Zen and the Art of Teeth Whitening

Drooling onto my keyboard is not what I had in mind when the dentist gave me the teeth whitening trays to take home. Oh well.

Have you been to a dentist lately? I recently went after a two year hiatus. I was positive I had a cavity because there’s a dark spot on one of my back molars. Turns out, my tooth is just dirty! That sure made me feel better. Almost as good as that time my chiropractor told me I am deformed or when the ER doctor laughed at my face injury.

Teeth WhiteningI was in the market for a new dentist, since I hadn’t gone in forever and my insurance had changed. I settled on a business that I heard about through the radio. They advertised free teeth whitening for life for all new clients. Sounded like a good deal to me.

My how dentist offices have changed. I remember when you had to come prepared, teeth brushed and flossed before your appointment, no food or drink. I walked into this office and they offered me coffee and free wi-fi. Um, I’m good for now, but can I come back tomorrow just to write in your lobby? 

Their bathroom was full of not only toothpaste and toothbrushes, but hair products and lotion too.

When the dental hygienist came to get me, she gave me a tour of the whole agency. I saw all the offices and the cleaning centers and the “sterilization station.” And then I was asked to stand underneath a contraption for X-rays that I fully believe was a spaceship.

The hygienist asked me to step forward and underneath a large gray and yellow space shuttle. I had to bite down onto a marker while three prongs lowered over my head and clamped down. Then a side panel started whirring around my skull really fast.

“Will I be flying somewhere?” I asked.

“Oh no,” she laughed. “But I can see why you would think so.”

You and I both know that thing was a spaceship, and I was probed, G-dammit. 

When we got to the room where she would clean my teeth she handed me a “spa card.” That’s actually what they called it. I had the option to watch a TV in the ceiling, use headphones for music, and request a blanket and neck pillow!

Tell me again that I WON’T be needing my passport for this. 

Both the hygienist and the doctor let me check out my X-rays, which was both fascinating and disturbing. I have a newfound respect for my sinus cavities now that I’ve seen them on a computer screen. And I could see her marking off teeth that I no longer had on a separate chart. I don’t have any wisdom teeth and several others have “gone to pasture” as well. I think she was a little freaked when I told her I’d had a total of nine teeth pulled.

“That’s a lot,” she said.

“Well, you know what they say, big teeth, big talkers. Had to get some pulled to get a word in edge-wise.” I joked. “It’s a family thing, really, we all have giant teeth and not enough space for them. I’m grateful. The tooth fairy was my main source of income for years!”

I’m lucky I had a hygienist with a sense of humor.

Anyway, I came out of my appointment with a good report card. I wanted to get my picture taken and put up on the “No Cavity Wall,” but there seemed to be an issue about my age. That’s fine. I’ll bring my own crown and a selfie stick next time. #GrillOnFleek

Since my mouth probing went well, I qualified for their teeth whitening package and went home with 5 kits. I’m willing to believe there’s a learning curve with these things. I’d give myself a 7 out of 10 for technique, and an 8.5 for style. I inserted the upper and lower plastic trays filled with the whitening strips and made the smooching face I was told to make in order to adhere them to my teeth. I was not anticipating the frothiness and goo-factor of the strips and now regret trying to type this as drool falls on my keyboard. But it’s ok, I too have a “sterilization station” in my house.

Been to the dentist lately? What was your trip like?

17 responses

  1. I get so jealous every time I hear of teeth whitening. It won’t work on me. 😦 I was of the generation where they used tetracycline for an antibiotic, and it made the kids in that era have teeth that came in…less than white. The only choice is veneers. You know, with today’s technology, you would think there would be something less invasive. Maybe I just haven’t found it.

    1. Well, I don’t know how well it’ll work for me either as I have some issues too. But that dentist’s office sure was fancy! Next time I lose internet access at my house, I’ll just go sit in his lobby and enjoy free wifi and a cup o’ joe. 😉

    2. I used to suffer from discoloration of my teeth and I have tried several attempts at the dentist as well as those teeth whitening products without much permanent success. Eventually, I decided to try with some simple home remedies for teeth whitening by Lucy Bennett. One of her methods featured the usage of apple cider vinegar and olive which I was skeptical of in the first place. However, after trying out for a couple of days, I indeed noticed that stains are lighter.

      Personally, I really like that all the methods because they are 100% natural and easy to follow. There is no need to buy expensive teeth whitening products or to risk your health, something that for me is very important! It requires some time and effort on your part to see some results.

      Anyway, so far I’m very happy with the results and I think that with enough patience and dedication it will be possible for most people to see significant results in just a few weeks.

      You can find out more information at http://www.invisalignandbraces.com

      1. Wow you’ve tried a lot. Glad something worked for you. Thanks for the tips!

  2. No kidding! Going to the dentist almost qualifies as an adventure. And have you been inside a kids’ dental office? Gone are the sterile white walls of my youth. The one in town shows movies, has a docking station for kids to do their homework, and even a guitarist to amuse the tots. No hard plastic chairs or outdated magazines anywhere!

    1. Woh woh woh – they pay someone to play guitar for the kids? How long are they waiting there? That’s kind of crazy, awesome, but crazy.

  3. Well, when I stop laughing I’ll tell you…

    1. Can’t wait! Try not to spit out any of your “one good cup” goodness in the meantime!

  4. I must be in the wrong dental office: standard office furniture and issues of Better Homes & Gardens and Field & Stream. Oh yes, the La Crosse Tribune was readily available as well.

    1. LOL. Meet me in the lobby for the free wifi in ten! 😉

  5. My dentist office finished a huge remodel last year – and yes, they advertise on TV and radio to come for a cleaning and stay for the coffee. To be fair, their waiting area chairs ARE comfortable, plus – they have the ceiling TV’s and headphones with music, too – but, I just go for the cleaning.

    1. The fanciest thing my old dentist office had was a tropical fish tank. Not. The. Same.

  6. Wow! What dentist was this? Free tooth-whitening, you say?

    1. It’s like a better quality at home kit. Nice promo for sure!

  7. karenmcfarland | Reply

    Ack, the dentist! I hate going to the dentist. Just had a new crown put in. Lovely experience. Let’s see those pearly white! Smile! 🙂

    1. Did they forget your spa card, Karen?

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