Replace Paste

Swap regular toothpaste for one that whitens.

Choose a paste that has peroxide, which lightens your shade and enhances your smile, or liquid calcium, which makes teeth look brighter by settling into small

17 FYI Teeth whitening won't replace dental checkups—still go twice a year for cleanings.

crevices on the surface of your teeth and filling in tiny holes (we all have them). Brush twice daily. TRY: Mentadent Replenishing White with Liquid Calcium, $4, drugstores

17 TIP To avoid staining freshly bleached teeth, use white paste for one week. After that, you can switch back to a colorful one.

2. PREVENT STAINS

Stick to white foods for 24 hours after bleaching.

Since the top layer of your enamel has been removed by the peroxide, your teeth are prone to staining. Eat and drink only light-colored things like rice, chicken, milk, and water. After a day, you can return to eating your usual foods without too much worry But three things you should continue to avoid are dark-colored soda, coffee, and black tea—over time, they stain teeth permanently.

3. ADD SPARKLE

Brighten your smile with a pinkish-red lip gloss.

Wear a vibrant gloss to bring out the white in your teeth. Then coat your teeth with a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to make them glisten. TRY: Maybelline New York ShinyLicious Lip Gloss in Strawberry Tart, $5, drugstores

4. SWITCH RINSES

Use clear alcohol-free mouthwash twice a day.

Colored mouthwash may reverse your whitening results—the shade of the rinse can seep into your enamel, dulling the hue of your teeth. Most colored rinses also contain alcohol, a harmful ingredient that can break down your gum tissue. TRY: Tom's of Maine Natural Cleansing Mouthwash, $4, drugstores

TRY: Trident White in Peppermint, $1, drugstores
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