Did you know that your teeth will darken as you age, even if you avoid obvious tooth-staining activities like smoking or drinking coffee? It's true—there's no way to completely escape the yellowing or darkening of your teeth, and it can make you look older. However, you can make your teeth appear whiter, and there are a wide variety of ways to do so, ranging from quick and simple to time-consuming and expensive. Take a look at some ways that you can get a brighter, younger-looking smile.
Quick and Easy: Lipstick
If you wear lipstick, choosing the right shade can make your teeth look whiter with a minimum time commitment on your part. Choose pink or purplish shades if your teeth are yellow. These shades have blue undertones that will counteract the yellow in your teeth and make them look whiter. On the other hand, if your teeth look grayish, wear copper or bronze colors that will help emphasize the white underneath the gray.
Everyday Changes: Food
Certain foods can help brighten up your teeth. Strawberries, for example, contain malic acid that can help bleach stains on your teeth. Meanwhile, biting into hard vegetables like carrots and celery can help slough off the bacteria and particles that stain your teeth. Add these foods to your daily diet for a brighter smile.
Quick and Long-Lasting: Tooth Whitening
Having your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist can make your teeth several shades lighter. It only takes a few hour-long appointments before you start to see results, and the lightening can last for months at a time. Cosmetic dentists use bleaching agents, sometimes in combination with lasers to accelerate the process. If you don't have time to sit in the dentist's office, you can also get prescription-strength whitening trays to take home. You can use these to whiten your teeth at night when you're getting ready for bed.
Expensive but Permanent: Veneers
For a permanent solution to stained teeth, you may want to consider dental veneers, especially if your teeth are also unevenly shaped. This will take a few appointments and can be pricy—veneers can cost up to $1100 per tooth, or up to $1300 per tooth if you opt for a name brand. However, the veneers are permanent, so your tooth stains and discolorations will be gone forever.
If you're looking for professional help to achieve a brighter smile, you should consult a cosmetic dentist in your area (such as Walden Square Dental Care) for advice.