Sneaky ways to make your teeth look whiter

How to Whiten Your Teeth (Without Paying a Ton)

There's no two ways around it: yellow teeth just aren't cute. Check out these quick and surprising tips (bronzer helps?!) from Nancy Rosen, DDS, a NYC-based cosmetic and reconstructive dentist, and you'll be blinding people with your sexy smile.

Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder Bronzer
Dust on Bronzer

Lightly dusting some bronzer all over your face gives you a natural-looking glow that makes the whites of your teeth instantly pop.

Sonia Kashuk Bare Minimum Pressed Powder Bronzer, $9.99,

Reach Design Full Head Toothbrush Soft
Brush and Floss

Sure, this combo makes your mouth healthy—always a good thing—but it also prevents plaque from building up. And plaque, over time, can cause discoloration.

Reach Design Full Head Toothbrush Soft, $4.15, and Supersmile Dental Floss, $7,

(See also: Common skin problems solved!)

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Wait Before Brushing
Wait Before Brushing

Drinking something acidic, like grapefruit juice? Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, since you can actually brush the acidity deeper into your teeth. That can erode the enamel, the outside coating that protects your teeth, and make your smile look less white.

Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red
Wear a Red Lip

Swiping on a blue-based red lipstick also makes your teeth appear whiter than they really are, since the color contrast (red against white) is so severe.

Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red, $7.99,

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Chew Crunchy Fruits and Veggies
Chew Crunchy Fruits and Veggies

Snacking on crunchy fruits and vegetables, like peppers or apples, also helps keep your teeth looking white. How? The friction caused by chewing these harder foods gently scrapes away any plaque, which leads to staining.

Glad Flexible Straws
Use a Straw

Drinking, soda, wine, or any colored liquid through a straw helps keep it at bay. (You might want to stick to the wine/straw combo at home, though, to avoid weird looks at the bar.)

You'll also want to rinse your mouth out with water after sipping your drink so that your saliva doesn't stay tinged and stain your teeth more.

Glad Flexible Straws 24 pack, $23,

Crest 3D White Whitestrips 5 Minute Touch-Ups with Stain Shield
Use Whitening Strips

If you want whiter teeth you have to whiten them—obviously, right? But sometimes we just can't find the time. These whitening strips only take five minutes a day to work and won't cause tooth sensitivity. The result? Brighter pearly whites before you know it.

Crest 3D White Whitestrips 5 Minute Touch-Ups with Stain Shield, $34.99,

Schedule Regular Check-Ups

Okay, so you already know that it's important to go to the dentist every six months for a check-up. But getting your teeth cleaned helps remove plaque, which causes that tell-tale yellow tinge over time, that you can't physically brush off at home.

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