Remember when your teeth were white? Al Bundy was on TV sticking his hand down his pants, a high-tech video game consisted of 16-bit graphics, and Arnold Schwarzenegger was an action hero instead of an adulterer.
Ah, those were the days.
But you can reclaim your past glory of having white teeth. Many things that strip the white from your chompers — drinking coffee, tea, colas, wines, and smoking or chewing tobacco — can be combatted with the right whitening toothpaste. Before emptying your wallet on an expensive whitening procedure, give the cheaper alternative a shot first. And if your teeth still suffer from jaundice when the tube is empty, so what. You still would have brushed your teeth anyway … we hope.
Colgate Total Whitening ($5)
If your bad breath bothers others as much as the color of your teeth bothers you, Colgate’s Total Whitening may be a good pickup. It’s the only FDA approved toothpaste to help prevent gum disease, and its whitening formula uses a dual silica technology designed to eliminate stains and prevent against the formation of new ones. The 12-hour germ-fighting formula reduces up to 90 percent of bacteria that causes gingivitis, bleeding gums, and dragon breath. But be warned: silica-based toothpastes like Total Whitening can cause more add sensitivity to your teeth, so be weary if you’re prone to screaming bloody murder every time you sip ice water.
Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste ($6)
Are you the sensitive type? Not the pump Kenny G. through your iPod while pondering life’s meaning as your read Wallace Stevens poems kind of sensitive, but the type of guy who has teeth so sensitive that to breathe is to suffer tooth pain? Not only is Sensodyne toothpaste the best, most-highly doctor recommended toothpaste for sensitive teeth, it also helps build a fortress against the effects of acidic erosion from drinking wine, soda, and coffee. The acid wears down enamel, which weakens the tooth and strips it of its natural white color. Even for dudes who hate math, this equation is simple to follow: stronger enamel + less erosion = whiter, healthier teeth.