It’s difficult not to take note of Alicia Keys’ affectionate, warm smile. The Grammy award winning singer, songwriter is seen most times captivating fans with her wide, gleaming smile whether performing before substantial crowds or hand-in-hand with husband music producer Swizz Beatz.
The talented piano player’s teeth are as aligned as the keys she stroke, but more importantly her teeth are impeccably white. Not the unbelievable white-turning-blue office visit finish, but a whiteness that seems to be a byproduct of proper dental care and perhaps some nonabrasive whitening at-home techniques.
Having a white smile is just as important as dental hygiene because dingy teeth are a certifiable way to get others to become distracted. You want what you have to say to take precedence, not stained teeth. The mother-of-one along with America’s Next Top Model producer Tyra Banks, “There’s Something About Mary” actress Cameron Diaz, and mogul Queen Latifah, who recently agreed to headline a Lesbian And Gay Pride Festival all understand the importance of healthy, bright smiles.
Take a look at these simple, at-home tricks of the trade to keep your teeth stain-free:
The obvious: Whiten teeth with daily use of whitening toothpaste. Whatever your teeth needs are (sensitive, fluoride-free, etc), there’s sure to be one with a whitening agent. Daily maintenance (brushing, flossing) helps with discoloration as well.
The aggressor: Tooth whitening kits from the drugstore work, but the process takes more time and attention to detail (you have more control). If you need a bit more aggression than what toothpastes can do, this is the solution for you.
The impatient: Whitening strips are effective and aren’t attention hoarders as the whitening kits, yet the effects are basically the same. The choice depends on your commitment level.
The tried-and-true: Baking soda is trite, but the stuff works! It’s not coincidental that baking soda is more often than not listed in toothpastes. You can use baking soda in conjunction with your fave paste, but start off with small doses to see how the double dose works or to monitor any irritation.
The preventative measures: Some foods pass their true hues onto our teeth, like red wine and coffee. You can pass up the foods (yeah right) or brush immediately after consuming. On the go? Tote a travel-size mouth rinse with you to use until you make it home.
The obscure: After you choose any whitening method above, finish with a peroxide rinse until the foam overpowers your mouth. Do this at least once a day. Your teeth will look brand spanking white-new over time (my fave!).
Having a white smile is not overrated. Teeth are what we introduce to others when we’re introducing ourselves. What are your teeth saying before you speak?
By Deidre White