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Beauty & Beyond: The Smile Pretty Edition

Saw a smiley photo of myself the other day. Not proud. When did my teeth get so damn yellow? I just got them whitened a few years ago through BriteSmile (loved), but my coffee habit seems to be upping the ante on my not-so-pearly whites. Since '??tis the season for snapshots and big bright smiles, I had to do something.

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My friend swears by Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects saying that they made her teeth all shiny and white. Although a pricey option (hovering around $50, but you can always find coupons online), I gave the two-hour express kit a shot and they quickly helped brighten and whiten up my teeth for those holiday closeups. But aprés season, I'm heading back to my dentist for the real whitening deal. Pricy, yes. Awkward, yes. Better than all the rest, yes!

Until then, I discovered a few every day things you can do to keep your teeth white:

Pass the Cheese: When you'??re at that holiday party, hit the cheese plate before the bar. Calcium found in cheese creates a film over teeth and protects them from the acid in wine that can stain them.

Something Fishy: Recent studies show that two servings of fish every week help prevent against gum disease, opt for fish rich in Omega-3s, such as salmon or tuna.

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Pucker Up: Locking lips for a NYE midnight smooch increases saliva production, a natural lubricant that washes away plaque.

Lipstick Choices: A blue-based red lipgloss will make your smile appear whiter and brighter.

Shine On: A simple pair of sparkly earrings can make teeth appear whiter. And avoid gold jewelry, which can exaggerate yellowish tones.

An Apple a Day: Munching on crunchy snacks like apples or celery is as effective as brushing. Raw fruits and veggies are loaded with fiber, a natural abrasive that can help clean teeth.

Sip Through a Straw: Coffee, red wines and dark sodas are main causes of yellowing, so sip your latte or soda through a straw.

Cheryl Fenton is a Boston-based freelance writer, who writes beauty, fashion and fitness for Boston Common, Stuff and Glamour magazines, as well as her own EasyPeasyBlog.com.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive samples for review purposes.

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