When someone says to me, “You look sad,” I’d like to respond with, “Go suck an egg!” But, I restrain my id with all my might and appease the peanut gallery with a smile. It’s not that I’m not happy; I’m just not that girl who walks around with an ear-to-ear grin painted on her face 24/7. That’s not a bad thing—did you know that over time excessive facial expressions can make lines (like the parentheses that form around your mouth) more pronounced?
That said, there are plenty of things that make me smile (my friend’s new baby, my upcoming wedding, So You Think You Can Dance
finale, to name a few), and the best accessory to welcome these occasions are pearly whites. I enlisted NYC cosmetic dentist Dr. Debra Glassman, whose celeb clients include Jessica Simpson, Halle Berry and Jennifer Hudson, to share tricks on how to get brighter teeth for less.Chew On It
Do like American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson and chew two pieces
of her favorite Orbit White Bubblemint after meals, wine or soda. “The sugar-free gum’s texture helps to remove buildup on your teeth
,” says Dr. Glassman.Pick Paste
Use a whitening toothpaste such as Starbrite
, a formula Dr. Glassman created that contains calcium peroxide to whiten teeth and xylitol, proven to prevent cavities and gum disease.Fake It
and Win It
Blue-based lipstick shades, which typically fall in the pink and red families, create the illusion of whiter teeth. Two that fit the bill: Enbrightenment BriteSmile® Whitener & Tarte Lipgloss
and Clinique Different Lipstick in Raspberry Glace
.*THE BG IS GIVING AWAY 10 CLINIQUE LIPSTICKS IN RASPBERRY GLACE, A BEAUTIFUL BERRY TONE THAT FEELS LIKE SILK ON LIPS
. To score this freebie, email me at email@example.com
by August 21st and include your name, email and mailing address.Imbibe Wisely
Cutting out coffee and red wine will certainly help, but the BG would never ask you to do something she’d never do herself. Rather, try drinking coffee with a straw, opt for white wine when possible or swish water around your mouth after drinking
.An Apple A Day…
Dark beverages aren’t the only bad influences. Dark fruits (like blueberries) and liquids used to flavor foods, such as soy sauce or pasta sauce, are culprits. Dr. Glassman’s rule to follow: “If a food can stain your carpet or T-shirt, it can stain your teeth too.”
She says to use sauces sparingly, go lighter in general and bite into an apple instead. “Its crisp texture and light color act like a detergent on teeth, wiping away stains.”Want faster results?
Try at-home whitening options like Crest Whitestrips
, which take 14 days. Dr. Glassman says to make sure the strips fully cover your teeth and fit properly otherwise you could end up with horizontal stripes. Go Smile’s 7-day whitening kit
is really convenient, especially if you’re always go, go, go, because you essentially color on the formula. Finally, there’s the Zoom! Take-Home Whitening System, which is the at-home version of the pro treatment. It’s pretty expensive at about $350, is only available at the dentist’s office and will make your teeth six shades brighter in 3 nights. For this process, the dentist makes trays that fit your mouth, and then you fill them with a gel and wear the trays for about 6 hours a day.If you want dramatic results without the responsibility of doing it yourself
, then the professional Zoom! whitening treatment
is worth the splurge at $500. The system gets your teeth an average of 8 shades whiter
and you can break it up into 3 15-minute sessions or one 45-minute visit. A new set of pearly whites may take the place of those Jimmy Choos you were eying, but at least your new white teeth will never go out of style.