I have always been a little shy about my smile. My two front teeth overlap a bit, and I (believe it or not) am not a fan of having my photo taken. But I still love to smile.
I recently found a new dentist in my town, Dr. Alia. I have the worst track record with dentists and before I met her was fairly terrified of going. I am SO THRILLED to have found Dr. Alia, and even more excited that she set up what I would call a dental boutique (because it is absolutely charming) right in my home town of Wilmette. I received my first cleaning a couple of weeks ago, and it was more like chatting with a favorite girlfriend than traditional dental despair. My kids will be going there next, and they can't wait! Here they are at the grand opening, posing for the newspaper photographer :)
|Photo: Jill Dunbar/ Winnetka Current|
I asked Dr. Alia to give me some great tips on getting the most out of your smile from a dentist's perspective, and I then gave my top smile tips from a beauty blogger's perspective.
From a Dentist's Perspective...
- Studies have shown that it is most effective to brush your teeth when you first wake up, before consuming coffee, or eating anything. That way the fluoride can be absorbed by your teeth and you get the maximum strength available from the fluoride toothpaste.
- Drinking soda or tea or coffee through a straw definitely helps eliminate stain on your teeth. I usually tell patients to do this after they have had a tooth whitening, so that they maximize the benefits and see the best whitest results.
- I think the best way to minimize tooth stain is to brush your teeth with water after you have had some tea, coffee or soda. What people don't realize is tea stains your teeth even more than coffee.
- See if Invisalign is for you. Invisalign can inform us if you are good candidate by sending them models and pictures of your teeth, and estimate of how long the treatment would be.
- Seek treatment if you are clenching or grinding teeth at night. If you wake up with sore muscles in your jaw line area, this might be a sign. People have even complained of headaches, or pain upon opening their mouths. People also notice a clicking or popping noise in their TMJ area.
- There really isn't a bigger benefit to whitening at home or in the office in terms of professional whitening. We use the same percentage carbamide peroxide in the office or with the take home whitening kit.
- As for over the counter whitening products, studies show Crest White Strips are the most effective.
- Wear blue-based red lipstick. Orangey-red lipsticks can actually make your teeth look yellow, but blue-based lipsticks like MAC's Ruby Woo can cancel out the yellow and bring out the white.
- Don't open ANYthing with your teeth. I have a habit of using my teeth to pry open bobby pins. This can cause chips- specific packages of Conair Bobby Pins come with an opener attached to the package.
- Can't whiten in reality? Whiten virtually. If you see a photo of yourself that you adore, except for your yellow teeth, change them! Use an app like Facetune ($3.99 iOS/Google Play) that allows you to digitally whiten your teeth like a pro.
Enamel & Root Dentistry
711 11th Street