Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Yellow teeth

After attending a wedding last week and viewing the subsequent photos, I was shocked at how yellow my teeth have become. Indeed, some of them are turning a distictly unpleasantly brown. It isn't the dread nicotine that is doing this; I gave up smoking over two years ago, except for a very occasional cigar.

I presume the main culprit must be the 10 cups of strong tea I drink every day. I love tea. At work, I'm restricted to snatched cups of 20p brew from the vending machine, and I'm not allowed to drink at my desk. As my tea drinking break is only 15 minutes long, and the tea is very hot, I sometimes mix it with cold water so I can drink it faster. This means I can drink two or three cups in the allotted teaspace.

When at home, I am unrestricted. I have a special pint mug for my tea. I use two bags in this and mash the brew for 3- 4 minutes. Some days, I can drink ten of these. Ten pints of tea a day is bound to have a deleterious effect on my once pearly, Hollywood smile.

So, being as vain as the next dapper metrosexual, I have decided to do something about this. I asked a friend at work with a dazzling smile how she keeps her teeth so white, despite her smoking. 'Laser treatment, £250,' came the reply. I can't afford that kind of denistry, as tempting as it may be. So I searched for tooth whitening products on dearest Google and friend Ebay. After reading numerous product reviews, I settled on Dr Georges Teeth Whitening System. It's the number one home tooth whitening kit in America so it must be good. I trust the Americans on such matters. Look at the teeth on 'The OC' and 'American Idol' and '90210.' I bet those boys and girls are all big fans of the Dr George.

The package was waiting for me last night and I eagerly set to work. First up are the patented "E-Z Trays," two clear rubber gum shields with a tab on the edge that acts as a handle. After reading the instructions, I boiled a pan of water and let it simmer before I dipped the shields in to make them plaible. I shoved them in my gub and with fingers and tongue I pressed them and pulled them and sucked them as per Dr George's instructions until they fitted snugly. I ran them under the cold tap to make them hard and moulded.

I got out the 5.2 oz bottle of 16% Carbamide Peroxide Gel and syringe from the package. I was supposed to suck out a bit of the liquid and apply it too the gumshield thingies but due to my clumsiness and the viscous nature of the gel I got it all over my fingers and the syringe. But I eventually got a bit on the gumshields and stuck them in my mouth.

The literature promises that " Due to the snug fit and thick gel, the gel stays within the tray, even on the lower teeth. You can even speak while you whiten! " I can report that "no it bloody doesn't!" The gel soon floods from the gumshield, mixes with your saliva and soon you have a mouth full of gel. If you are thinking that 16% Carbamide Peroxide sounds a bit like bleach, you'd be right. It feels like gargling with Domestos. Indeed, the instructions warn "DO NOT MIX WITH HOUSEHOLD CLEANSER FOR STRONGER RESULTS." Not that I was tempted to do this, but you'd see how some daft folk might be tempted by the taste of the stuff.

I was supposed to keep the shields in there for 20-30 minutes, but because I kept having to spit out bleachy saliva I bailed out after 15 minutes.

I tried again an hour later after hatching an ingenious plan. I stuffed my mouth with kitchen roll, paying especial attention to the under-tongue region. This wasn't very pleasant but stopped my mouth filling with spit. So I watched the last half hour of 'The Wire' with two plastic gumshields full of bleach and a mouth full of kitchen roll. That's livin alright!

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