How to whiten teeth fast: 19 ways to brighten up your smile

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Unless you've managed to lớn avoid coffee, red wine, or food with any kind of màu sắc to it, chances are you've probably found yourself wondering how to whiten teeth fast at some point. Maybe you have a big sự kiện with photos coming up or maybe you just want lớn tackle some yellowing that comes with enjoying the finer things in life. Either way, we've all been there. 

Not only can bright, trắng teeth give you a little more confidence, they're also a signal that your mouth is in good health. So if you're looking khổng lồ up your oral care routine, we've got all the advice you need. Read on for 19 expert tips from dentists for how to lớn whiten teeth fast without a trip to the dentist's office. 

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 lớn penetrate, so drinking water alongside your coffee or wine will help to lớn wash any would-be stains away.

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2. Brush After Eating Dark, Sticky Foods

Yes, coffee & 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 lớn 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, & 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 lớn try to lớn 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 cất cánh until you get the chance to lớn brush.

3. Opt for a Straw

It sounds silly, but drinking highly pigmented beverages (think coffee, red wine, & 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 who wants to bởi that?

4. Wear Blue-based Lip Color

Using a blue-based lip color won't actually change the color of your teeth, but it can give the illusion of whiter teeth. Why? Blue-based pinks, plums and reds are said to offset yellow tones in the teeth. 

5. Showroom Milk to lớn Your Tea

"The addition of milk khổng lồ tea reduces the tea's ability khổng lồ 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 khổng lồ coffee, since tannins aren't lớn blame for your latte-induced tooth discoloration.

6. Snack on Strawberries & 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 khổng lồ a spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. Another good food to eat for keeping teeth healthy? Cheese. Your favorite trắng cheddar, và other cheeses, contain a type of lactic acid that helps zap tooth decay.

7. Stock Up on Apples and Celery

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

8. Brush Teeth Twice a Day

Not to lớn 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 khổng lồ consider upgrading your brush. And as far as toothpaste is concerned, Luster Premium nguồn White Toothpaste is ideal for daily usage. It contains the same ingredients that dentists use lớn whiten your teeth in their offices. Expect khổng lồ 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 lớn think we have to spend a ton for whiter teeth, but that's not always the case: Everyone has baking soda in their pantry, & 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 teeth up khổng lồ two shades lighter.


There is a warning, however: if you brush too often with baking soda, you could wear away at the enamel on your teeth. It is safe (and effective), however, to brush with a baking soda mixture once a week. At that rate, "it's not abrasive enough khổng lồ wear down your enamel," says Jennifer Jablow, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in new york City.

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If you're wondering how to lớn whiten teeth with baking soda, it's actually pretty simple. All you need is baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and your toothbrush. Dampen your toothbrush under the faucet, then squirt a bit of peroxide over the bristles. Next, dip the brush inside the baking soda box, remove, và brush for two minutes like you normally would with toothpaste. Rinse with lukewarm water, and you're good to go.

11. Try Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is the process of swishing unrefined, cold-pressed organic coconut oil (or sunflower oil or sesame oil) around in your mouth for 5 to 45 minutes before spitting it out in order to lớn whiten your teeth & get rid of any toxins in your mouth. This teeth whitening method was first found in ancient Ayurvedic texts, and even Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it.

Why does it work? "The oil absorbs plaque (which is made of bacteria) that is sitting on your teeth, which in turn makes them brighter," explains Marc Lowenberg, D.D.S., of Lowenberg, Lituchy và Kantor Dentistry in thủ đô new york City, who advocates oil pulling. "I've noticed fresher breath, whiter teeth, & less bleeding around the gums when I floss," he says.

12. Rub Your Teeth With Vaseline

Another (if not slightly strange) trick to keeping red wine stains away? When sipping red wine, coat your front teeth with Vaseline lớn protect against staining, says Gregg Lituchy, D.D.S., also of Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor Dentistry. The Vaseline will act as a barrier between the pigment và your enamel.

13. Rinse with táo khuyết Cider Vinegar Once a Week

Another trick for how to lớn make teeth whiter in 3 minutes or less? Rinse with táo bị cắn dở cider vinegar, which will eat away at the surface stains on your teeth. It's powerful, so there's no need use a lot of the vinegar. Dilute it by adding one teaspoon of the táo bị cắn dở cider vinegar to lớn a cup of water. Take a sip, và swish it around your mouth for 1-2 minutes before spitting it out and rinsing with water. Since too much táo cider vinegar can harm tooth enamel, limit your táo bị cắn dở cider vinegar rinses to lớn once a week. It's effective và fast.

14. Cut Back on Sugar

A diet filled with too much sugar can led to tooth decay, gingivitis, cavities và plaque—all of which can dim your pearly whites. You don't have to cut our sugar completely, but if you're trying to lớn get whiter teeth, keep an eye on how much of it you're consuming. For reference, the American Heart Association recommends limiting your sugar intake to lớn 25 grams (or 100 calories) for women và 37.5 grams (or 150 calories) for men.

15. Don't Smoke

Smoking causes teeth khổng lồ yellow & decay, and can even cause tooth loss. Furthermore, the exposure to nicotine leaves your mouth unable to effectively fight off infection, which causes plaque to build up & bacteria lớn run rampant. In addition khổng lồ the myriad of reasons smoking harms your overall health, it will also hinder your efforts khổng lồ whiten your teeth.

16. Keep a Teeth Whitening Pen in Your Purse

Dentists recommend using touch-up teeth whitening pens after you've consumed dark-colored foods or drinks (think marinara sauce, spinach, etc.). They'll help ensure that these dark pigments don't sit on the surface of your teeth long enough khổng lồ stain, so it's a good idea to lớn toss some in your purse. Try the Go Smile Whitening Pen.

17. Zap Stains at Your Dentist's Office

The quickest, most dramatic way to whiten is to get an in-office bleaching at a dentist's office. Using professional-strength hydrogen peroxide và special lights or lasers, your dentist can remove even deep stains in about an hour. It'll cost you, though—probably between $500 & $1,200. & it's not totally painless for most people; the bleach can cause a significant burning sensation.

18. Try an At-Home Whitening Kit

The best teeth whitening kits are designed khổng lồ hold a (milder) hydrogen peroxide solution against your teeth as closely as possible for an extended period of time each day. You can get custom-made trays from your dentist that fit your teeth exactly (plus stronger peroxide), but if that's too pricey, generic trays and stick-on strips are also great options. In fact, for many people, they can yield the same results as in-office bleaching, only over a longer period of time (around six weeks). Even if you already got an in-office bleaching, it's a good idea to lớn maintain your results at home with a tray or strips. Avoid trays, however, that were not created with a mold of your mouth; the peroxide can leak out và irritate your gums.


Here's a pro tip: Before starting any at-home whitening kit, have a professional teeth cleaning. That way, your enamel will come in contact with the bleach. If your teeth have plaque buildup, the lightening agents won't be able to penetrate through the plaque. 


Need a good starting recommendation? We love Crest 3d White Luxe Glamorous Whitestrips. You only have to leave them on for five minutes, meaning you can literally whiten your teeth on your way to lớn work—and the results will last up to six months.

19. Consider Veneers

The peroxide in whitening treatments doesn't work for everyone. To lớn figure out whether you're a candidate, hold a piece of white paper next lớn your mouth. If your teeth seem yellow, the treatments will work. If your teeth look grey, however, the staining is actually coming from within the tooth & can only be fixed by covering them with bonding or veneers (people with fair skin have thinner enamel and are more likely to have this type of grey discoloration). A single veneer can cost up to lớn $2,500, & will necessitate grinding down your own existing tooth. So while veneers are an answer to lớn how to make your teeth trắng overnight, they're still a last resort.