If eyes are the windows to the soul, and the mouth is the window to the heart, and the lips are curtains for that window, then teeth are probably the shutters, or the beautiful moulding around the window, or something. Both are important to the whole presentation—not just aesthetically, but functionally. A beautiful window with ugly shutters is actually an ugly window. Do you see what we're talking about, and is it OK to abandon this metaphor?
Teeth are important, and keeping them nice and healthy and as close to a glistening pearl shade as possible is the pursuit of most. But dental care is like exercise—both reliant on consistency and very arduous—so it often falls by the wayside. Unlike exercise, though, lacking in dental care early on can cause irrepairable damage in the long run. Ask anybody who feels like they're still paying for adolescent negligence and they'll tell you. Luckily, innovations in dental care mean it's never been easier to make up for lost time. Cleaner, brighter, straighter teeth are perenially nice to have—and we're happy to help you get there.
It's color theory, for your teeth. You know how most bottle blonds swear by purple shampoo to keep their hair looking bright? Popwhite applied the same principle to their Toothpaste Primer and Toner Rinse. Aside from being peroxide-free, the toothpaste itself is pretty standard—except, of course, for being lavender. It's gotten quite a bit of press for being different, but it's kind of brilliant; using color to counteract sallowness in teeth without bleaching them to a crisp. If you've ever felt the white-hot oral burn of tooth sensitivity, this is an alternative worth checking out.
At-Home Light Therapy
Not kind of like the ones Scott Disick shills on his Instagram—exactly like those. Crest's newest extension of the Whitestrip product family includes one of those handheld blue light devices that fits snugly into your mouth and "tones" your teeth after using the strips. It's been said before, but it's worth saying again: Crest Whitestrips are probably the most effective way to whiten your teeth at home. People—us included—swear by them. The light, which you use after an hour of strips, is credited to speed up the process, which shortens the window of time you see results. Most people report noticeable shade differences in a few weeks, but you have to be militant and devote some time to it. And it is tough on sensitive teeth, so either invest in Sensodyne, or sit it out.
Because who on God's green Earth has a full hour- a day to devote to teeth whitening? For results that are less dramatic but also less time intensive, there's Luster's Two Minute White Treatment. Unlike the Popwhite, this doesn't include brushing and flossing—that you do on your own time—but occurs after. You apply a cleanser (ooh!) and a serum (chic!) that work in tandem to whiten your teeth quickly. The Luster marketing team claims results in three days, and, you know what? We can back it up. It does work. The results are far less dramatic than whitestrips, but the product doesn't sensitize, and it's a fraction of the price.
Cheap Custom Retainers
Enter the small but beautiful world of direct-to-consumer orthodontics; like direct to consumer mattresses, but useful. Smileguard, based in New York, offers custom nightguards for about $200—which is dramatically less than they cost at the dentist's office. Smileguard mails you a kit to do your own impressions (which feels like biting into a block of unflavored gum) that you send directly to the lab, and a few weeks later, boom: translucent nightguard. Perfect for adults who, years after the fact, won't admit to their parents that they lost their retainer, and defends against bruxism (teeth grinding) too.
You guys told us about this one: Cocofloss. It's floss, but cool. Enough said. Add to cart.
Photo via ITG.
Show me your teeth: the best toothpastes and brushes can be found over here.