5 Ways to a happy smile

Get a happy smile

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Happy and healthy - your smile says a lot! Get it gleaming with simple tips to light up your grin.

A happy smile is bright and healthy, and lights up your face. Get grinning with a few tips to amp up the volume on your beaming smile!

1Color it!

Choose the right shade of lipstick. Teeth with a yellowish tone look instantly whiter if you wear lipstick in a shade with a bit of blue in it. Grey tooth tones are brightened when you choose a coral or rose lipstick. You can take the focus away from a gummy smile with a neutral lipstick that is just a single shade darker than your natural lip color.

2Lighten it!

Keep stains away, even when you drink coffee or hot tea - just add a little milk! There are bleaching kits available for at-home use: buy and use over-the-counter brands, or get one from your dentist. Using them for as little as an hour every day for a few weeks can make a noticable difference. For more stubborn stains, or the dulling effects of certain medications incluing tetracycline, opt for a power-bleaching treatment from your dental professional.

3Loosen up!

De-stress your smile. A full quarter of women grind their teeth. The simple solution is to have your dentist fit you with a mouth guard and eliminate the wear constant grinding can cause.

4Brush it off!

When you brush, don't neglect your gums or tongue. Pay extra attention to your gums when you're pregnant. Mothers-to-be are at risk for early stages of gum disease due to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies. Women with diabetes or osteoporosis are also more vulnerable to gum diseases. Cleaning your tongue will eliminate odor-causing bacteria. Use a good toothbrush or a plastic tongue scraper. A spin-style toothbrush gently stimulates the gums, reaches between gaps in teeth and into back mouth areas, and thoroughly cleans your entire mouth. Forgot your toothbrush? Chomp on a crisp apple or carrot and get mouth juices flowing for a natural cleanse.

5Soften up!

Soften your lips and get rid of peeling skin by regularly exfoliating with a washcloth or toothbrush. Cracked lips are uncomfortable and accentuate prominent gums or staining, making your mouth appear older. After you've exfoliated, smooth on a lip balm or moisturizing gloss, and always keep those lips hydrated.

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate station. Deciding to switch gears and write fulfilled a lifelong ambition. She started as a blogger for a diverse group of businesses, and now writes for a number of websites for companies in her hometown in the Rocky Mountains, and provides advertising copy and media buying for national and regional clients. She finds the research as interesting as the writing, learning about subjects as diverse as construction scaffolding, child safety seats, and newest trends in beauty and fashion. As a long-time devotee of SheKnows, she’s thrilled to see her own work on the pages.