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From dull to dazzling without the cost: How to brighten your smile at home

03 SEPTEMBER 2012

Everybody wants a set of pearly whites.

And some pay a small fortune at the dentist in their quest for a whiter, brighter smile.

But for those of us who just don't have the budget, here are some natural, cost-effective ways to take your teeth from dull to dazzling.

 

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Feel the crunch

Foods high in cellulose – the strong starchlike compound found in celery, carrots, and apples – act as natural abrasives, cleansing teeth and removing surface stains naturally. And greens such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce contain mineral compounds that form a film over the teeth, so pigments from other foods can't stain.

Pucker up wisely

Stick with blue-based red and pink lipsticks or clothes in dark colours to bring out your teeth's natural whiteness. To downplay discoloration, avoid warm browns and orange-based tones, as these can amplify yellowish teeth.

Cut the coffee

It's an obvious one, but if you're partial to a caffeine pick-me-up, your smile colour will suffer.

DIY

To enhance the natural whiteness of your teeth, opt for a home kit.

Bronzer

Besides lipstick, wearing bronzer and blush can also enhance your smile. Invest in a really good bronzer that will enhance your natural skin tone and apply – but sensibly to provide a good contrast with your teeth. If you prefer blush over bronzer, stick to healthy pinks instead of peaches, which will play up teeth stains.

 

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Blondes don't have more fun

Even your hair colour can affect how bright your smile appears. Blondes might have more fun, but brunettes have the advantage here. Teeth appear whiter when juxtaposed with darker dos. Light locks composed of one flat shade will draw attention to off-white teeth, an effect that can be mitigated by adding warmer shades like caramel.

At Dinner

When you finish your meal, pop in some whitening gum, which contains stain-removing calprox. Still, any gum will work. Because it stimulates saliva flow, it will act as a natural detergent.

Drinks lots of water

Rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal or snack to make sure no food residue is sticking to your teeth.

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