How to achieve a picture-perfect smile for the holidays

Dr. Gary Vance

| 3 min read

No one wants to look in the mirror and realize their once pearly whites now more closely resemble a shade of yellow. Similarly, no one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on teeth whitening procedures either. The good news is you can achieve a brighter smile without breaking your pocketbook.
Cutting down on a few of your favorite drinks can significantly help put a stop to the staining. Three culprits to particularly watch out for are coffee, tea and soda. But if your morning coffee is a must, or you can’t bear to go through the day without your favorite soda, there are few simple steps to keep in mind to prevent beverages from ruining your white smile:
  • Remember to rinse your mouth out with water right after consuming any of these drinks. Taking the extra effort to wash these stains while they are still “fresh” can go a long way in helping you achieve your desired results.
  • Straws can be your mouth’s best friend and can significantly reduce the effects of these staining beverages.
  • Other offenders to limit in order to achieve a picture-perfect smile include soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, wine and berries.
Maintaining a clean and healthy smile can also help counteract any yellow hues that try to come through. Brushing your teeth daily is an important step to not only a white smile, but also a healthy mouth. However, don’t get carried away. Despite what many may think, bearing down hard or using a hard-bristled brush won’t get rid of stains any faster and can be harmful to your mouth. According to research, a light touch with a soft bristle brush can get the job done just as well and can prevent grooves from being created on the root surfaces of your teeth as a result of brushing too hard. Incorporating whitening toothpastes into your daily routine can also be an easy way to remove any surface stains that have built up over time. When using any whitening product such as whitening toothpaste, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance — your assurance the product you are using has met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.
If you’re a Blue Dental member and looking to brighten your smile for the holidays, Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan partners with Crest® and Oral-B® to offer exclusive, significant discounts (up to 40 percent off) to members on oral care products, including a variety of whitening and cleaning products such as the Oral-B ProfessionalCare 5000 SmartSeries Patient System and the Crest & Oral-B ProfessionalCare 3000 Whitening System. In addition to great discounts, shipping and handling is free through the Blue Dental discount program.
For more information:
  • Log in to Member Secured Services at
  • Click on the Health and wellness tab.
  • Click on the Discount Services tab on the left.
  • Click on Exclusive discounts on Crest® and Oral-B® dental care products.
  • View the different product packages and select the one that is right for you.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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