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Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?

From first dates and job interviews, to the never ending selfie parade, our smile generates the biggest initial impact as to how we are perceived. Add on the fact that when Match.com interviewed 5,000 singles, over half said teeth are the most important characteristic when choosing someone to date, you have ample reason to want a winning smile.

Read more: 10 Benefits of Whiter Teeth

We girlies all know it’s either lips or eyes when applying makeup, but if you choose the eye option because you want to direct attention away from your less than white pearlies, what can you do? If your smile is more Mona Lisa than Julia Roberts, is there any way to improve matters?  Your genes plus the nutrition you received whilst growing up will have had an effect on your jaw structure and arrangement of your second set of teeth, but in this day and age no one needs to be imprisoned by discoloration.

How to Gain the Gleam  

Various toothpaste manufacturers have long enticed us with the promise that using their product will bestow that sparkling mega watt smile of confidence. Should this fail to deliver the desired results, there are many and varied cosmetic dentistry treatments available: bleaching, veneers, laminates, or ultimately, the capping option. Which to choose depends either on your bank account or your willingness to go through pain to gain. Suppose there was an easier way? A way that did not cause underlying damage to the root, nerves or tissue of the tooth, which many conventional dentistry treatments do in fact disturb.

Back at the ranch, home remedies have over the years flung up ways to whiten teeth that include, brushing with bicarbonate of soda, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice, either separately or combined.  If you have ever tried them you will no doubt have found some brightening properties. Yet they lack one crucial factor: The power of the pull.

The New Old

Trending for a few years now in the Western world, but never out of fashion from where it originated, is the new tooth cool: Coconut oil.

It is indeed a magical oil worthy of our due respect, but it is the manner in which it is used, and the reasoning behind this, that brings about the whiter tooth effect, namely: Oil Pulling.

Some in the mainstream cosmetic dentistry field refer to the process of oil pulling as a folk remedy. A tad derogatory, given it is actually from the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. The same Ayurveda that is so carefully interwoven into our yoga bunny lives.

As Ayurvedic practitioner John Doulliard explains:

“Oil Pulling got its name from the ‘pulling’ or cleansing effect oils have when applied to the skin. Oils are lipophilic, meaning they attract other oils and fat soluble toxins, ‘pulling’ them out from any surface an oil is introduced to. This amazing property to chelate, or pull, toxins out of the body has been employed for centuries during classical Ayurvedic detox therapies.”

Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antimicrobial, therefore sloshing and swishing this, up and down, in and out between your teeth, is the ultimate health treat you can give your mouth. It cleans so effectively because of its fluid nature, enabling it to reach all the tiny gaps, crevices and folds of skin in the mouth. It cleans up plaque, which in turn brings about a whitening effect. Plus regular use will erase tooth stains from those foods we hate to love: green or black tea, black coffee, and red wine.

How to Use Coconut Oil

Pull with it

Simply put 1 teaspoonful in your mouth and swish around for 10 to 20 minutes. Do not swallow. Spit out down the loo or out in the garden. It is an oil that solidifies, so it could block your sink after time.

Massage with it

As we know, our gums anchor our teeth, and are prone to all sorts of minuscule bacteria, massaging these with coconut oil will promote gum health.

Brush with it

Combined with a little bicarb of soda to mimic the feel of standard toothpastes, you can gently brush your teeth with it - for those of you cringing at the thought of an oily mouth.

Cook with it

There are countless benefits to consuming coconut oil, from weight loss to anti   ageing.  It is the most stable oil at high temps, meaning it will not oxidize and cause  those free radicals to party in your body. Taking it internally and applying externally maximizes the magic.

Strip or Pull

If you don’t fancy having a mouth full of oil every day, or if you don’t have the patience to wait months to see results, another option you could try is coconut oil whitening strips. Our gentle, coconut oil and activated charcoal infused strips are fast, easy and a great idea for people with sensitive teeth, as well as those that want a whitening product but are looking for something a little lighter in the chemical department.

Taking advantage of the same benefits gained by coconut oil pulling, the strips work faster and are just a teensy bit less yuck. They can also be used for stubborn stains or quick fixes when you don’t have time to wait for the oil pulling to slowly whiten your teeth.


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8 Ways to Celebrate National Brush Your Teeth Day

The day after Halloween is often celebrated for its huge sales on unsold candy. But before you rush off to Target to stock up on caramels, did you know November 1st is also National Brush Your Teeth Day?

While slightly less exciting than half off chocolate bars, National Brush Your Teeth Day comes at the perfect time of year to talk about dental hygiene.  Whether you’ve eaten your share of the Halloween goodies, or you’ve chugged red wine just to get you through the costume party madness, your teeth have likely taken a ghoulish beating this Halloween season. Step away from the plastic pumpkin and check out these fun ways you can celebrate National Brush Your Teeth Day and erase that candy-coated guilt.

1. Treat Yourself to A New Toothbrush

Did you know it’s suggested you change your toothbrush every 3 months to keep germs at bay? If you can’t remember when you bought the toothbrush you’re using, it might be time to upgrade. Try something electric like an Oral-B to really knock out the damage done by your Halloween binging.

2. Sip Green Tea Instead of Coffee

You may think you need that dark, caffeine loaded goodness to wake you up after a night of celebrations, but a nice mug of green tea can also do the trick. Besides its energizing properties, scientists have found that green tea can actually reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth and freshen your breath.

3. Plan a Spa Day for Your Teeth

It is a holiday after all. Why not make some time to spoil yourself with an at-home teeth whitening kit? Relax with a good book or find someone to give you a massage as you let whitening strips undo the damage. Self-care is an important tactic for surviving the stress of the holiday season. Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself and your smile.

4. Share a Smiling Selfie

Brush Your Teeth Day is definitely one of the lesser-known holidays on the calendar but confidence and body positivity are always trending. Show some love for yourself and your gorgeous smile with a joyful selfie. Tag it with #BrushYourTeethDay to show your support for dental hygiene and flaunt those pearly whites.

5. Drink Fruit Infused Water

It’s hard to make sure you get the recommended amount of water into your daily drinking habits. Coffee and sodas may be tastier, but they can take a serious toll on the health and on the appearance of your smile. Make a one-day commitment to drink healthy, fruit infused water to help curb those sugary, staining habits. Try some cucumber slices, frozen grapes, lemon wedges, or strawberries and mint to add color and taste to your water.

6. Make A Snack That’s Smile Worthy

Sugars and sticky treats are known to lead to cavities and other dental nightmares. Try filling your plate with a snack your smile will thank you for. Make yourself a healthy meal including crunchy vegetables and calcium rich items such as nuts, cheeses, and fresh greens. Not only will these foods help you feel amazing, they will also help build up your enamel and fight gum disease.

7. Invest In A Water Pick

We all know the shame that comes with answering the dentist’s favorite question. No, you probably haven’t been flossing regularly but maybe investing in a water pick will motivate you to begin. Finding a quality water pick you enjoy can add an extra burst of clean to your daily hygiene routine. If you’ve tried flossing before and found it uncomfortable or difficult to manage, a water pick is perfect for you.

 8. Swap Your Red White For White

There’s a reason you always see red wine in those late-night carpet cleaning infomercials. The drink is one of the leading causes of teeth staining and shares an equal amount of guilt with our beloved coffee. If you’re a wine lover, consider making the occasional switch to white wine. With fewer stain causing food items in your diet, your teeth are sure to see an increase in brilliance.

However you choose to celebrate it, #NationalBrushYourTeethDay is a great reminder to start thinking about taking care of your body as we approach the holiday season. Not only is your smile an important part of your overall health, it also is the first feature you’ll notice when you start getting tagged in all those holiday party photos.  We all want to look our best, and have something to smile about. Following these eight simple tips can help you celebrate your smile and have a happy holiday season.

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Halloween makeup: What's on trend for 2016

Each year there are common themes that emerge, and makeup artists use this opportunity to show off their intricate makeup skills. Of course, this year is no different, with a roll out of gruesome horror glam, evil Disney characters, to fun flirty looks involving illusions of melting, candy and sugar as well as ice-cream girls.

Sugar Girls

Girls just wanna have fun, especially when it involves the need to dress up, choosing an outfit and of course – deciding on how to do your makeup. Your Halloween doesn’t have to involve a dark or gruesome look. Why not chuck on a pastel coloured wig and have a play with your makeup collection and turn into a cute ice-cream girl? Melting looks and candy and sugar inspired tutorials are exploding all over YouTube for Halloween, and the best part is you don’t need a steady hand to apply that sugar! Desi Perkins does a great take on a melting ice-cream girl, which can be adapted to add in your own personal touch with actual candy or sugar. Our selection consists of a few of the most noteworthy tutorials and photos in this niche genre so your look will certainly be getting all the attention.

Keep in mind that both melting candy inspired makeup and gore inspired looks combined together are also at the top of the Halloween makeup list this year. You can pull a few things out from your pantry such as hundreds and thousands, and instead of putting them on top of cupcakes, use them on your eyebrows! Adding SPX makeup to only certain parts of your face such as one cheek, jaw line or neck will help you nail a “sugarfiend” look. Popular US YouTuber Nicole Guerriero created a Sugarfiend, candy killer look. The tutorial is a great example of how you can combine both cute and girly elements with dark gore.

Zombie Glam

If you are the type of girl who loves her gore and horror and doesn’t mind getting a bit nitty gritty when in search of a potential costume, then zombie like glam is for you. Everyone is getting on the half-face trend, meaning you don’t have to cover your whole face in prosthetics; there is always the option to leave your eyes out to show off fluttery lashes, or give yourself some sultry lips (whilst the other part of you is oozing fake blood).

Check out this zombie glam tutorial by loved by all Lauren Curtis, who demonstrates a great example of how you can still look glamorously gory. If you are a beginner, or not confident, in using prosthetics and still want to achieve a gore look check out Shani Grimmond’s beginner Bloody Mary tutorial which doesn’t use any prosthetic materials. The only special effects item is blood gel.

Have a look a few of our favourite examples when it comes to gory horror makeup looks ranging from those who are beginners to advance SFX makeup junkies.

Evil Disney

If you aren’t thrilled about getting (fake) blood on your hands, but still want to achieve that sassy mystical look we’ve got you covered. Evil Disney queens and characters are some of the most popular go to’s for this Halloween. It looks difficult to achieve, but follow this tutorial by Amanda Ensing to get the face of Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat. Don’t forget, it’s all in the details; you can sculpt out triangles with black nail polish, to give you the illusion of claw like nails. If you want to add a different spin on Cheshire Cat makeup, have a look at our top picks below.

Each Halloween, a handful of evil queens seem to rule. This year Snow White and the seven dwarfs’ Evil Queen, and Cruella De Vil are wearing the Halloween crown.  Take inspiration from Jaclyn Hill’s interpretation of this evil queen to get that flawless stand-out-from-the crowd look. Jaclyn’s tutorial is easy to achieve, and if you aren’t too confident with winged liner (or any liner in general) don’t forget to utilise some scotch tape. As mentioned in Jaclyn’s video, try using a flat top brush for the lower lash line to ace the sharp, tight look.

There is plenty of ways to modify your makeup look, because Halloween is about becoming anything. Remember that dark makeup is all the more impressive when contrasted by luminous white teeth (especially when seen at night!). Make sure your efforts aren’t let down by dull, yellow fangs. To ensure your teeth are as neon white as the Cheshire Cat’s give ‘em a quick once over with our whitening kits or strips.

Stay on trend by designing your own creation with our top 3 main trends: horror glam, evil Disney queens and characters, and melting candy inspired adaptations.

Happy Halloween!

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5 Ways Every Guy Can Improve His Appearance

When it comes to guys and their personal appearance, no detail is too small.  There was a time when manly men poked fun at those who had a few extra skincare products in their medicine cabinet.  Today, the men’s grooming industry is a $21 billion global business. Numerous research studies have confirmed that poor personal appearance can have a negative impact on various aspects of your life from professional success to finding a life partner.  If you feel like your look is falling a little flat, don’t head to the mall to spend all your money on new clothes.  There’s a lot more to enhancing personal appearance than what’s on your back.

1. Change your skincare routine

A lot of guys think a bar of soap and some water is all they need for their skincare regime but they’re actually putting their skin in danger.  In addition to stripping their skin of its natural moisture, they aren’t thoroughly removing dirt and dead skin cells.  They also aren’t taking steps to protect their skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays, as well as other free radicals.

The first thing guys need to do is determine their skin type. Likely, you’ll have either normal, oily, dry/sensitive, or combination skin. Once you know this, you need to select a cleanser that’s designed for your specific skin type. This is important because you’ll avoid removing too much moisture.  Your skin’s natural oil, or sebum, is what helps fight off the effects of aging and stimulate new skin cell growth.  You’ll also need a moisturizer with an SPF 15 for the daytime and a rehydrating cream for the night time. Your skin does its most aggressive repair work overnight.

If you’re really into mastering your routine, pick up some toning pads. These pads are best used after cleansing your face as they help to ensure that you’ve removed every speck of dirt.  Clean pores mean you’ll avoid the buildup that causes acne.  For those rare pimples keep a mild spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide handy and at least twice a week use a gentle exfoliating wash for a deeper clean.  Focusing on your skincare ensures you have healthy, glowing skin - a must to achieve your best look.

2. Invest in teeth whitening

The foods and liquids you consume on a daily basis might be good for your body but they can cause damage to your teeth.  Let’s face it - you use your teeth every single day and, like anything you use on a daily basis, they suffer from normal wear and tear.  Especially for those guys who are heavy coffee, tea, or wine drinkers, yellowing or browning of the teeth can become problematic.  Teeth whitening is a safe and effective method to reverse the darkening effects and restore your original pearly white smile.

3. Lift weights on a regular basis

Lifting weights at least three times a week has been scientifically proven to make you look better and improve the quality of your life.  On the surface, you’ll burn excess fat and pack on lean muscle. Of course, this will help you look great in your clothes no matter what you’re wearing, but regular exercise also releases endorphins which improve your mood, and your lifting sessions help you get better shuteye every night.  Not only will you look better, you’ll also be a happier, more well rested person.

4. Keep your beard in check

Beard culture has permeated popular culture for good.  Many fashion critics refer to this period as “peak beard”. It’s likely that you currently have a beard or plan on testing the waters at some point in the near future. If you do, don’t just let your beard grow wild without intervention.  To keep the hair soft and healthy, invest in a great beard oil.  It’ll help keep your beard and the skin underneath moisturized.  You’ll need to use a beard wash or shampoo every other day to get rid of the crumbs and grime and you’ll still need to visit the barber every couple weeks to make sure you’re trimming off unhealthy growth and keeping everything in order. 

If you aren’t planning on growing a beard, think about this: a study from the Journal of Evolutionary Biology revealed that women found men with facial hair more attractive, masculine, and capable of protecting them. It’s worth your consideration.

Read more: Biggest Men's Grooming Trends

5. Change your diet

Your body reflects the quality of the fuel you put in it.  If you have a daily trip to McDonald’s on your schedule, you might want to reconsider.  Lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and plenty of water will help improve the condition of your skin, fight off unwanted weight gain, and give you more energy to conquer the day.  For extra effect, invest in a probiotic supplement or natural drink like kefir to make sure your gut bacteria stays in fighting shape.

Improving your appearance isn’t just some frivolous experiment. With these five tips, you can make long-lasting adjustments that will change your life for the better - for good.

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A Fun Look at the History of Dental Hygiene

October is both National Dental Hygiene and National Orthodontic Health Month so we thought what better way to celebrate and raise awareness than with a look back at how scary oral care used to be.

A Tooth Puller – oil on canvas by Jan Steen circa 1625

A Fun Look at the History of Dental Hygiene

We all know the routine: brush your teeth after every meal, floss as often as possible, and get regular dental checkups. While this is the modern guide to dental hygiene, it wasn’t always that way. The history of oral care shows just how far we’ve come, and how important it is to keep those pearly whites clean.

A Long, LONG Time Ago…

Some people think that dental hygiene is a modern concern, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. As far back as 5000 BC people were talking about tooth problems. Historians found references to “tooth worms” that decayed teeth in an ancient Sumerian text. While the image is, well, less than appealing shall we say, it shows how impactful dental hygiene has always been.

Since modern humans came into existence, teeth have been an extremely critical part of our anatomy. We need our teeth to stay healthy and strong to ensure we can properly chew and consume the food we require to keep our bodies running. Without even realizing it humans also rely on oral aesthetics such as straight, white teeth to help us succeed in school, work and love (more about that in our next exciting post!).

We’ve Come a Long Way

Image Source: harddawn.com

Over the years every culture tried to come up with ways to combat oral health problems. Imagine getting a toothache before modern medicine was invented! As the medical profession’s advanced, so did the ability to care for dental problems with more effective solutions. However, the “Father of Modern Dentistry” didn’t appear until 1723 when French surgeon, Pierre Fauchard began developing the field into what it is today.

Even though dentistry saw a lot of advancements beginning in the early 1700’s, there were still some pretty frightening tools being used. The Smithsonian has a great blog post with pictures of some early tools that dentists used to work on patients. If you’ve ever taken a peek at the shiny tray of instruments that your dentist uses when you visit, you might even recognize some of the predecessors to those tools in the post!

Image Source: americanhistory.si.edu

Dental Care for the Modern Age

Can you picture a world without toothbrushes? It might seem like they’ve always been around, but the modern toothbrush wasn’t even invented until 1938 and some of the first toothpastes included chalk and soap. Soap and chalk sound pretty unpleasant, especially now that we have delicious mint and cinnamon flavored toothpastes to use every day.

There’s Science to Back It Up

Oral care isn’t just a ploy to sell more toothpaste. A 2015 study conducted by the Japan Dental Association summarizes it best, “Moreover, research has made it clear that dental and oral health has the potential to maintain and improve systemic health status.” In fact, the report delves extensively into the ways that dental hygiene can impact a patient’s recovery from surgery. If you think that keeping your teeth clean won’t have much of an impact on your body’s ability to heal, think again! All of your systems are interconnected, and the report explains that while your body is healing from surgical procedures it’s critical to maintain proper oral hygiene. Otherwise, you risk developing complications or even infections that can cause huge problems as your body attempts to recover.

Read more: What are your teeth saying about you and your health

What Is “Good” Oral Hygiene?

The Mayo Clinic goes as far as to call your oral health “A window to your overall health.” There are so many conditions that can be impacted by your dental care that it’s important to maintain the highest levels of cleanliness possible. How can you do that? Luckily, England’s NHS put together a handy guide to help you stay on-top of your dental care. They recommend the following (of course talk to a dentist first before following a new medical care routine):

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes (enough time to clean the surface of each tooth) just before bed and at one other time during the day.
  • Use a toothpaste with the appropriate fluoride concentration.
  • Don’t rinse your mouth right after brushing your teeth, it’ll wash away all of the fluoride.
  • Mouthwashes can help strengthen teeth, but follow the no rinsing rule to make sure the fluoride isn’t rinsed off.
  • Flossing is important to prevent both gum disease and bad breath.

Following these tips can help keep your teeth and gums from getting infections, not to mention keep your breath smelling sweet. However, if history is any indication, there will probably be updates and revisions to these best practices as dentistry makes advancements and medical care evolves.

Read more: How to get into a positive dental care routine

So there you have it, dental care is just as important as your parents always told you. It’ll keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life, and help you to maintain good overall health. We can consider ourselves lucky that dentistry and knowledge of dental care has come as far as it has over the centuries. Now it is simpler than ever to prevent those nasty “tooth worms” and keep your teeth strong and clean.

Now Get Cleaning!

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