beauty

The 9 easiest (and surprising) ways to get clean, bright teeth.

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Forget your perfectly applied liquid liner or your freshly painted nails – it’s actually your teeth that are the first thing someone looks at when meeting you for the first time. In fact, around 75 per cent of all communication in general focuses on on the triangle between your two eyes and your smile.

While people have been trying everything from oil pulling to brushing our teeth with charcoal to achieve a dazzling grin, there are some cheap things you can do at home that are way more effective.

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1. Use a soft brush

Dr Alex Huszti of Belle Dental explains that cleaning your teeth should be treated in the same way you’d polish your car.

“It’s important to have a clean base to start off with and be soft and gentle,” he says.

“I recommend using a very, very soft brush and toothpaste that has a little bit of cut in it. An extra soft brush has bristles that flex which means they can really get in to the nooks and crannies of your teeth, doing a lot of the work for you. The softer the better. (Post continues after gallery.)

2. Use a soft brush

Dr Alex Huszti of Belle Dental explains that cleaning your teeth should be treated in the same way you’d polish your car.

“It’s important to have a clean base to start off with and be soft and gentle,” he says.

“I recommend using a very, very soft brush and toothpaste that has a little bit of cut in it. An extra soft brush has bristles that flex which means they can really get in to the nooks and crannies of your teeth, doing a lot of the work for you. The softer the better.”

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“The idea is to be gentle because if you’re rubbing too hard, you’ll scrub your gums away and then – aside from painful surgery which I’m sure is no one’s idea of fun- they’re gone for good,” he says.

3. Brush your teeth before eating

Dr Chris van Tulleken told The Telegraph that you should brush your teeth before breakfast.

“If you clean your teeth within an hour of eating, you will brush off your enamel,” he says.

“After a meal, drinking a glass or water or chewing sugar-free gum will restore your dental pH levels.”

4. Brush teeth twice daily

According to Dr Michael Finklestein, Dentist at Dental at Chatswood, you should be brushing, flossing AND rinsing with mouthwash twice daily.

“A whitening mouth wash in addition to daily brushing and flossing can increase the cleanliness of your mouth and make sure stains are cleaned away,” he says.

“Look for a mouthwash formulated with fluoride, as this will help strengthen teeth while whitening at the same time – I always recommend Listerine.”

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5. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months.

"Replace your toothbrush or change the head of your electric brush at least every two to three months," advises Dr Finklestein.

"Otherwise you're just transferring bacteria around your mouth."

6. Wash your mouth out with fresh water

If you do experience stains, Dr Finklestein recommends washing your mouth out with water throughout the day.

"Swishing your mouth with fresh water throughout the day can help remove particles from the mouth, and is particularly good after eating sugary substances as it helps dissolve and remove sugars that can get stuck between teeth," he says.

"It's also great to quickly do after consuming dark-coloured food and beverages such as red wine or coffee to avoid tooth staining."

7. Chew sugar-free gum.

According to Dr Huszti, keeping sugar-free gum on hand is an easy way to help keep teeth clean throughout the day.

"Look out for ones that include the naturally occurring artificial sweetener xylitol. It modifies the bugs and bacteria in your mouth from an aggressive type to a less aggressive type which helps reduce acid levels in the mouth," he says.

Although here is such thing as too-white teeth, as Ross discovered...

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8. Wear lipstick.

Need results fast? Dr Finklestein says your favourite lipstick can do the trick.

"For a quick fix on a night out, lipstick colours can also help give the illusion of whiter teeth. Lips shades such as red and bright pinks can help teeth appear whiter and brighter. (Post continues after gallery.)

9. Try to avoid foods that stain your teeth

"How bad your teeth get stained really comes down to personal chemistry," says Dr Huszti. Some people aren't affected by staining from coffee, while others just have to look at a bottle of red wine to get stains."

"Ideally, if you want white teeth stick to a white diet, i.e a diet of food that's not rich in colour. However a lot of healthy foods do have colour, so that's why cleaning is so important."

We'll take cleaning over banishing coloured food any day...

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Do you enjoy or dread going to the dentist? What are your tips for easy ways to keep your teeth white?