Smile in the Aisle

Smile Time

Rumor has it the first thing many people notice is a smile. In my line of work, the key to success is being one of the memorable “Smiles in the Aisles”, so the last thing I need it gnarly teeth or a case of foul breath. When I was a language teacher, this was also important because who could focus on learning oral communication, if the instructor failed in the ever-so-essential oral hygiene department. Today, I’m focusing on my routine and preferred products for making sure my teeth sparkle, my lips shine, and my breath is wonderfully fresh!

{Dental Care}

I regularly schedule my semi-annual visits with Dr. Y (my dentist since I was 10), and he always knows when I’ve been cheating on my oral hygiene. Family members aside, I am sure Dr. Y. and his wonderful staff, know more about my personal history than many of my friends. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the folks there watched me grow up: from my braces to having my wisdom teeth removed, they’ve put up with me for over twenty years.

Muppets BRush too

Crest 3D White – I’m a regular coffee, tea, and wine drinker; all of which are big no-nos for those desiring a brilliant pearly whites. Prior to leaving for training, I gave the 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips. After use, my teeth were slightly sensitive, but I did see a visible improvement. So as to help maintain and improve my teeth, I elected to use the Advanced Vivid Enamel Renewal Toothpaste. When traveling, I take AquaFresh Extreme Clean (as I have travel-sized tubes from my travels).

Gargle Gargle Gargle

Listerine Total Care – I fell in love with Listerine during college (and prior to that I primarily used Scope… when I remembered to gargle). When I get sick, more often than not, it starts in my throat. Usually when I do get that lovely raspy, barfly voice, it is in part that I am not maintaining my entire dental ritual. Surprisingly enough, I can only use my regular LTC (with the famous alcohol burn) when I am off duty or if I manage to complete my dental care routine eight hours prior to work the following morning. As a result, I use Total Care Mint and Total Care Zero. Recently, Total Care Plus Whitening hit the market, so I hope to pick up a bottle soon.

{Shut Up and Kiss Me}

My lips are one of my more complimented features (much to my surprise). I prefer them curved upward into a smile, however, if I don’t take care of them, I’ll get a case of the Mondays. The hardest thing is resisting the urge to drop money on designer products if they do not live up to solid quality standards. I am very selective (read: picky) about which brands I use, but I wish to nail down some dependable items that I can stock pile and have handy.

Fresh Sugar

Fresh Sugar – I picked these up on a whim after reading that several of my favorite celebrities swear by them for great lip care. I picked up a mini-duo set with Plum and Rose, and a full-sized stick of Honey. I love the lightweight and smooth application, but my only qualms is that they melt easily (even in a pocket). Of the three, I prefer the color and flavor of rose the best. I would like to test out the lip polish, original lip treatment, and the new Passion tinted flavor, too.

Gaga Viva Glam

MAC Cosmetics – MAC’s LipGlass is by far my favorite gloss, and VivaGlam V & VI are the colors I have purchased on multiple occasions. I loved Personal Taste, but had to exchange it for Nymphette. I am tempted to pick up a couple of extra tubes before the colors get discontinued. I do have the VivaGlam Gaga II, but I can’t seem to get it to look right.

Sephora Give Some Lip I

Sephora Give Me Some Lip Collection ($40) – My never-ending quest to find the best lip gloss took a stride in the right direction a year and a half ago when I dropped the cash on this set. There were a bunch of brands I was interested in trying (but a little gun shy about dropping the money on a full-sized tube without testing them out). After an eye infection or two from testing the floor samples, I disliked the possibility of using the same lip gloss someone else used. Unfortunately, half of the box wound up in the trash either from product disappointment, but I managed to find some real gems: SmashBox Lip Enhancing Gloss (Radiant & Tease), Buxom Lips (Roxanne), Cover FX Mint Glaze, Sephora Collection Super Shimmer (Pink Ballerina & Rusted Rose). Volume II is now available (at nearly double the price tag).

Over the Counter Favorites – Over the years, I have heavily relied upon the following brands in a pinch: Carmex (MoisturePlus), Burt’s Bees, Blistex (Daily Conditioning Treatment & Lip Medex), and SoftLips (Vanilla). Though I do not continually use these products, I am perfectly confident that any time I am in need for thrifty, but substantial relief– especially in the winter time. Carmex and Blistex in particular have helped me through snowboarding, winter commuting, and protecting nasty cold sores and fever blisters from winter chills. That being said, I always carry a tube of Abreva in my purse in the off chance one of those nasties try to make their way to the surface.

Tips I Try to Adhere To:

  • Water, water, water
  • Replace toothbrushes every other month.
  • Wash out travel brushes after returning from trips
  • Replace toothbrush after being sick.
  • Remember to floss (which I am terrible about doing)
  • Toss old lip balms if I can’t remember the last time I used them (and it has been well over several months.
  • Carry a freshen-up set (travel brush/paste, mini-floss, gum) in my purse or hand luggage.
  • Try to remember to take my lip balms out of the pockets of clothes… BEFORE I wash them (and definitely before I place them in the dryer).
  • Carefully monitor unusual tightness or tenderness in lips.
  • Use Abreva prior to the fever blister reaching the surface.
  • Dispose of lip balms/sticks, glosses that may be infected
  • Clean out my purse of backpack regularly (and inventory which balms/glosses/sticks I find, so as to avoid re-buying things)

I hadn’t realized that so much goes into my daily dental routine. Seeing others with their shiny veneers and professional bleaching makes me curious as to how I would look with blinding, pearly whites. For now, I’ll keep it simple (and affordable).

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