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A smile is one of the first things men notice about a woman and nothing will pump the brakes on a man wanting to get to know you like a mouthful of yellow brick roads.

Considering how much time and money we put into picking out the right shade of lipstick or gloss, there’s no reason what’s behind our lips shouldn’t be on point as well. There’s nothing to make a popping lip deflate like yellow teeth, and making sure your mouth is full of pearly whites should be as much a part of your beauty routine as washing your makeup off at night.

It doesn’t take a lot to keep your teeth white if they’re already in pretty good shape. Brushing twice a day with a whitening toothpaste, flossing after meals, and gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash can keep plaque from building up on your teeth, which leads to discoloration. Avoiding staining liquids like dark sodas, coffee, and tea are also important if you want to maintain a Kodak smile over the years.

For most of us, though, we could use a little help in the whitening area and luckily there are plenty of low-cost, over-the-counter products that can help us avoid the always unsexy yellow yuck mouth. From whitening strips and mouth washes and gels—these products promise whiter and brighter teeth in as little as two hours, with definite results seen after a month or so. An even cheaper alternative that you can easily add to your oral care regimen is gargling with peroxide (the ingredient in most whitening products) after each brush. Mixing a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into baking soda and brushing is even more effective.

More than just being aesthetically unpleasing, poor oral hygiene can also affect your overall health. Failing to properly remove bacteria inside your mouth can lead to gum disease, infections, tooth loss and decay, and even heart disease, and there’s nothing cute about that. If you want to make sure your smile is always camera ready and your oral health is all good—make it a point to keep those teeth white.

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  • Arcy

    DANG Lohan, did your BBQ get cancelled? :|

    • Alicen

      LMAO!!!

  • OSHH

    I brush with peroxide daily and floss.