How to Whiten Up Your Smile

Looking to brighten your smile? Try these inexpensive teeth whiteners!

Beauty Solutions

Whiten Up Your Smile

It’s easier – and cheaper – to get whiter teeth than you may think

-Paige Herman-Axel

a pretty woman smilingI recently gave up coffee in favor of green tea since I keep reading about its metabolism-boosting capabilities – and I have 5 more pounds to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. As a reward to myself (and to keep my momentum going), I thought a brighter smile was just what the doctor, well, or dentist, ordered. Since an in-office bleaching was out of the question (how would I keep my 5-month-old baby contented for that long?), I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. The good news is, you don’t need to spend a lot of money (or any for that matter), just follow these pointers.

Beware of the dark
If you’re happy with the color of your teeth – and you want them to stay that way – simply avoid staining foods and drinks like coffee, soda and soy sauce. I know this may be hard for some, so it you’re not willing to cut these offenders out all together, just make an effort to brush immediately after indulging. You can also try sipping coffee through a straw to keep the liquid away from your teeth.

Brush away the stains
Boosting the brightness of your smile can be as easy as swapping out your regular toothpaste. I’m a fan of Supersmile, and their Professional Whitening System (which includes the Supersmile Toothpaste and Accelerator) can lighten your teeth noticeably after just a few weeks. ($36,

Treat yourself
Sure, custom-fitted trays from your dentist are ideal, but if you don’t want to drop the cash, take a quick trip to the drugstore. A course of Crest Whitestrips can leave your teeth noticeably whiter, and there’s an option to fit every timeframe. Whether you have 5 minutes a day for the long term or you need results fast (in a week or two), there’s a formula to fit your needs.

Instant improvement
When time isn’t on your side, fake it. There are a slew of lipgloss offerings with special pigments that create the illusion of a whiter smile. One of my favorites is Benefit’s California Kissin’. Its subtle blue sheen brightens your smile, and the minty fresh taste freshens your breath. Best of all, you can use it alone or over your favorite gloss or lipstick. ($18,

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