How to Make Your Teeth White FAST: 19 Ways to Brighten Up a Smile

Bright, white teeth give you the confidence to share your smile — and not only are white teeth beautiful, they're a signal that your mouth is in really good health. If you're wondering how to make teeth white — fast — we have the inside scoop. Here, discover 19 expert tips from dentists for how to get a dazzlingly white smile on the double.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Chase dark liquids such as black coffee or red wine with water. It takes 30 seconds for the pigment to penetrate, so drinking water alongside your coffee or wine will help to wash any would-be stains away.

2. Avoid Certain Foods

Yes, coffee and red wine stain teeth, but according Dr. Emanuel Layliev, director of the New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, some foods cause stains that are even harder to remove. "If it stains a white shirt, it will stain your teeth," warns Dr. Layliev.

Believe it or not, dark, sticky foods (especially when hot) can deeply penetrate the teeth, making for more intense staining. A few foods that qualify: balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, tomato sauce, cranberry sauce, and chocolate syrup. And one of the worst offenders? Barbecue sauce. "It's dark, hot, and sticky, so it's a triple whammy," he says.

The plan to try to hold off staining as much as possible: Brush immediately after eating or drinking dark foods, which isn't always possible, unfortunately. But as with coffee and wine stains, swishing your mouth with water can help keep food stains at bay until you get the chance to brush.

3. Opt for a Straw

It sounds silly, but drinking highly pigmented beverages (think coffee, red wine, and soda) through a straw helps prevent from coming into contact with your teeth and mucking up any whitening work you've been doing. You could also swear off those drinks altogether … but that might be even tougher to keep up!

4. Wear Blue-based Lip Color

Using a blue-based lip color won't actually change the color of your teeth, but it will give the illusion of whiter teeth. Why? Blue-based pinks, plums and reds are said to offset yellow tones in the teeth. (CoverGirl Wetslicks Amazemint glosses were designed with this idea in mind — plus, they smell fresh and minty.)

5. Add Milk to Your Tea

"The addition of milk to tea reduces the tea's ability to stain teeth," confirms Ava Chow, who carried out a study on the subject at the University of Alberta's School of Dentistry.

A protein in milk known as casein binds to tannins (the compounds that cause staining in tea), thus protecting your enamel from stains. Sadly, this doesn't apply to coffee, since tannins aren't to blame for your latte-induced tooth discoloration.

6. Snack on Strawberries and Cheese

You can think of strawberries as nature's teeth polishers. Strawberries produce an enzyme called malic acid, which is said to keep teeth white, according to a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. Another good food to eat for keeping teeth healthy? Good ol' cheese. Your favorite white cheddar, and other cheeses, contain a type of lactic acid that helps zap tooth decay.

7. Stock Up On Apples and Celery

Crunchy fruits and veggies are great for clearing away plaque and polishing the teeth and gums. They also increase saliva productions which can protect your oral health, say experts.

8. Brush Teeth Twice a Day

Not to state the obvious, but practicing good dental hygiene daily goes a long way whitening teeth (along with keeping them healthy). Dentists recommend using electric toothbrushes over manual toothbrushes because electric brushes clean deeper (and remove more surface stains). For that reason, you might want to consider upgrading your brush. And as far as toothpaste is concerned, Luster Premium Power White Toothpaste is ideal for daily usage. It contains the same ingredients that dentists use to whiten your teeth in their offices. Expect to see whiter teeth after using this toothpaste for one week.

9. Floss

Plaque and food particles between your teeth can make your smile look dim overall, so don't forget to floss. Get in there daily with gentle floss like Oral-B Advantage Floss Picks.

10. Brush with Baking Soda Once a Week

We often tend to think we have to fork out big dollars for whiter teeth, but that's not always the case: Everyone has baking soda in their pantry, and dental experts say that this little ingredient really works. If you use it a few times a month, you can safely remove stains and get your chompers up to two shades lighter.


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