[By Grace Chua]

When you meet someone, one of the first things you notice is their smile. If you want to dazzle with your smile, don’t neglect your teeth. Your choppers can make you look older or younger, depending on how well you care for them. Here are the most common age-related dental issues and tips for straightening your smile, repairing your gum line, and whitening discoloured teeth.

TEETH WOE #1: Crooked Teeth

Teeth have memory in their fibers, so the minute you get your braces off, the little buggers will try to make a beeline for their original spots. Don’t think you’re off the hook if your teeth are naturally straight: Fillings and crowns can cause crowding, and chewing and clenching wear down teeth over time, making them smaller and creating gaps—and anytime there’s a gap, teeth will move or even overlap to fill the space, resulting in a crooked smile.

Fix it: You can’t prevent shifting teeth, unless you’re willing to wear a retainer or mouth guard every night for the rest of your life. Brushing and flossing can help ward off cavities and the need for fillings, but all teeth shift over time. If yours have become crazy-crooked, ask your dentist about Invisalign, clear aligners you wear day and night (except when eating, brushing, or flossing) for about a year. It’s no bargain at $5,000, but its money well spent if your smile is your greatest asset.

TEETH WOE #2: Discoloured Teeth

Hair gets whiter as you climb in years, but your teeth don’t. With age, the outermost layer of tooth enamel thins and exposes the inner dentin, which has a yellowish hue. This is unavoidable, but smoking and consuming food or drink that would stain your clothes will discolour teeth further especially if you don’t brush immediately afterward.
Gray teeth are a different beast, the main culprit is the antibiotic tetracycline, which is used to treat bacterial and respiratory infections and acne. It increases calcium levels in your enamel, making it seem darker. If you took this drug when your adult teeth were developing, they probably started to look gray when you were a teen and will continue to gray with age. (The antibiotic is no longer given to children under the age of 8 or to pregnant women, as it can affect the baby’s teeth later in life.)

Fix it: Try Glo Brilliant Personal Teeth whitening system (USD$275) it can give you the sparkling results you’d get from a dentist.

Rembrandt Deeply White + Peroxide Fresh Mint Toothpaste is a dentist favorite.

If your stains are stubborn and all else fails, see your dentist for laser teeth whitening, which takes about an hour.

TEETH WOE #3: Receding Gums

The thickness of your gum tissue is genetic; gum disease (or gingivitis) is your own doing. Years of plaque buildup and aggressive brushing wear away at your sensitive gum line, giving it a peeled-back appearance. Plus, aging decreases the flow of saliva, which helps to wash away plaque-causing bacteria.

Fix it: Brushing your teeth correctly is a must. At least two times a day, use a soft-bristle toothbrush (it’s gentler on gums than a firm one) to gently massage your teeth in small circular motions along the front, back, and sides. And don’t forget to floss! Try Philips Sonicare AirFloss (USD$90), which emits bursts of air to deep-clean between teeth.


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8 thoughts on “Beautify your Teeth”

  1. I love it. Does not make gums feel tender like the store purchased applicators. I’ve not tried dental office procedure-though I heard about “sensitivity” issues. I really like Glo because it doesn’t give you that “fake” or extra white glo in the dark look. the GLO apparatus is convenient and gives me that natural whitening look..

    I enjoy this product.

  2. I used Glo for the 10 consecutive days as instructed and saw results within the first 5 days. There are people who do not know how to use this product correctly which may end in disatisfaction, please be aware that if you are using this product and continue to consume teeth staining foods/ drinks, you will not see a full result and if you cannot avoid coffee or smoking, try using a teeth whitnening toothpaste along with this product to lift surface stains. Also if you experienced lip burns its probably because you did not apply enough lip balm. As for the G-vials…ed lip burns its probably because you did not apply enough lip balm. As for the G-vials…cut them open if you cannot reach the rest and remember to refrigerate the rest.

  3. I love the glo system it works!!! And I’ve only used 5 vials. Its true not all the gel gets out but I did get enough for the 4 treatments per vial…. I just tried to stretch it. And just a little sensitivity not nearly as painful as zoom. Over all great just expensive but worth it because it whiten without harsh sensitivity. and if you follow the instruction you’ll be fine.

  4. I bought Philips Sonicare AirFloss to give it a whirl having seen ads for it at my dentists, and noting that it came with a money back guarantee if I was not satisfied with it. I compared it with other dental irrigation/flossing machines on the site and around the web, before parting with my dosh. I thought that it was worth a try, given that I found regular flossing a chore and somewhat fiddly – my teeth are quite tightly abutted in places.

    I charged the water flosser up – as advertised, this was relatively quick, with it fully charged after 4 hours – and I filled the water reservoir and prepared to give it a try, not without a degree of healthy scepticism. I was also a tad wary, having read of other reviewers who had experienced gum discomfort.

    After a few priming squirts, I positioned in my mouth as directed and – splat – my tooth and gum had been blasted, and the bathroom mirror had been splattered by the returning spray that had not been forced through the teeth. After wiping the mirror I moved on to the next tooth, this time keeping my lips closed over the back of the device, and hey-presto! The problem of the returning water spray was no longer an issue.

    I moved around my gnashers and gum line, spraying and feeling the pressure pushing through my teeth and hitting my tongue. This was not unpleasant, just a tad weird. Spitting out the residue after a few teeth had been ‘flossed’, I was pleased to see evidence of dislodged nasties from between my teeth in the basin. On closer inspection,

    I noted that my gumline and gaps between the teeth were cleaned to a standard that beat the pants off my previous attempts to manually floss.

    I chewed a disclosing tablet to give my teeth an even more focussed clean, and my mouth was soon a fetching shade of blue. I cleaned my teeth with an electric toothbrush, then rinsed.I was left with blue stains between my teeth and on the fringe of the gumline. I refilled the reservoir of the Philips (it is, as noted elsewhere, quite miniscule and only takes a couple of teaspoons of water at a time) and water flossed again. It blasted the disclosing colour from my teeth and gums, and by the time I had finished my teeth looked very clean and my gums were looking stimulated, clean and healthy.

    My own experience is that this product works, and works well. My mouthfeel and sense of dental hygiene have improved, and the small reservoir is not a problem as I clean my teeth over the sink anyway. It has fitted in to my regular dental regimen, and I find it a useful addition to it. I’ll see if the dentist notices a difference on my next visit.

    I have also found a horticultural use for it as well. My chilli plants have been suffering from an attack of scale insects, and manually removing them using damp toilet tissue was a chore to say the least. Enter the Airfloss! Placing kitchen role behind the critters to catch them in anticipation, I pressed the squirt button and watched. The joy at seeing them blasted away to be caught on the waiting tissue was, to say the least, satisfying. Perhaps Philips should market a derivative product, aimed at organic gardeners and houseplant keepers!

  5. I bought Philips Sonicare AirFloss a few months ago. It sure is a bit messy and can splash back, and yes it’s less effective for close teeth, yes the reservoir of water is a little small … but fundamentally I’ve not had to floss normally for 3 months now and my gums have stopped bleeding.

    My experience of flossing is similar to many others – I hate doing it. It’s a pain and I avoided it for weeks which gave me problems with my gums. I saw this in another store and decided to give it a try. What I found was that you need to give it a few days to get used to it.

    It’s especially easy to point it in the wrong direction which means the air/water doesn’t go through your teeth – you need to point it upwards a bit for the lower teeth and downwards a bit for the upper set. I also press the button twice for each tooth with slightly different angles and do them from the front once and behind once. That means each gap gets 4 presses. I find that’s more than enough to keep the gaps between my teeth clear of food.

    Overall this has made a surprising difference to my life. Beforehand I was finding that I was starting to get significant gum disease problems but I still didn’t floss regularly. Now I do this once a day or at least once every two days simply because it only takes 2 minutes and is a lot less of a pain.

    I’ve not tried any of the alternative and similar products, but I was impressed with this one.

  6. I like Rembrandt toothpaste. It doesn’t leave a “film” in my mouth like some other toothpastes seem to, and my teeth did become noticeably whiter after a couple of weeks.

    A big problem I have is with the tubes they are using. They are a hard plastic and it makes it difficult to squeeze the toothpaste out. Because this product is so expensive you’re going to want to get every last little bit out of the tube, but that’s incredibly difficult because of the toughness of the tube.

    Because this is 3 to 5 times more expensive per ounce than other toothpastes, if you are considering using it I would suggest you do a little research before buying. Regardless, shame on the Rembrandt people for not using better packaging in such a high-end product.

  7. I love Rembrandt toothpaste, my mouth feels refresh and I like the peroxide ingredient. Once in a while I can feel the tingly effect on my tongue due to the peroxide. Yes it is an expensive toothpaste and at first I thought these toothpaste were defects because only half full but I realize it must be due to the peroxide causing the air inside the tube. Other Rembrandt’s toothpaste aren’t like that. 😀

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