Valentine’s Day is almost here! Whether you have a romantic date planned, a cocktail party for singles, or you intend to spend the evening with some littler valentines, you probably want to look your very best. Nothing makes you glow more than a confident smile, so here are five steps to a sparkling one you can enjoy all day (and all night) long!

Step #1: Start with the Right Tools

When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Did you know that most toothbrushes will need to be changed out every three to four months? Make sure you’re using a toothbrush with healthy, upright bristles—if they look splayed or frayed, they’re probably ready to be retired. Frayed bristles won’t do a very good job of scrubbing teeth clean, which means stains and plaque are more likely to set in. Also, be sure that you’re flossing at least once a day to keep bad breath and cavities at bay. Want a little extra assurance? Try using a dentist-recommended mouthwash, like Listerine.

Step #2: Try Whitening

Having your teeth whitened is like getting a brand new, super-flattering outfit. It can change everything! The best option is to go to your dentist for a professional whitening job. However, if you’re in a pinch for time or funds, you can try an at-home kit. The results won’t be as lasting or as impressive, but it will help. If you’re going to go DIY, it’s a very good idea to consult your dentist first. They will be able to recommend a kit that is both safe and effective for you. Be sure to follow instructions carefully and don’t leave the product on longer than recommended. Here’s a great blog post on dentist-approved, at-home whitening products: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-teeth-whitening-products-dentist-recommendation2017/#5-crest-3d-whitestrips-5.

Step #3: Choose Beverages Carefully

If you want to look gorgeous in your Valentine’s Day selfies, you may want to reconsider that glass of wine. Some beverages, such as red wine and coffee, can have an immediate staining effect. Over time, the stains can definitely build up and put a damper on your pearly white grin. To keep your teeth sparkling, choose clear beverages and drink plenty of water in between sips.

Step #4: Stick with a Bluer Hue of Lipstick

When it comes to lipstick, not all colors are created equally. For your big night, choose a shade that has a bluish undertone, rather than a yellow one. Bluer hues can make teeth appear whiter and brighter, whereas yellow or orangey tones can make teeth appear dull or discolored.

Step #5: Consider Investing in Cosmetic Dentistry If You’re Less Than Thrilled With Your Smile

If you’ve been smiling with your mouth closed for as long as you can remember, or are self-conscious about your teeth, it’s worth considering a consultation with your dentist. With today’s technology, just about anyone can achieve a smile they’re excited to share with the world, and it may be a lot easier than you think! Smiling provides a host of physical and emotional benefits, including increased confidence, stress reduction, and better performance in the workplace, so don’t hold off—you, too, can have a beautiful smile!

To learn more about whitening or cosmetic dentistry procedures, visit Dr. Murdoch and his team at https://murdochdds.com. Dr. Murdoch helps patients in Centennial, CO to achieve beautiful, healthy smiles every single day.