As the Big Brother season is now back among us… well among those of you living in the UK and those of us who are avid readers of the Sun Newspaper online, I thought that I would embark on my own form of social experiment… Whitening my teeth! As a typical English girl, my teeth have always had a yellowish tint to them. And finally at the age of 26 I decided that it was time to bite the cosmetic bullet and do something about it. I mean I have pretty great teeth, I’ve never worn a brace (despite begging my orthodontist and my mother to let me have one), so the way I saw it was that I deserved to add the finishing touches to my award winning smile. I mean if I ever am going to become a Hollywood actress staring along side Stephen Dorff in a steamy sex scene, then I should at least try to get my teeth closer to Hollywood, even though my body, my talent, and my chances of snogging Mr. Dorff are a million miles away from nowhere!
In order to proceed with the experiment there were a number of requirements:
- 900 NIS to pay the Dentist with (This includes fitting or the retainers and 2 weeks worth of bleach)
1 retainer provided by dentist
3 syringes full of bleach (estimated to last over 2 weeks)
1 tub of Vaseline (to protect the gums from the bleach)
1 packet of tissues (for cleaning and preparation)
Spare 1.5 hours every day for two weeks
With everything ready to begin the experiment there was no point waiting, I mean Stephen isn’t getting any younger now is he! So on Tuesday 16th May, 2006 (Lag Ba’Omer) in a controlled environment (being my room) I decided to begin the whitening experiment. My dentist had warned me that it would be a very gradual process and that I probably wouldn’t notice the difference until I saw a before and after shot… Yeah I think he underestimated how observant I can be under obsessive circumstances!
After popping out at lunchtime to gather the essentials I was itching to get home and try it out. Problem though… Preston was coming to hang before the fireworks on the beach, hence leaving me no alone time to put my retainers in in peace. If I waited until he left then I would miss the fireworks. If I did it in front of him then I would feel like an idiot trying to lisp through a conversation with him with my retainers in my mouth, but hey this was Preston we were talking about… I can handle Preston taking the piss out of me!
The process was pretty easy. Put a splodge of the bleach in each tooth mould that I wanted whitening, grease up the gums with Vaseline, make sure the Vaseline is not on the actual teeth, then place the retainers in the mouth and finally wipe off all excess bleach from around the mouth. Easy enough, although I am a little unclear if I have used too much or too little bleach… one of the bad things about it being transparent… I can’t see if it is evenly covering my entire tooth… Oh well all will be revealed in the end!
The hour and a half went by so slowly, apart from the constant teasing from Preston, who insisted that he couldn’t understand a word I was saying behind my retainers. And when the time was over I removed the retainers to a disappointing smile in the mirror to reveal absolutely no change to my not so pearly white… Channah remember this is a gradual process… you entered the sprint, not the marathon.
After the lack of results the day before I decided that perhaps I had not used enough bleach, so today I was a little more liberal with it. However, only problem is the time that I am doing the bleaching is also the time that people decide to call me to plan the night ahead – problem in that I am lisping down the phone and people either can’t understand me, or think I have a speech impediment. Also when you are planning a first date with someone you would rather not sound like you spit when you talk. Maybe I should put an answering machine message on when bleaching explaining that I unable to speak due to social experiment being in progress… you think my dates will get the wrong impression?
Still no real noticeable difference after performing treatment, except that I have almost finished the first of the 3 syringes and they are supposed to be lasting me 2 weeks! Ok less is more!
I think I am starting to get the hang of this whitening malarkey! It is now taking me around 1 minute to get the retainers filled with bleach into my mouth, as opposed to the 10 minutes it took me the first day. Today I decided to sleep for the hour and a half that the retainers were in, so that I could be refreshed for my Thursday night, and so that the time would go by quicker. I think I discovered a reason why the dentist did not recommend sleeping with them in… it is pretty uncomfortable… but maybe it is just something I have to get used to. Oh well no rest for the wicked!
Another quick in and out with the old retainers and finally I start to notice some difference… the ends of my teeth are virtually white, although the part near the gum is closer to beige, there is a definite difference in the colour. I went to a friends house for dinner a showed them off while drinking red wine (never discussed with the dentist about consuming teeth stainers while teeth whitening). Even my friend said he could see the difference… imagine what they will be like when I get to day 14!
I am starting to get so used to the process that I am stricter with myself on it than I am with teeth brushing… had I been this obsessed with brushing my teeth in the first place then perhaps I wouldn’t be forking out 900 sheks to get the problem fixed now! However, there is a down side. The bleach essentially burns the gums, even with the Vaseline on them, so after bleaching, brushing my teeth verges on the painful as the bristles touch my gums.
But no pain no gain they say… and my teeth are starting to look pearly!!
On next weeks Episode of the Whitening Experiment… the before and after shot!
(If you are interested in any of the information discussed here today, please feel free to email me with you questions and I will do my best to answer you, or pass you on to my dentist for a small commission)