tongue or lip are so 90's. Get them out of your mouth and get over the trend; you look ridiculous, in case no one has told you. Tongue-pierced people have the funkiest nasty breath too, many makeup artists tell me.
The Products, tried and true:
The strips, trays and brush-on gels are something many actors do two to four times yearly to keep up their smile's brightness.
Depending on the whitening method used, you may need a touch-up every six months or after a year or two. If you smoke or drink lots of stain-causing beverages, you may need a touch up more often.
You may be able to get rid of many superficial teeth stains by yourself. A number of at-home teeth whitening products – kits, strips, and toothpastes – will lighten stains.
A home tooth whitening kit contains peroxides, a bleach that can remove both deep and surface stains -- and actually changes your natural tooth color. If you have coffee-stained teeth, a tooth-bleaching kit can help. With some kits, you apply a peroxide-based gel to the surface of your teeth. In other kits, the gel is in a tray that molds to the teeth. The tray must be worn daily (for 30 to 45 minutes) for a week or more.
Over the years the Rembrandt system has performed well for me. Their Plus Peroxide Whitening Mouthwash does work, as it whitens and restores and strengthen tooth enamel.
Another excellent rinse is by Listerine, their Whitening rinse which I have also seen in many a makeup trailer.
Over-the-counter toothpastes work with peroxide and baking soda -- whitening teeth through mild bleaching. Also recommended to me was Rembrandt's Plus Peroxide Toothpaste, works nicely with the rinse.
Another great product that is used without water is Dr. Smigel's Supersmile dual polish and gel system. This dual system polished and whitened my teeth dramatically.
The Advanced Professional Whitening Toothpaste and Professional Whitening Accelerator Component that works on a dry tooth brush so you can whiten your smile without wasting water. The toothpaste dissolves the stained layer of the teeth and also restores the color of artificial tooth surfaces like bonding, veneers and crowns – all while conserving water.
The popular Crest Whitening Strips are coated with a gel that contains hydrogen peroxide, the same enamel-safe ingredient dentists use for teeth whitening.
The new strips really adhere to the teeth nicely, they don't slip around like the old ones. I have used these several times, and find they are convenient and less saliva inducing as the trays that some of the manufacturers offer in kits, such as Rembrandt's 2 Hour whitening kit, which honestly drove me crazy.
Lastly, New York's top cosmetic dentist, Thomas Connelly (www.drconnelly.com) contacted Monsters and Critics and offered great tips to those who live and breathe good dental hygiene.
Dr. Connelly put together quick fixes that you can do at different times of the day without taking time out of your busy schedule:
In the shower: Stop stains and tartar buildup when you wake up and decide to jump into the shower. Use over the counter whitening strips and whiten while you get wake up in the shower.
At snack time: Snack on apples, pears, strawberries, celery, carrots, and any raw veggie which happens to produce saliva that will help remove bacteria and whiten your teeth. These healthy foods will help clean your teeth says Dr. Thomas Connelly.
After lunch: Chewing sugar free whitening gum that contains calprox, which will remove stains but even any gum will work. Since gum stimulates saliva flow, and will act as a natural detergent, and remove some of the stains. Rinse with water if nothing else is available, which will remove some of the stains.
Night out: When choosing a lipstick for a night out choose lipsticks with blue undertones, which will make teeth appear whiter. Rose, reds, burgundy, and plum shades works well. Be careful when choosing a shade because a color with an orange undertone can make your teeth appear dull and yellow.
After dinner: Swish water in your mouth for 30 seconds right after eating to help prevent stains from the food that you ate, says Dr. Thomas Connelly.
April MacIntyre is Monsters and Critics' smallscreen and people/celebrity editor who loves to snoop around in makeup trailers when she can. You can follow her on Twitter.
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