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How to make your teeth look whiter (without professional whitening)

Listerine® logo Listerine® 20/07/2015 Hugh Wilson

© Digital Vision, Getty Images Think of all the coffees you’ve drunk, cigarettes you’ve smoked (if you do), and late-night snacks you’ve consumed and it’s no surprise that the state of your teeth, like your skin, can be an outward reflection of your lifestyle. In the case of teeth it’s not spots that you have to worry about of course, but a gradual staining that can turn a bright white smile into something a lot less attractive.

But while this staining is common, it isn’t inevitable. Here’s how to keep your teeth looking shiny white without professional whitening.

Natural wear and tear?

Tooth staining happens due to a whole variety of factors, says Blackburn-based dentist Dr Mayank Morar, one of which is simply the hard work we put them through.

“Teeth are made of enamel and dentine - the enamel is very translucent, the dentine is a darker, more yellow colour,” Dr Morar explains. “Through natural wear and tear, acid erosion or aggressive tooth brushing, the enamel can become thin and then the underlying colour will shine through.”

When teeth yellow in this way it is called an intrinsic stain. There are also extrinsic stains, which come from the consumption of, among other things, tea, coffee, red wine, heavily coloured fruit (think blueberries and pomegranates) and heavily pigmented foods like turmeric-rich curries. Most of us know that smoking can cause teeth to become yellow and stained too.

© Purestock, Getty Images Keep stains at bay

So the first strategy in the war against stained teeth is to stop smoking and reduce your consumption of the food and drink that causes staining.

Secondly, make sure that you adopt a thorough oral hygiene regime at all times. Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can reduce stains by fighting plaque. Plaque is a hard and sticky substance that builds up on teeth and gives stains something to hold on to.

Add white

As well as keeping yellow stains at bay, it’s also possible to actively whiten teeth. A whitening toothpaste and a good mouthwash, like Listerine’s new Advanced White mouthwash, can help to lift tough stains and to keep your teeth bright and white. Make sure you read the label and follow the instructions.

Dentists also say that a twice yearly visit to the dental hygienist can help ensure a dazzling white smile.

Make-up for whiter teeth

It’s also true that make-up can help lift your smile to make it sparkle. Using a soft-tone bronzer and cool-toned eye shadow can both help to make your smile more dazzling, according to the beauty experts at Cosmopolitan. But it’s your lipstick that matters most. A punchy plum colour, for example, will counteract any light yellow stains on teeth. 

There’s nothing inevitable about stained teeth. Good oral hygiene, coupled with a few easy tips and tricks, can help keep your smile shining brightly, whatever your lifestyle. 

LISTERINE® Advanced White is clinically proven to whiten teeth in just two weeks - and to do so better than brushing alone*.

LISTERINE® Advanced White is available in all major retailers across the UK. To find out more about LISTERINE® products visit

Dr Mayank Morar does not endorse any specific brand or product and has no relationship with the sponsor.

*vs a standard fluoride toothpaste

This content is promoted by LISTERINE® from Johnson & Johnson.

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