#10WaysTo Make Over Your Smile

1. Turn On Your Toothbrush

a clean fitThe movement produced by sonic versions cleans teeth better than any manual method, reducing surface stains and plaque, says N.Y.C. dentist Michael Apa. This Go Smile tool does so while whitening, combining a hydrogen peroxide gel with LEDs built into the head to get teeth up to seven shades lighter in 30 days.

2. Sip Cucumber Water

“Unlike highly acidic beverages–coffee, tea, soda, and even lemon water–it’s alkaline, which means it won’t erode your enamel,” says N.Y.C. dentist Pia Lieb. Bonus: Its refreshing, spa-like vibe leaves us instantly calmer.

3. Stick to (Supersize) Strips

Because dentists can use much higher levels of hydrogen peroxide, the speediest whitening results are still offered in-office. But at home, pros agree: Crest Whitestrips are the pearly standard. They consistently pay off, says L.A. dentist Kourosh Maddahi. The newest ones are longer, so two strips can lift stains on every tooth in a single use.

4. Cool Your Lips

Blue-based colors (think fuchsia rather than coral) “tgrick the eye into thinking your teeth look whiter,” says N.Y.C. makeup artist Daniel Martin. Not sure which hue is right for you? Swipe on a layer of Lipstick Queen’s sheer aqua-colored gloss. On your lips, it transforms into the perfect flatters-all-skin-tones pink.

5. Swish with Salt

Traditional mouthwashes contain alcohol that wipes out bad bacteria (yay!), but it also eliminates good microbes thata clean fit are essential to our overall oral health. Preferable? Treating your mouth with sea-salt-spiked H2O which has been recognized as a successful preventive measure against periodontal disease. “By fighting the development of gingivitis and plaque, it also wards off the yellowing of teeth,” says Dr. Maddahi. Mix one teaspoon of salt with a cup of water and rinse for a minute each day.

6. Put a Lid on It

No surprise here–your caffeine fix can leave a mark on your smile. “Coffee creates yellow stains, and even green tea can impart a grayish cast,” says Dr. Maddahi. Instead of sipping through a straw (which, admit it, is awkward with a hot bev), drink through a vented lid. Doing this reduces the amount of contact the liquid has with your teeth, he says.

7. Finish with Fruit

End your meals with an apple or a handful of strawberries. They’re healthier for you than the pint of Ben & Jerry’s you’re eyeing for dessert–any they’re natural detergents. These treats are low in acidity, and “fibrous fruits have a whitening effect over time because they stimulate saliva production, which keeps particles off your teeth,” says Dr. Maddahi.

8. Floss on the Fly

a clean fitSure, it’s one of life’s less joyful activities, but it’s really important: Flossing gets rid of the darkening plaque and tartar resting in between teeth, which your toothbrush can’t reach, says Dr. Lieb. But before you grab that same old spool of string, consider the new GUM Soft-Picks, which are “curved so they can get through the cracks more easily, and they even help clean out molars,” she says. Plus, their pipe cleaner-like tips are super gentle. Make it a twice-a-day habit; it’s key in preventing gum disease.

9. Oil Up

An ancient ayurvedic ritual favored by stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, oil-pulling involves swishing a tablespoon of antimicrobial liquid, such as coconut oil, in your mouth to “remove bacteria, like Streptococcus mutans,” says N.Y.C. dentist Brian Kantor. This not only cuts down on inflammation but also “decreases tooth-darkening gingivitis and plaque.” To reap the biggest benefit, try to keep the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. You can do this a few times a week, or even daily, says Dr. Kantor.

10. Wipe Out Stainsa clean fit

The antioxidant resveratrol in your glass of red wine? Good. The color your merlot can deposit on teeth and lips? Not great. Since you might not rush home to brush your teeth after happy hour,
rub away the residue post-glass (or more realistically post-glasses) with Borracha Wine Wipes! “The small amount of peroxide in them stops stains from setting in, and you can use them discreetly,” says N.Y.C. dentist Michael Gulizio. (They work post-coffee-break too!)

Beauty|InStyle|October 2015