The holidays are the time to indulge — rich coffee, red wine, candy… you name it! Even though a season of festive, irresistible treats will take its toll on your teeth, you shouldn’t feel the need to abstain if you have the right tools to combat the smile sabotages. Don’t forget to also banish bad breath with the help of some dental drugstore favorites from dentists Dr. Marc Lowenberg, Dr. Gregg Lituchy and Dr. Brian Kantor. Below are some tips on how to keep your teeth white and bright throughout the holiday season.
Sugarless Gum and Candy that contain Xylitol – Xylitol actually helps teeth by reducing the acids produced by bacteria and increasing the salivary fluids that rinse away excess sugars and acids. Chewing gum and candy that contain Xylitol can actually act as the first line of defense in preventing cavities. Gums that contain Xylitol: Trident, Ice Breakers
Mouthwash: Mouthwashes with alcohol as their base tend to dry out the mouth allowing bacteria to proliferate, which is why I like Listerine Total Care Zero ($3.49). It contains zero alcohol but still has the same medicinal taste so you feel like it’s working. Listerine Total Care Zero is Dr. Lowenberg’s favorite mouth wash.
Favorite OTC Whitening: Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips ($40.99) – Crest Whitestrips are a great, quick whitening fix. They effectively whiten teeth because the bleach within the strips remains in contact with the tooth structure long enough to deliver positive results.
Dr. Marc Lowenberg, Dr. Gregg Lituchy and Dr. Brian Kantor
The experts from Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor provide their tips on how to get gorgeous, pearly whites just in time for the holidays! These tips can help avoid any embarrassing mishaps at holiday festivities:
In-Office Bleaching: The most effective bleaching is done once a year in a dentist’s office. For a dramatic improvement, the dentist paints your teeth with a 35% concentration hydrogen peroxide gel, protecting gums and lips, then uses a high intensity light to activate the gel. This will effectively whiten teeth in just one hour.
At-Home Bleaching: Make sure to whiten before the bitter cold weather, since cold temperatures could heighten sensitivity! If you are trying to whiten on a budget, Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips are always a great option.
Whitening strips, combined with daily use of a whitening toothpaste, are a good one-two punch to maintain a bright smile for the holiday season. Whitening toothpastes, such as Luster Now! Instant Whitening Toothpaste ($6.29), are also effective because it removes the external surface stains on the tooth’s surface and contains Bluverite to help create the optical effect of brighter teeth instantly.
Avoid Teeth-Staining Party Favorites: Avoid dark beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine altogether! If caffeine or a glass of wine is a must-have, apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the teeth prior to drinking to create a protective barrier. You can also be discreet and chew on raw, crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots to mechanically remove surface stains from the enamel.
Combat Embarrassing Bad Breath: When ordering a cocktail, vodka is a great option because it kills bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Make sure to pass on sugary mixers, as they will bind to teeth and trigger odor. Don’t neglect the garnish, it is more than just decoration on your plate! Parsley neutralizes odor caused by sulfides given off by the bacteria in dental plaque!
When In Doubt: Choose a lip shade with blue undertones – it contrasts the whiteness of the tooth and makes your smile appear brighter instantly.
Also, some more simple tips you may not have known…
White wine can actually stain teeth worse than red wine! It’s the high acidity in white wine that make teeth more susceptible to stain from tea, coffee and anything else you eat or drink at the same time that has color. Typical teeth-stainers include ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, spaghetti sauce and all berries.
Drinking water in between sips of white wine and while eating colored foods will help offset the effect of the stains.
One of the best natural at-home whiteners is strawberries. The malic acid in strawberries act as an astringent to remove surface discoloration.
Be careful of foods that can get caught between your teeth! Salads and greens are likely to get caught which can be embarrassing AND cause cavities and gum disease, so always carry floss for a touch-up and to keep food out.
Carry a breath freshener and whitening gel to use during your date. Dr. Smigel recommends the Supersmile Quikee ($17.99), a no-brush/no-rinse on-the-go whitening and freshening tooth polish.
Do the not-so-ordinary cleaning routines such as using a tongue cleaner. This is the ONLY way to effectively remove plaque and bacteria and prevent bad breath for good!
What do you lovely ladies think of these fresh breath-saving tips for your mouth? Do you have any tips of your own to keep your teeth and breath in check this holiday season? Let us know by commenting below, which will automatically be posted to our Community Forum (click here to check it out!) where you can find other beauty related discussions! Don’t forget to also submit a photo to our Photo Of The Day (click here!) feature, where a new photo will be picked daily. Your photo just might be selected, so get going!
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