Everyone wants that dazzling smile but unlike our favourite movie stars, we don't have the funds for a professional teeth whitening session or cosmetic veneers.
One of the hottest teeth whitening trends of recent years is charcoal toothpaste that's been dubbed the natural way to make your teeth gleam and rid them of toxins, but does it actually work? We chatted to one of Australia's leading dental hygienists Tabitha Acret to get the facts.
Turns out those charcoal toothpastes are a fad.
"Though the advertising claims it works wonders, the scientific research shows that there is no evidence to support any 'whitening effect' and that some brands are quite abrasive and may even cause damage to your teeth," Tabitha explains.
But there are ways that will not only make your smile brighter, but improve the health of your teeth. And it all starts with brushing.
"Everyone from children to adults should brush their teeth twice a day once in the morning and once before bed for at least two minutes each," says Tabitha.
"The nighttime brush is the most important as our saliva flow reduces at night. We lose the protective factor that saliva creates and our teeth become more vulnerable to the acids and bacteria that are in our mouths."
Not only can this help avoid yellow, discoloured teeth and bad breath, but regular brushing will help to fight against gum disease, bleeding gums, decay and infections that can cause discomfort and pain.
And for those of us who love a coffee or a red wine, have a mouthful of water afterwards to rinse the staining residue off your teeth.
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Tabitha also says it's important to visit your dentist for regular cleaning to remove staining.
"Check whether your dental practice uses the AIRFLOW Dental Spa, a non-contact form of dental cleaning featuring a jet of warm water, fine powder, and air."
I myself gave the Airflow treatment at Macquarie Street Dental a go and not only did I notice how bright my smile was and how clean it felt instantly, but the warm water was perfect for my sensitive teeth.