Did you ever see so many tooth whiteners? Everywhere I look I see perfect glistening white teeth, and these people all got them from different products. There are whitening toothpastes, whitening mouthwashes, whitening systems, whitening chewing gums, and professional whitening dental procedures.
I’m not talking about celebrities and movie stars who obviously make their living by looking perfect. I’m speaking about ordinary everyday people of all ages, from teenagers to doddering old codgers, hell bent on pearly whites to cure every self image doubt they may secretly harbor. I’m talking about me.
Yes, I admit I was swept up in the tooth whitener epidemic. I’ve tried a few, with varying results. I have found that “whitening” toothpastes and mouthwashes are about as effective as the regular ones. I find the whitening strips disgusting. The one product I tried was…well, I guess I could say it was an “awakening” experience.
Several years ago when the craze was in its infancy, I purchased a tooth whitener kit from my dentist, I’ve never had problems with cavities and such, and other than a couple of snaggleteeth marring my almost perfect set of chompers, I thought I was pretty well set. But being a smoker for years, I nonchalantly asked my dentist about whitening.
He rubbed his hands together and said people of my age and lifestyle were in danger of missing the opportunity to correct the ravages of tooth discoloration, and I should take immediate action to save my teeth. Jeez, I thought, I didn’t think yellow teeth were life threatening. Who knew? He was so sincere, I said okay.
He put some goo in my mouth to shape the “trays” for the whitener, let it harden while doing a victory dance, wrenched it from my jaws with a loud “fwwwump” and told me to come back in a few days for the finished product and the whitening kit.Three days and three hundred dollars later I brought my life changing professional tooth whitening system home. I took action that night, lined the trays with the goop, inserted them, and slept with them in my mouth for the best desired effect.
Well, sort of. I apparently overloaded the trays as when I inserted them, the goop squirted out into my mouth. Not wanting to swallow the nasty stuff, I spent the first few hours spitting the precious whitening agent into the toilet because the pamphlet specifically stated “not to remove the trays once inserted, or risk the splotched effect”. I certainly didn’t want a splotched effect on my new three hundred dollar whitened teeth.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. while still hanging over the toilet, I began to experience a slight tingling on one of my fangs. It persisted and spread, even after I took an aspirin (which the dentist said would be fine) and by 5 a.m. I was in agony. The sister straggled in to check in on me and when I explained that “thif widenin fuff iv kivvin me” she said, “Well take those damn things out and rinse that crap off.” I estimated I needed to last until at least 7 a.m. to reap the benefits of my three hundred dollar torture kit, so I flipped her off and asked her if we had any “leftover percofet haggin arount” .
At approximately 5:45 a.m. the “percofet” had dulled the pain to what might compare to lancing a hemorrhoid without the benefit of anesthesia, and I surrendered. I plucked the trays out of my throbbing mouth, brushed my teeth with Sensodine, and while wiping tears of pain from my puffed up eyeballs, had a little looksie.
By God, the stuff worked. My teeth were more brilliant than they had been in years. The problem was that for two days I walked around with my lips fully extended, not wanting them to bump into my throbbing snow white teeth. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. I purchased several pounds of Ambesol and ate the rest of the leftover percs, which turns out had expired circa 2005.
Bottom line. All things considered, I have since decided that I really don’t care if my teeth are as white and pure as the driven snow. I brush them three or four times a day and they are still an acceptable shade of white.
Yesterday I watched a commercial of a young bride comparing her teeth to her wedding dress after using a whitener. I figure my teeth are as white as my own wedding dress, even if it is over forty years old. Good ‘nuf for an old broad. At least they’re mine.