Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Caring For Our Natural Beauty! Celebrating Our Teeth!

We vintage gals strive to look our best every day. Whether it is that lovely rayon dress, those knock-em-dead platform shoes, the pretty victory rolls paired with a snood, the sultry Bettie bangs that grace our foreheads, or that sultry red lipstick that brightens our face; it is our natural beauty that truly steals the show!

Vintage or not, all of us should try to eat right, use good skincare techniques, get a good night's sleep, go see our doctor for yearly check-ups, drink at least 8 cups of water daily, exercise regularly, and take care of our teeth. No matter how perfect our hair and clothing are, a lackluster smile will overshadow our look. Even if our teeth are not “Hollywood Perfect,” having healthy teeth ensures beautiful teeth!

When I was little, my parents (especially my dad) commanded my oral health diligently through supervised brushings and a strict diet. Despite my pleas for Hostess cupcakes and Cheetohs, my mother supplied carrot and celery sticks. School mornings were welcomed with Corn Flakes and All Bran instead of Trix and Cookie Crisp. No matter how much I begged for sugar-laden cuisine, my parents stood firm. It was only during Thanksgiving and Christmas when I had the privilege of experiencing the ecstasy of brownies, cookies, pies, and cakes. And like most American kids, I also had the joy of getting free candy every Halloween. Yet, without fail, Mom and Dad tossed out my precious bounty of mini Twix, Dots, Jolly Ranchers, and Whoppers. Needless to say, the steady influx of raw veggies and wheat bread combined with my father's continual reminders to brush and floss my teeth every night proved to be elemental to my current dental health. To this day, at the age of 35, I have never had a cavity. Even though I have never been 'tortured' with a dentist's drill, I have had my fair share of 'toothy 'hijinks.'

When I was six, I had my two front teeth pulled out due to a set of 'eye teeth' coming in above them. I felt like a shark! You know, because sharks have all those extra rows of teeth? I remember feeling so scared the day my appointment came. The dentist was rude and rough. I guess his reaction was due to my histrionics. I have never been a 'good patient' when it comes to needles and/or pain. Nevertheless, the dentist and I both survived the arduous ordeal and after a couple of months, my eye teeth slid down into place.

At 14, I had a second pair of 'eye teeth' pulled. These were located above my canines. This time around, I handled the situation better and the new dentist was nicer too. Later the same year, I got braces and I wore them for about a year and a half. When I was a senior in high school, I had my lower two wisdom teeth removed (they were misaligned). Since my teeth were still under the jawbone, I was given a general anesthesia (thank goodness). After the comedic swelling subsided, I finally felt like myself again and all was well with the world.

In the years after my braces were removed and wisdom teeth taken out, my teeth have experienced no major issues. I do have to wear a dentist-made mouth guard at night because I grind my teeth in my sleep but overall, I have been lucky. In spite of my 'near tooth tranquility,' I still seek perfection through whitening technology. Whether the whitening comes in strip form or in toothpaste, I use both I use the Crest Whitening Strips (available at drug and grocery stores) once a year and I use a mild whitening toothpaste daily to maintain the brightness. I also brush three times a day (after each main meal) with a Sonicare electric toothbrush, I floss each night, use my beloved Vanilla Mint Listerine, and I get dental cleanings and check-ups twice a year.

Speaking of flossing, one of the main causes of stained teeth is plaque! Plaque builds up on the gum line and in between teeth. Flossing teeth nightly with waxed floss will help prevent staining, cavities, and gum disease. In addition, chewing sugarless gum during the day will help reduce food sticking to teeth which causes plaque. Chewing gum also increases saliva production which helps reduce bacteria that could cause cavities.

Along with the traditional methods, I try to stick to wearing blue-tone shades of red lipstick. Like many vintage girls, I wear red lipstick every day and if you wear a blue-tone shade, your teeth will look whiter. The blue tones in the lipstick help cancel out the yellow tones in teeth. Also, if you smoke, drink coffee (like me), drink dark sodas, and/or drink red wine (like me), be sure to brush your teeth afterwards. All of these elements will cause yellowing and staining of teeth.

Clothing can also help our teeth look whiter too! Bright whites can emphasize yellow tones in teeth. Off-white, eggshell, and cream tones are pretty for blouses. Wearing silver-toned jewelry instead of gold will also make teeth look whiter.

So, pretty girls, take care of your teeth and natural beauty every day! And your glamour will shine for a lifetime!

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