Want a white smile this summer? It's not enough to just brush and floss, according to New York City-based cosmetic dentist Dr. Laura Torrado, who counts Gossip Girl's Blake Lively as a client. Dr. Torrado gives UsMagazine.com her top five tips for brightening your pearly whites this season.
1. Start with white teeth.
"If you don't have white teeth to start, then over-the-counter [whitening] products aren't going to work," Dr. Torrado tells Us. "You need to start with a white foundation and then maintain it with products or trips to the dentist for professional whitening treatments."
2. Be conscious of the foods you eat.
Foods and drinks like coffee and wine are major culprits to staining your teeth, says our expert. Lesser known factors that can diminish the level of whiteness? Berries and Portobello mushrooms! Counteract staining by biting into foods that are high in fiber, like apples, to reduce the effects of staining foods.
3. Brush and floss daily; especially before bed.
Jessica Simpson take note: Dr. Torrado suggests brushing and flossing your teeth daily to keep teeth and gums healthy. A prime time to brush? Before bed, when plaque can stain your teeth.
4. Know what you put in your mouth.
While it may be unrealistic to brush after each and every meal (especially during the work day), products like Trident White gum can a suitable substitute on occasion to remove plaque build-up after you eat. Mouthwash rinses, on the other hand, get rid of bad breath, but don't get rid of staining plaque.
5. Play up the whiteness of your teeth with makeup.
The darker your complexion is, the brighter your teeth will look. "If your complexion is white, the way to make your teeth look brighter is wearing dark red lipstick with a shine," Dr. Torrado says. "If you are medium complexion, like an olive skin, anything with bronze tones enhances the tooth color. And if you have dark skin, then pinkish-reds or high gloss will brighten your teeth."