New Year - New Smile!

Whiter, Brighter Teeth Tips

Yellow is a lovely color for bananas, but for teeth, not so much. Are you the one who always looks like the grim reaper in the family photo album? Want a whiter smile? See a dentist about professional teeth whitening. It’s a lot easier than learning Photoshop. Once you have a shiny smile, try these natural tooth whitening tips to keep it that way.

• Red wine, tea, coffee and cola drinks stain teeth. You can drink through a straw, but that’s a heinous thing to do to a good Cabernet. A better strategy: rinse your mouth with a swish of clear water after consuming beverages and foods that stain.

• Smoking and chewing tobacco will turn your teeth yellower than a yield sign. Put out that cigarette!

• Use a toothpaste designed for tooth whitening if you like, but keep it to a couple times a week max. Simpler and cheaper -- make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and brush with that once a week to mellow the yellow.

• Have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year. Your hygienist will finish the job with a polishing. That will remove some surface staining.

• Talk with your dentist or hygienist before you use any over-the-counter whitening product or device that contains a bleaching agent. They could harm your mouth or gums and then you’d have another problem to deal with.

Do you have any home whitening tips or questions? Let’s hear them.

Toothy Truths (useless, but fun information)

The bristles on toothbrushes were originally made of hair from hogs or cows. Today they’re usually made from nylon. We call that major progress.

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