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How to whiten your smile at home

10 JANUARY 2014 Everybody wants a set of pearly whites and some pay a small fortune at the dentist in their quest for a 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...


 



Crunch time

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. 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 accentuate any off-white shades.

Cut the coffee

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

Bronzer

Besides lipstick, wearing bronzer and blush can also enhance your smile. Invest in a good quality bronzer that will enhance your natural skin tone and apply 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 any teeth stains.

Toothpaste

To enhance the natural whiteness of your teeth, opt for a whitening toothpaste. Oral B 3D White Enamel Protect (£3.49, 75ml) claims to 'whiten the front, back and visible surfaces between teeth'.

Hair colour

Even your hair colour can affect how bright your smile appears — brunettes have the advantage here. Teeth appear whiter with darker dos as 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.

Dinner

When you finish your meal, try some chewing gum, which stimulates saliva flow and acts as a natural detergent.

Water

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

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