Teeth serve all kinds of practical purposes (helping us chew and letting us sip a glass of cabernet without dribbling jump to mind) — but if we’re honest, what we’re most concerned about is our pearly whites looking, well, pearly white.
With that goal in mind, we checked in with Manhattan-based dentist, Martha Cortés, DDS, and asked her to share her favorite tried-and-true products for a brighter, prettier smile. A bonus: Each of her picks gets the job done as gently as it does effectively.
Philips Sonicare 2 Series Plaque Control Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, HX6211/04
“I love Philips Sonicare because it not only removes plaque and increases gum health, it can also be used on dental work such as veneers,” says Dr. Cortés of the ultra-gentle electric brush whose stain-scrubbing bristles remove evidence of your not-so-secret latte addiction without damaging enamel. Another bonus: “The angled head design allows access to the back of the mouth, which is often missed with a non-electric toothbrush.”
Supersmile Professional Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
A little warning: Some whitening toothpastes have a dark side. While scrubbing away stains, they might also remove micro-layers of tooth enamel. “This one, however, is gentle yet effective, providing deep cleaning while also removing teeth stains,” says Dr. Cortés — leaving your smile up to six shades lighter with 70 percent less abrasion.
OraWellness HealThyMouth Blend
As much as mouthwash might seem like the ideal quick fix to freshen breath, most have alcohol — which can dry gums and actually lead to bad breath the moment that minty scent wears off — at the top of their ingredients lists. Instead, Dr. Cortés recommends DIYing your own gentler elixir by mixing a few drops of bacteria-fighting essential oil with water. “Orawellness’s organic blend of essential oils is designed to stop and reverse gum disease,” she explains.
Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Whitestrips
“This product provides an illuminating smile boost,” notes Dr. Cortés of her favorite whitening strips, which remove 14 years worth of stains in just under of three weeks when you use them a half-hour a day.
GLO Brilliant Teeth Whitening Device
Even quicker than strips, “this heat activated whitening device provides long-lasting results,” says Dr. Cortés — and in under eight minutes a day for five days. It might not be cheap, but the dentist-designed device harnesses the same light technology that the pros use in-office.
Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Dental Floss
“I love this floss because it’s a naturally waxed, alcohol-free cleansing tool made with pure antiseptic tea tree oil,” shares Dr. Cortés, fighting bacteria responsible for everything from less-than-approachable breath to a mouthful of cavities.
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