Tips for Scoring a Winning Smile

In recent years, I’ve been hearing more and more about spas offering teeth-whitening services, which makes a lot of sense to me. It’s a great revenue-generating option that can be performed during a facial or makeup application. It easily adds to your spa’s bottom line, and whiter teeth make clients look younger and refreshed. As such, we’re highlighting spa teeth whitening in our October issue in an article called “Show Me Your Teeth.” (Here’s hoping all you fellow Lady Gaga lovers will appreciate the reference). Be sure to keep your eye out for American Spa in October. In the meantime, I thought I would pass some great tips from Dr. Alex Gause, D.D.S., from Smile Design Manhattan, who has some handy teeth whitening tips to help keep your clients’ smiles bright as they move into fall. Be sure to pass along his suggestions.

  1. Replace your normal mouthwash with a rinse that adds a whitening benefit, or carry a whitening pen with you that can be applied after meals or drinks that may cause staining.
  2. Cool those drinks down! Sipping hot coffee leads to this major stain causing agent to sit on your teeth for a longer period of time than necessary. An alternative is to drink iced coffee, or iced tea, through a straw.  This bypasses those front teeth that you use to present your face to the world while still giving you that jolt of caffeine that you need to start your day or keep you going after lunch.
  3. Monitor your eating habits. We all know the idea that eating candy leads to cavities, but the relationship between diet and dental health is more complicated. The simple act of eating causes an increase in acidity in the oral cavity, which contributes to the breakdown of enamel. The good news is that our body, through saliva, naturally counteracts this. Eating more frequently lengthens the time that our teeth are exposed to an acidic environment, putting them more at risk of decay. The take home message—frequent snacking can cause higher risk for tooth decay.
  4. Brush before bed. Don’t fall to the temptation to just fall asleep. During the night our mouths produce less of the saliva that is our natural defense against decay and gum disease.  Forgetting to brush means plaque and bacteria have a better environment to wreak havoc on our teeth and gums.
  5. No Smoking! In our image-conscious society, smoking has recently become popular as an appetite suppressant, or in other words, a way to keep the pounds off. But this approach compromises the beauty and health of your teeth and gums in an effort to stay trim. Smoking is one of the worst contributors to surface staining that we are aware of, and is a recognized risk factor to the development of periodontal disease, a disease that eats away at your gums and bones supporting your teeth. As an alternative to cigarettes, try controlling your appetite with healthy alternative such as fruits, nuts, and water.
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