A smile goes a long way. On top of releasing feelgood chemicals into our body, smiling can help to make people around us feel happier and more at ease. That said, not all of us feel confident smiling, especially those of us who have bad teeth.
Many of us know the obvious ways to look after and improve our teeth. However, there are lots of hacks out there that few of us are aware of that can make improving your smile less of a challenge. Here are a few tricks to consider for those that want to develop a more sparkly and striking smile.
This is a hack that’s becoming more popular, although those new to the idea are likely to think it’s a little bizarre. Whilst whitening toothpastes can do a great job of fighting stained teeth, charcoal has been found to be equally effective at brightening our teeth. You’re best off using activated charcoal pastes that are used for dental purposes – you can’t take a lump of charcoal off the barbecue and brush your teeth with it as it will not only be ineffective but toxic. Activated charcoal works by clinging on staining particles and stripping them away from the tooth. A quick rinse of the mouth gets rid of any blackness and leaves you with clean teeth. Obviously, this is a gradual process that requires regularly brushing over a series of weeks – so don’t expect to see results straight away.
Try oil pulling
Another unusual whitening method that could be worth trying out is oil pulling. This involves swilling oil around the mouth for ten to fifteen minutes (organic oil, not engine oil!). The oil helps to loosen up plaque and staining particles on the enamel, helping to brighten your teeth. Whilst you can use household oils such as olive oil and coconut oil, there are specialist oils out there for dental use such as MaxMedix Coconut Splash that may be more effective. Oil pulling should be something you do on top of brushing teeth and not a substitute. This method doesn’t work for everyone – some people swear by it, whilst others find it to be pretty useless. You’ll only know by trying it yourself.
Sip soft drinks through a straw
Sugar in general is bad for our teeth’s enamel, but the worst offenders are soft drinks. When drinking soft drinks, we coat our entire mouths with sugar (when eating sugary snacks only certain teeth get coated). Zero-sugar alternatives are one way of fighting tooth decay, however another solution could be to start drinking all sugary drinks through a straw. When drinking through a straw, we’re less inclined to swill these drinks around our mouth and less teeth are likely to get coated in sugar. Of course, sugar can cause damage to rest of our body, making our skin more greasy and negatively affecting our metabolism, so you may still want to cut down your soda consumption if you feel you drink a lot of.
Have cheese with red wine
Red wine may be one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks out there in terms of its benefits to our heart, but when it comes to our teeth its by far the worst. Not only does red wine contain lots of alcohol and sugar, it also contains tannin – a molecule that clings to our teeth and produces staining. Over time, red wine can cause the enamel to go a grey colour. Whilst giving up red wine is a solution, avid fans of their vino needn’t despair as there are other ways to limit the staining properties of wine. Having cheese with wine is one such solution. Cheese is fantastic for our teeth as it closes up micropores in our enamel making it harder to the tannin in wine to stick. Cheese is also full of calcium, which helps to strengthen and rebuild our enamel. In other words, cheese and wine parties are the way to go.
Got wonky teeth? Get invisible braces
Discolouration of the teeth isn’t always the problem. The issue may be that your teeth are wonky or have unsightly gaps, which is affecting your confidence when smiling. Having braces fitted is the obvious solution to this. However, as an adult many of us don’t like the idea of braces due to their teenage appearance. Fortunately, brace technology has come a long way and train tracks are no longer the only solution. There are now new brace options out there such as Invisalign that are pretty much invisible. These could help you to straighten your teeth without people instantly knowing that you have braces. Invisible braces may not be suitable for all types of teeth, which is something you may want to discuss with an orthodontist.
Use the right lipstick tone to make your teeth seem whiter
Did you know that you could make your teeth appear whiter simply by choosing the right make-up options? Certain lipstick tones can help to bring out the whiteness in your teeth and make them appear more sparkly. Sites like Bustle have a whole guide dedicated to this. Generally speaking, you want to keep away from lipsticks with an orangey tint as these can bring out the yellow in your teeth. Lipstick with bluey hues can meanwhile bring out the whiteness in your teeth.
Not all smiles have to involve opening the mouth. If you don’t want to try any of the above hacks, you could try practising smising. This is means of smiling with your eyes. When we smile, our eyes often semi-close. Mastering this type of smile could be useful for photo opportunities in which you may not want to have lasting evidence of your teeth. Smising shouldn’t be a replacement for normal smiling, but if you’re trying to improve those selfies it’s a worthwhile trick to learn.