Smile-Wise (Tips for Women)

Valentine’s Day is for lovers, friends, and those who want to find either one. But your real best friend is a great smile and the confidence a clean mouth and bright smile give you. Not just for Valentine’s, but every day.

“There are simple ways to get your teeth looking their best,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her cosmetic dentistry office in Phoenix. “And for those whose teeth are damaged, there are cosmetic procedures that will bring back a youthful, happy smile.”

Here are some tips that will last long past Valentine’s Day:


1. Include crunchy fruits and vegetables in your diet. Nothing beats brushing your teeth, but between meals, snacks can help you do the job. Apples, celery, peppers, jicama are all crisp and can help you keep bacteria from building up around your teeth.

2. Red wine, berries and artificial colors in food are not the only culprits that stain your teeth. White wine, clear sodas, and acidic fruit juice can dim the high-beam white in your teeth. Any food or drink with tannin or acid content can damage your teeth. It doesn’t mean those drinks are off limits. Drink sips of water between drinks of acid-rich drinks and your teeth will thank you.

3. Enjoy strawberries. There is some evidence, although no firm proof, that the calcium and phosphorous keeps your teeth whiter than if you skipped the heart-shaped fruit. And the fiber, folate and antioxidants are good for all of your body.

4. Blue-red lipsticks make your teeth look whiter. Orangey, coral and brown-based lipsticks make your teeth look dingy. So a quick fix for a not-so-perfect smile is a new lipstick in the right shade.

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