Most Hollywood stars (as we saw on the red carpet of last night's Golden Globe Awards) have dazzling white teeth.
And on "The Early Show," beauty expert Maggie Gallant pointed to some easy-to-use stain fighters and brighteners that will help you make your pearly whites just that, in a jiffy!
Gallant cautions that, before you try any whitening products, you should talk to your dentist, because the active ingredient in all of these items is carbamide peroxide, which can make your teeth sensitive.
Depending on how soon you need a smile make-over and how much you're willing to spend, there are many options to consider:
If you have 2 hours
There's a variety of white strips, such as Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips, $55.
Drugstore shelves are packed with various whitening strips. Some strips are applied daily for 30 minutes, others are only applied for five minutes, BUT Crest's new line of 3D White is quickly becoming a favorite among dentists, beauty editors and red carpet regulars because you only need two hours! Crest's new 3D Whitestrips will give you a more camera-ready smile in 120 minutes or less. Pop 'em on while you begin to get ready to go out or while you are doing housework.
Good for: Maintaining the look of an in-office dental procedure or just whitening 1 or 2 shades.
Not for: Someone who needs 3 or more shades white and a major whitening makeover.
Pros: Most effective whitening strip I've tested. No dental appointment needed.
Cons: Hard to reach the in between teeth, so pair this with the spray or the whitening floss. Pricy for strips. Other strips that have to be applied more often are less expensive.
Buy It: $55 for 4 treatments; available at most drugstores
If you have 30 minutes
Go Smile Whitening Light is now something you don't need to wait until your next dental appointment for, since you can have it at home. It's the only DIY light; just make sure you read the directions, as it's a series of three ten-minute applications. You can use it up to once a week.
Pros: The light accelerates the whitening process and amps it up.
Cons: Sensitivity and there are a few too many steps. Pricy.
Buy It: $198, Nordstroms.com
If you have 2 minutes
Paula's Choice Brighten Up 2-Minute Teeth Whitener, $15
Brighten up is the perfect item for your purse for touch-ups. It looks and feels like a lip balm which helps your teeth from feeling sensitive after use. Just don't eat or drink for about 2 - 5 minutes after so you don't lose the effect.
Pros: Good for sensitive teeth. Better in getting between teeth.
Buy It: $15, PaulasChoice.com
If you have 10 seconds
Pearly Wipes is a compact that fits nicely in your makeup bag. With ingredients on each pad including baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, calcium, glycerin and peppermint oil, you'll have fresher breath and rid your smile of stains.
Pros; Immediately rids your teeth of those wine stains. You can also get in between teeth if you use it like floss.
Buy It: $7 for 20 wipes, WineWipes.com
If you have 5 seconds
Clinique's Red-y To Wear SPF lipstick: Did you know that your lipstick color can make your teeth at least one shade lighter? Always leading technology in the beauty industry, Clinique knows this! See for yourself with Clinique's Red-y To Wear SPF lipstick. The bluer undertones (versus coral or yellow tones) create a better contrast between your lips and your teeth for the illusion of whiter, brighter teeth.
Pros: No sensitivity here!
Cons: Need to find the shade that works for you.
Buy It: $15, Clinique.com
I'm all about double duty when it comes to my favorite beauty products, and that includes my teeth-cleaning routine. You're going to use toothpaste, floss and mouthwash anyway, so why not make sure they have added benefits?
Double Duty Toothpastes:
Several toothpastes, among them, Tom's of Maine Simply White Toothpaste, $15
Two toothpastes that have proven results for both cavity protection and whitening are Colgate Total and Rembrant Intense Stain. BUT, this spring, Tom's of Maine will be rolling out Simply White for those who prefer products that have no parabens, which are artificial preservatives. Many look for alternatives in their beauty routine and whitening is no exception.
Pros: The active ingredient is silica instead of hydrogen peroxide for strain removal. Great natural alternative. Proceeds go back to the community and they do not test on animals.
Cons: Yet to be proven.
Buy It (in April): $4.99, TomsOfMaine.com
Crest Glide Whitening Floss, $8
And Crest Glide floss allows you to make sure that you're whitening the difficult to reach in between teeth area.
Buy It: $8 available at most drugstores
What are the most popular treatments and which, in the long run, are the most cost effective?
Whitening trays and opalescence gel: There are two popular and effective treatments you can ask your dentist about. First there are treatments like Zoom and BriteSmile, which utilize light to accelerate the whiter appearance. The other option is having your dentist create molds for your teeth, and then your dentist will give you a syringe filled with gel. You can use these each night, and for more sensitive teeth, you can have a lower concentration.
Pros: closely supervised by your dentist.
Cons: Very pricey and the Zoom can make your teeth sensitive. Need to make sure you do follow up maintenance. Not just a one hit wonder. Plus these aren't quick fixes. Time needed to make trays. Zoom takes about 45 minutes.
Price range: Zoom can run up to $500 or so, while these trays can be a few hundred dollars the refills of the gels are $15 or so.
Foods That Can Help Prevent Stains
Most of us know that red wine, coffee, soy sauce, blueberries, curry and extremely hot or extremely cold liquid can darken your teeth, but there is good news: Strawberries, crunchy fruits and vegetables and orange peels in your water can help the surface of your teeth have a whiter appearance and rid your teeth of tarter.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the price of Tom's of Maine Simply White Toothpaste.