Americans have high expectations when it comes to teeth. We’re grossed out by pretty much anything that isn’t ivory and straight. Unless your name is Jewel. In that case, we celebrate the snaggletooth and throw awards at it.
But since you didn’t get to grow up in a van, you are subject to hygiene expectations. So chew on reality for a moment and ask yourself if your weekly wine fest, pack-a-day habit, cup of joe obsession or refusal to floss could be cheapening your choppers.
If that got you too much in the feels, you can take solace in the fact that medication, age and genetics dull and discolor teeth also. If it’s easier to just blame the Xanax, we’re fine with that. As long as you promise to do something with your yellow yuck-mouth.
Now, here’s the big horse-teeth warning. Ditch the dentist. He’ll powder your grill into a gleaming new grin and then you’ll get snowed with a huge bill for using the same active ingredients (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) found in over-the-counter whitening systems. So promise us you’ll denounce dentist-designed teeth and just visit the drug store. Plus, you’re used to doing things alone in the bathroom, so we’re confident you got this.
Try a Tray. Sort of.
A one-size-fits-all drugstore tray is not going to fit perfectly, but it works. Pipe down — remember you’re paying $12 instead of $400. Apply the solution to the tray and then carefully insert it onto your mouth and mold it the best you can. Try to keep it off your gums or they’ll end up burned and white. Keep it in anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Or, skip the tray if it’s too cumbersome and just apply the gel with your fingertips. But you didn’t read that here.
Strippers Need Love, Too
By far the easiest way to get your teeth one to two shades brighter is by slapping a polyethylene strip directly onto your clackers. Go to the gym or get your car washed while waiting for the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the enamel. Whitening strips can be your golden ticket to whiter teeth in just about five days, and you’ll likely see less gum irritation than with other methods. But beware because not all strips are created equal (yep – just like at the club). If the peroxide concentration is only 10 percent, it’s going to take more uses to get results.
See the Light
An even brighter idea in teeth-whitening systems is the addition of light. Apply the directed amount of serum to your teeth and then simply shine a light into your mouth to accelerate the process. Your new line-up will be visibly brighter in under an hour. This one promises to whiten teeth up to six shades. Note: if your teeth need to be six shades brighter, then what in the horsey smiles has happened to you? That’s fucked up.
Saddle Up to the Sonic
Bring a Sonic on board. The broken-down bristles on your $2 toothbrush wears down the enamel on your teeth quicker than a chick with daddy issues wears on your nerves. A sonic is gentler on your grill and gums, and cleans areas that a conventional toothbrush is sure to miss. Plus, a Sonic toothbrush makes you feel special.