7 In-a-Pinch Teeth Whitening Hacks

With our constantly on-the-go schedules, it can be tough to find the half an hour to sit and watch Netflix in your teeth whitening strips, or whatever else you use to keep those pearly whites, well, white. Which is why I wanted to share these seven in-a-pinch teeth whitening hacks for when you're in a hurry but still want to give your smile a boost.

Whether it's your coffee-drinking habit or your sweet tooth that causes a little tartar buildup, it's totally normal and you're not alone. And let's face it, not all of us can (or want to) afford professional whitening treatments and there's no shame in that. While some of these tips are small every day things you can do to help keep your smile radiant, others are speedy — and inexpensive — whitening hacks that work wonders.

That said, keeping your teeth nice and bright also requires keeping them nice and clean. All the tooth whitening hacks in the world won't replace a daily regiment of brushing twice a day and flossing. However, even those of us who are meticulous about mouth hygiene can still get some stains from time to time, and that's where these hacks come in.

1. Start With the Basics

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Keeping your teeth clean is the most important part of a radiant smile. Be sure to brush twice a day with whitening tooth paste, floss regularly (they make whitening dental floss as well) and rinse with water after eating sugary snacks or drinking coffee. This will prevent buildup between the teeth during the day.

2. Teeth Whitening Pens

SmileActives Teeth Whitening Pen Duo, $28, QVC

SmileActives makes a teeth whitening pen that comes in tasty flavors like vanilla mint and gets the job done quickly. Apply the pen to the teeth up to three times daily, allow the liquid to dry on the teeth for 30 seconds and then go about your day. No need to rinse!

3. The Banana Peel Trick

This is an easy, inexpensive trick used by bloggers such as Amber Fillerup to whiten teeth. After you eat the banana, take the inside of the peel and rub it on your teeth and then rinse. While I haven't tried this trick before, she swears by it and says that she used it to whiten her teeth before her wedding in this YouTube video. While others don't quite agree that this is a teeth whitening miracle, there's no harm in trying it out!

4. Buy Toothpaste With High Peroxide Levels

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Peroxide is the active ingredient in most teeth whitening products, according to Life Hack, so be sure to look for it on the label before you purchase a new toothpaste. Be careful not to use too much, however, otherwise it may make your teeth more sensitive.

5. Chew Gum That Contains Xylitol

Trident Mint Bliss Gum, $8, Amazon

Multiple studies have shown that chewing gum that contains xylitol twice daily helps fight tooth decay by lowering plaque buildup. Brands like Trident make gums with this ingredient, so pick up a pack and get chewing if you're looking to whiten your teeth.

6. Eat More Foods That Contain Malic Acid

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Fruits like apples, pears and stawberries are malic acid rich and can actually help with whitening teeth,. according to Livestrong. Eating more of these foods will help naturally whiten teeth.

7. Use Baking Soda & Lemon

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Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda, $6, Amazon

Baking soda is an ingredient you'll notice on the label of your toothpaste because of its stain removing properties, according to Colgate. Adding baking soda to strawberries or another food containing malic acid will create a DIY teeth whitening mixture that won't cost you a dime!

Images: Getty Images, Courtesy Brands