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This summer (and beyond) a bright white smile is a must-have accessory next to your sun-kissed skin and bold makeup. We enlisted Steve Clark of teeth whitening system Opalescence, Inc. to share his top tips for getting a show-stopping smile. Read on and then break out that bright pink lipstick, ladies!

Consult Your Dentist: Before you start any sort of teeth whitening regimen, Clark recommends that you contact your dentist to get the scoop on the different options. "Your dentist can also make sure that your teeth are in the optimal condition to start whitening," he explains. Meaning: no cavities.

Check the Ingredients: Not all teeth whitening systems are made equal! It's important to examine the products. "Look for potassium nitrate and fluoride to help reduce any potential tooth sensitivity."

Be Patient: Not everyone bleaches at the same rate, so don't get disheartened if you don't see results right away. "Some systems also take longer than others, so the best practice to be consistent and remain committed to the process," Clark advises. Some habits like drinking red wine or smoking will also determine how often you're going to need a touch-up treatment.

Go for a Gel: While many products claim to have whitening results, only a gel will actually be able to whiten beyond surface stains.

Examine Your Lifestyle: Always remember, when it comes to choosing a whitening procedure, there's no such thing as one "correct" solution. "There are options that fit different lifestyles from an in-office treatment to treatments that last five to ten days at 30 minutes per treatment," Clark explains. Find the solution that fits your lifestyle the best!

Photo Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc/Blend Images

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