Sure, the Walden filter can do the job on Instagram, but whitening your smile IRL can be just as simple. Well, almost. In preparation for the onslaught of holiday party pics to come, we turned to the pros for their top tips for lightning-fast brightening.
"Not only is kale super-nutritious and beneficial for your overall health, but eating it also helps cleanse the surface of your teeth,” says Dr. Marc Lowenberg, cosmetic dentist at New York City's Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor. "The dense consistency of this leafy green creates friction, which aids in the removal of surface stains.” Same goes for raw crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots.
Whitening strips do their thing in about 20 minutes, but for a faster fix, Dr. Lowenberg recommends brushing with Luster Now! Instant Whitening Toothpaste ($9; walgreens.com). The formula incorporates proprietary shade-correcting technology that makes teeth appear instantly brighter, with results lasting for several hours.
Buff It Out
Believe it or not, “buffing your teeth with the peel of an orange can help create a brilliant smile instantly,” says Dr. Lowenberg. Rub the inner side of the peel against your teeth for about a minute—the rind contains a natural solvent that reduces surface stains.
According to Dr. Pia Lieb of Cosmetic Dentistry Center N.Y.C., using the right lip products can trick the eye into perceiving a whiter smile. “Choose a blue-based red lipstick," says Dr. Lieb. “The contrast in color will make your teeth look whiter.” The finish of the product, too, can have a brightening effect: “Matte lip product can make your teeth look dull—opt for a shiny finish instead.” A swipe of Lipstick Queen’s visibly blue Hello Sailor Lip Gloss ($25; beauty.com) over any shade makes for a smile-enhancing hue.