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Simple Beauty Tricks for a Brighter Smile

One of the most common dental concerns that I hear from patients is the desire for a brighter smile. There are over 40 different tooth shades and hue is just one of several factors (read more about tooth structure) contributing to tooth brightness. Cosmetic dental procedures designed to enhance your smile include dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and teeth bleaching. Office dental bleaching is definitely the most effective but also expensive. Home bleaching kits may be more affordable but require time for application. Below are a few simple beauty tips that can instantly brighten your smile.

Lip Color. Bright bold colors tend to make teeth appear whiter. However, reds and oranges bring out the yellow undertones in our teeth. Metallics as well as glosses tend to scatter light away from your smile. Try a bubble gum pink and balance as needed. MAC Bombshell Frost is one of my favorites. 

Hair. How we style our hair also contributes to how our smiles are received. Our smiles are most noticeable when our hair is swept away from our faces. Curls can make teeth appear smaller and dark hair colors tend to make our teeth appear lighter.

Wardrobe. Neutrals, creams, and white colored clothing often dim our smiles. Bright colors help to enhance our smiles. They make us feel happier and mood has been proven to increase our desire to smile more. Generally, blue is a calming color and in many cultures yellow is symbolic of happiness. 

Lighting. Natural light is the best companion when taking an accurate assessment of tooth shade. The fluorescent lights illuminating most office spaces tend to make our teeth appear dull and gray. When considering your smile, my suggestion for patients is not to compare the whiteness of your teeth to that of the sclera of your eye. The tissues are very different and if our teeth are too close in brightness, it can actually distract observers. 

Smiles are all unique and their shade, shape, and frequency help give us character. Smiling has also been proven to reduce stress. In the best case try to smile more! If you are concerned about intrinsic dental stains, consult your dentist about options to help you reach your smile goals.