3 Ways to Get a Whiter Smile.

When we look good, we feel good. That's always been a strong reason that I've been interested in fashion and personal style. More importantly, it's why I believe it's essential to take care of your teeth. Your smile is one of the first things people see when they meet you and it really shows if you're not feeling confident about it. Healthy, white teeth instantly make you look bright and polished, and there are so many ways to get a whiter smile without spending thousands of dollars in procedures or visiting a dentist.

Whether you're looking for an over the counter treatment or a DIY home remedy, there are a variety of safe ways to whiten your teeth without breaking the bank. Skip the teeth whitening systems that cost more than your entire wardrobe and try these tips for a brighter, whiter smile.

Here are my favorite ways to whiten your teeth at home:

1. Toothpaste

The easiest way to get whiter teeth (with nearly no change to your normal routine) is through toothpaste. Certain toothpastes contain gentle polish agents that slowly remove surface stains when you brush. Use a toothpaste like Rembrandt Intense Stain Whitening Mint Toothpaste daily to help whiten teeth overtime. This toothpaste in particular has micro-particles that slough away the stains from your teeth without stripping your enamel. Another drugstore favorite is Colgate Optic White Toothpaste. It's an awesome product that is a favorite among many people I know. Simply replace your normal toothpaste with a whitening one to see results in a few weeks.

2. Natural Whiteners

Looking for a cheap and healthy way to brighten your smile? Turn to your pantry for a DIY stain-blasting formula like baking soda and lemon juice. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that gently scrubs away surface stains. Mix several teaspoons of baking soda with the juice of half a lemon to form a paste and then apply it to your teeth for one minute. Rinse the paste off with water and say hello to a brighter smile.

3. Custom Teeth Whitening Trays

I've tried the generic whitening trays before and have rarely had any luck. The gel can be messy and cumbersome, making you feel like an unattractive drooly disaster (no, thanks!). Custom bleach trays like those from Smile Brilliant make almost a night and day difference from the trays you'd find at the drugstore, and are a much more affordable way to have your teeth professionally whitened. Smile Brilliant's whitening trays are custom fit and are handcrafted by dental lab technicians who form the trays to your teeth. These trays are normally only available at dentists for $500 and more! These types of whitening trays have the most long-lasting effect and will instantly brighten your smile after just one whitening session. Check out the amazing reviews on their testimonial page and you'll be just as obsessed as I am with the company.

What are your favorite ways to whiten your teeth without seeing a dentist?