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Recently, my husband and I, as APA editors, decided with the onset of our midlife crises to try and consider a way to look younger, but Botox and plastic surgery were not an option for us. After some discussion and thought, we decided to look into the process of whitening our teeth. We were hoping to hide years of coffee drinking, and subsequently our ages.
We were first offered a cumbersome teeth whitening system with these huge dental reservoirs that were to be filled with goop while we slept overnight. A little annoying with the warning to keep the goop away from the gums… an interesting endeavour for a sleeping and salivating mouth with teeth surrounded by gums. I won’t go into detail how unattractive a mid-age man who snores becomes when his mouth is full of goop and appliances. Inevitably, for most people, the gums were bleached, too, leaving them sensitive, weaker, and more blanched-looking than healthy-looking.
Then we were offered a new and improved teeth whitening system… or, actually, product: The gel with the cap and brush connected (which looked just like the White-out Wand really). One painted the gel on each tooth, in the direction of the teeth—up and down, not across—and then stayed careful with the mouth fixed in a simian grin so that lips and saliva did not interfere with the bleaching action. Who needs a real date when they can share such an experience with their spouse?
Then, the teeth-whitening system using strips was to make the whole process less time consuming, easier, and yielding better results. But the stiff strips didn’t set flush against the whole tooth, and after that easy, breezy procedure, we found patches of new white-looking teeth and patches of grey, stained, or yellowed teeth (untouched areas).
People are now speaking the praises of another kind of teeth whitening system—the Ionic White Teeth-Whitening System. Evidently, the user paints a whitening gel on, then smiles in front of a blue light for five minutes. The system also includes a process of “swishing” the gel—three different times in the one session—and is from, what I understand, a bit of a challenge, as the swishing action is not facilitated by the gummy, thick, whitening substance, whereas a wash would be easier to swish.
There are also a number of teeth-whitening toothpastes, which I have used for years. The Smoker’s Toothpaste is fairly decent, and the Rembrandt version is even better, even more effective—though it had better be, as it costs around eight dollars a tube. But the best system, or the one I like best, is the Rembrandt Teeth Whitening System. It still works on the tray method, but the trays are much more pliable, have tabs, and work in conjunction with a gel that is thick enough that it stays put in the teeth areas of the trays. It doesn’t drip or smear onto your gums, that is. The procedure calls for a series of incremental sessions, with the trays in then out five times over a two hour period, so you are not stuck for a whole two hours, do not have to do the overnight method, and get to air out/rinse off your teeth each time you remove the trays. At the end of the whitening, you may also have enough time and patience to spend with that spouse of yours as you smile and see a familiar but newly white grin staring back at you!
If you can afford it, the dentist offers the teeth whitening system, which he/she does in a matter of high-tech seconds… and which is where we all got the home-remedy ideas to begin with. But insurance doesn’t typically cover such a cosmetic luxury, and the teeth whitening systems you can buy OTC are very affordable… especially when you only have to use them every three to six months.