Even though I'm never opposed to rocking a vampy lip year-round, there's something about the colder weather that makes dark red and purple lippies all the more exciting. But between needing a lip scrub, lip liner, and a trusty method to keep teeth whiter and brighter, darker lipsticks require more preparation. It can be particularly useful to know different ways to whiten teeth, because I know from experience that dark lipstick can make teeth look yellow, no matter how diligent you are with dental care. Although unfortunate, they are still totally worth wearing in my humble opinion, especially because of the variety of methods available for teeth-whitening.
Whether you prefer a natural approach or a faster, chemical approach, there are plenty of ways to make pearly whites more, well, white. Of course, if you're not about incorporating a whitening regimen, there are certain tones of lipstick that can help make teeth appear whiter on their own. But because darker lippies inherently make teeth appear more yellow (and those brown tones that are having a moment only make the situation worse), a little extra help can go a long way. Not sure where to start? Here are seven different options for your brightest, vampiest smile:
1. Change Up Your Brushing Game
The way you brush your teeth can really affect the tone of your teeth. That means the type of toothbrush you use and the type of toothpaste you use. A toothbrush that really reaches all surfaces coupled with a toothpaste that whitens, whether homemade or not, can help make and maintain white teeth. This Evolve toothbrush is designed to reach all the way to your gums, so you know that whitening power is hitting every part of your teeth.
Evolve Toothbrush, $15, evolveoralcare.com
2. Eat More Fruits And Veggies
While there are a bunch of foods that can actually help whiten teeth, fruits and veggies make up the bulk of them. Healthy living expert and author Dr. Ro told Today that fruits like strawberries and oranges contain acids and enzymes that help wear away discoloration while Dr Anthony Zybutz told The Daily Mail that veggies like carrots and broccoli help physically scrub away surface stains.
3. Drink More Water
Even if you like to indulge in foods, drinks, and habits that can discolor teeth, drinking enough water throughout the day (especially right after partaking in something that can make teeth yellow!) can help prevent staining and therefore keep your teeth whiter. Dr. Joe Kravitz, a Washington D.C. dentist, even recommended to NBC News that extra committed to keeping those pearlies white should rinse with water for seven seconds after you sip or munch on yellow-causing ingredients.
4. Try Oil-Pulling
If you have about 20 minutes to spare and some coconut or sesame seed oil lying around, give oil pulling a try. While Bustle's Jane Bredlinger noticed more of a benefit for her gums than any actual whitening, plenty of celebrities swear by it. Even if it doesn't make your mouth sparkle, this natural method of cleaning and whitening teeth (by essentially swishing oil around in your mouth) also has a bunch of other health benefits including reduced headaches and clearer skin, so it certainly can't hurt to give it a shot.
5. Try OTC Strips or Gels
If you want to whiten faster than with natural methods, but don't want to break the bank, try some whitening strips, gel trays, or pens. Even Crest admits that these methods do have a chance of increasing tooth sensitivity, but they can be used easily from the comfort of your own home. If you find the full formula far too intense, look for strips with a lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide like Opalescence Go 6%, which launches in September. They won't work as quickly, but it's worth it if you usually find yourself cringing through a whitening session.
Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips, $60, target.com
6. Try Light Devices
For faster results than a gel tray or whitening strips alone, try a light device. Although they can be more expensive, and usually need to be used in conjunction with a whitening gel, this option can make teeth whiter and in less time than the aforementioned options.
GLO Brilliant Whitening Mouthpiece and Case, $85, gloscience.com
7. See A Professional
But if you don't have the patience for a natural solution or don't quite trust OTC methods, consult a professional. Sure, it'll be more expensive, but it's also a good way to ensure it gets done well. Your dentist will be able to recommend an expert, if they don't perform the procedure themselves.