The Best Way to Brighten Your Smile (No Matter How Much Time You Have)
Whether you've got two minutes or two weeks before you want to flash your pearly whites, there's a product that can do the job, says N.Y.C.-based cosmetic dentist Dr. Marc Lowenberg. His favorites? Read on…
If you've got two minutes:
Brush your teeth with Luster Now! Instant Whitening Toothpaste ($6; walmart.com), says Dr. Lowenberg. The formula imparts the slightest (basically imperceptible) blue hue, which creates the illusion of whiter teeth. The effect should last a few hours, barring eating or drinking.
If you've got two weeks:
Turn to good ‘ol whitestrips, says Dr. Lowenberg, who favors Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips ($39; target.com)."The bleach within the strips remains in contact with the tooth enamel long enough to deliver noticeable results with a couple of days of use," he says. "But these strips work to their maxiumum in two weeks." Results can last up to a year, but those who consume coffee, tea, dark colas, or red wine may need a more regular refresher.
If you're in it for the long-haul:
"The best whitening strategy is to use an in-office whitening procedure such as the Philips Zoom QuickPro, which provides incredible results instantly," says Dr. Lowenberg. Following the in-office treatment, you can use a take-home tray lined with bleaching gel daily for thirty minutes. "Though it's optional, I recommend patients do so to maintain the degree of brightness achieved in the office,” he adds.