3 New Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
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3 New Ways to Whiten Your Teeth

You don't have to spend megabucks to get your pearly whites even whiter. Try these new at-home options for brightening your smile.

Smile Brighter

1. Brush better.

Toothpaste containing silica, a mineral, gently buffs away debris that can dull your smile. In a recent test conducted by Colgate, this mild abrasive whitened teeth 30 percent more effectively than hydrogen peroxide (the substance found in other whitening toothpastes, which can irritate gums). We like Colgate Total Advance Whitening Paste, $2.99, drugstores.

2. Change your lip color.

Look for a shade with a blue undertone -- it complements the cooler hues found in teeth to create the illusion of a whiter smile, says Jessica Liebeskind, a makeup artist in New York City. One that works: CoverGirl Wetslicks AmazeMint Lip Gloss in Plum Crazy, $4.99, drugstores. This high-shine gloss also contains breath-freshening peppermint oil.

3. Use the next-generation whitening strip.

Stains that become trapped against teeth under a layer of tartar can't be cleaned by brushing alone. Tartar forms when calcium and phosphate deposits harden against the surface of the tooth -- only an in-office dental procedure can remove it. Try Crest Whitestrips Daily Whitening Plus Tartar Protection, $39.99, drugstores, which contains pyrophosphates to prevent the pesky buildup from forming and cleans stains.