It seems like every celebrity out there has a perfect, mega-watt smile, and while some may be natural, that doesn't mean many don't come without help from the pros. If you've been sticking on the white strips, or maybe contemplating professional whitening, then you might want to pay attention to what a celebrity dentist wants you to know about teeth whitening. Whether you want to pay to have it done professionally, or want to do it yourself at home, there are definitely several things you need to know.
Life can obviously cause your teeth to yellow or stain over time, so to keep their smiles looking red carpet perfect, celebrities turn to the pros to help brighten up their teeth. Of course, professional whitening costs more than an at home kit, but that doesn't mean you can't DIY a brighter smile yourself. I spoke with celebrity dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands, over email to find out exactly what we need to know about whitening our teeth (and keeping them white), and given that his clientele includes Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and the Kardashians — I think you're going to want to take some notes.
Here are Dr. Sands' top six teeth whitening tips:
1. Professional Whitening Requires Maintenance
Getting your teeth whitened isn't a one time thing, so if you do decide to take the plunge, be prepared for up keep. "Some people want to touch up every few months, while others can get away with just every year or two. It mainly depends on your natural tooth color, the pores of your teeth and also the foods and drinks you eat and drink," Sands tells me.
2. Professional Whitening Can Be Done At Home Or In Office
Whether you want to get it done in the office or do it at home is up to you. To whiten teeth, Sands says, "We use a special bleaching gel applied to your enamel that gets activated by the light. The technology is amazing and all the work is done for you here in the office. We also have the option of take home bleaching gel with custom made bleaching trays."
3. Beware Certain Foods & Drinks
To keep your teeth as white as possible, pay attention to the foods you're eating. "Anything that has color can stain your teeth, even colorful healthy foods like blueberries. The most common offenders are red wine, coffee and tea and soda," Sands says.
4. You Don't Have To Swear Off Coffee
If you freaked a little thinking you'd have to give up your daily coffee habit for the sake of whiter teeth, don't worry. Instead, Sands suggests drinking coffee through a straw to avoid staining.
5. Maintain Your Teeth At Home
Post-procedure, you're going to have to keep up with regular maintenance so your teeth stay white. Sands says, "Brush and floss twice daily and rinse with water right after dark foods and drinks." In addition, you may want to head to the dentist for a professional cleaning and polish.
6. You Can Whiten Your Teeth Yourself
Bleaching Trays, $119, clearretainform.com
Can't pay for a professional whitening? No worries, you have some options. "The best products to use at home would be custom-made bleaching trays and gel," says Sands.
Crest 3D White Brilliance 2 Step Toothpaste, $12.90, jet.com
But if you're on a budget, you can also use whitening toothpastes, like this one from Crest. The 2-Step Toothpaste comes with two tubes: The first deep cleans to get rid of all of the build-up in your mouth and then the second whitens and polishes surface stains away.