Next to a million dollars and legs like Carrie Underwood, whiter teeth are one of the top things pretty much any woman would like to have. (Right??) But unlike Carrie’s body or a mountain of cash, gleaming pearly whites are actually totally attainable. Here, five quick ways to brighten your smile right now.
1. Try at-home whitening strips. For the best results, dentists recommend using them at least six hours after brushing and drying your teeth with a tissue before applying the strips.
2. Dip a washcloth in hydrogen-peroxide. Then, rub your teeth with it. The peroxide lightens stains; the nubbiness of the cloth further helps scrub them away.
3. Switch to a whitening toothpaste. They’re not strong enough to dramatically whiten discolored teeth on their own, but they can help get rid of new stains by scrubbing them away with a mild abrasive called silica.
4. Wear blue-based colors–and gloss. Cherry red, wine, and berry colors make teeth look whiter. (Or choose a product like Clinique For A Brighter Smile–the colors all have blue undertones.) And steer clear of matte lipsticks which can make teeth look dingy.
5. Brush after every meal. Sounds obvious, but don’t forget—it makes a big difference. Keep a mini disposable brush, like Colgate Wisps, in your purse for on-the-go cleaning.
For more at-home whitening tips, check out the September issue of Allure, on newsstands now.