Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"The One with Ross's Teeth"

So the kitchen is (relatively) clean, the Christmas gifts have (mostly) been put away, I made it to yoga, and the hubs is watching what is apparently a modern-day reenactment of some ancient mating ritual on t.v.* I've got a lovely glass of Chard on board, and a beauty question to field. Let's blog, shall we?

*- Turns out the "mating ritual" is actually NCAA tournament wrestling. I am sorry, but it looks like what it looks like. I of course found my assertion of this and the posing of the question "Wonder, when one wrestler backs into the other like that, if one guy whispers, 'I miss your tender sweet embrace,' just to piss the other one off?" completely hilarious (and felt the need to repeat myself). Hubs, having wrestled** in college, did not, and subsequently banished me to the upstairs portion of the house.

**- For my fellow Southerners, "wrestle" is completely different than "rassle." One is a sport, the other one a 'roid-rage soap opera in tiny, stretchy shorts. You should know which is which.

So my afore-mentioned friend Courtney is quite the blogger extraordinaire, and isn't afraid to raise the bar for her fellow bloggers. She asked me via email a couple of weeks ago if I had any experience with teeth whiteners (which, of course, I have). I of course was being crazy-lazy (meaning crazy at work, therefore super lazy when not at work) and figured I'd address it after the holidays. She then gently reminded me of my laziness in a comment to my previous post, so I will now get off my proverbial ass and talk teeth.

Teeth whiteners are as ubiqitous as HeidiandSpencer these days (Gah, does anyone else hate them as much as I do? As in burning, un-Christian hate?), and they run the gamut from drugstore strips to dentist's-office lasers. My experience trends more toward the lower end of the spectrum, but I do have a definite favorite. The strips (Crest, et al) are a good intro into the world of whitening, but beware of the fast-acting ones if you have even remotely sensitive teeth-- prepare yourself for a dull, throbbing ache that lasts throughout the duration of strip use. I can't even imagine using those trays they fit for you in the dentist's office and wear overnight (the concentration of their stuff is WAY higher than anything you'd find at Walgreen's)-- you'd probably have to peel me off the ceiling come morning. You can of course cut back your strip application to once a day (if it calls for a twice-daily application) or even every other day, but it will take proportionately longer to see results. Who has time for that? You could always incorporate a whitening toothpaste into your routine, but noticeable results will likely come from something with a little more heft.

I once tried that weird infomercial contraption that comes with a fixed tray and a UV light that you park into your grill for 30 minutes a day, but didn't really see remarkable results. It was kinda fun, however, to look at my illuminated, ultraviolet teeth and then growl like a rabid dog until Hubs would finally make me rinse (thanks to the foam emanating from the peroxide gel included in the kit). Very entertaining, but not very effective.

The best system I've found over-the-counter so far that doesn't cause ANY sensitivity is from GoSmile. The line was formulated by an NYC dentist named Dr. Jonathan Levine. So serious is Dr. Levine about giving you movie-star teeth that he's even written a book about pretty smiles. His system hinges on these little ampoules (called B1 ampoules) that you use to apply a powerful whitener. There are also touch-up ampoules, toothpastes for the AM and the PM, a breath freshener, a rinse, and a lip balm.

So you take one of these little dealies, invert it (meaning take off the cardboard sleeve and put it over the other end of the ampoule), and then gently squeeze in the middle until you hear a pop. Hold it upside down until you see the clear whitening serum flow into the white brushy tip. Now gently move over each tooth in small circles until you've used up all the serum.-- they've summed it up nicely: Flip, Pop, Whiten. (This is why I'm not in marketing.) Don't eat or drink anything for a while (you won't want to, the serum is mildly minty). Do this twice a day with the B1 ampoules and whenever you feel like it with the touch-ups. You can get the B1's by themselves, ditto for everything else in the line, or you can "Go All-Out" with a kit that has all that shit in one box (well, all the ampoules and the toothpastes, anyway). I have used the Go All-Out kit twice now-- I was skeptical at first, but became a believer when people started to compliment my teeth and ask what whitening product I use. I will probably start a third rotation of it in the new year. My teeth were never made the least bit sensitive, which would have convinced me to try it in and of itself. I still make use of the toothpaste and the >RINSE ("It's greater than mouthwash!" Get it?) before bed and inbetween brushings.

So go get some. You can get it here, here, or even here. Prices range from a ten-spot for a few of the touch-up ampoules to $120 for the Go All-Out kit. Let me know what you think-- no go polish those stones! Happy New Year, bitches!

P.S.-- I SO wanted to name this post "My Pearrrrrrllll Whiiiiiite Teeeeeeeth" after the song on "Sesame Street" in which this big-assed shark with these huge, gorgeous teeth (well, they're shark teeth, but still) is singing a' la Louis Armstrong to all these fishies, who are frantically scurrying away from said huge teeth, but I was sure no one would get it, and then everyone would think that when I mentioned "a lovely glass of Chard" you'd think I really meant "a bottle of Chard, which I swilled in five minutes, tops." (Sigh.) And don't even get me going on the Raffi song "You Brush Your Teeth (Ch-ch-ch-ch, ch-ch-ch-ch)"...