Thursday, February 20, 2014

Test Driven ::: Adventures in Tooth Whitening

Photos by {accordingtoame}

Considering the state of my dental affairs at a given time (I spend a ridiculous amount of time in a dentist's and endodontist's chair) whitening my teeth has never really been a huge priority.

Really, they're not exactly warm or yellow or overly stained in the first place, but I always think they can use an improvement.  And since I have some bonding material, crowns, bridges, etc., I was never exactly sure what would even lighten these teeth in the first place, if it was even possible.

On a whim one day, I stood in the aisle at Target and stared at the, like, 8 varieties of Crest Whitestrips, the various 5 minute white kits with the goofy rubber mouthguards, all the whitening toothpastes and gels, and I was practically paralyzed by how overwhelming it was. After almost a half hour reading all of the packages, I ended up leaving without a whitening product and while over at Costco later that weekend found a set of the 1Hour and Advanced Vivid in one special package for a great price.  I honestly could not begin to tell you what makes the Advanced Vivid different from the other, like, 8 varieties on those Target shelves, but it was smack in the middle of the list of options, apparently.  

Like I said, I didn't really think my teeth were all that bad, well, not until I took these photos...but I did have a significant Diet Coke/Diet Dr. Pepper/Iced Tea situation until about 2 years ago, and now I'll have the occasional tea, but usually all I drink is water (boooooring). So I tended to think there could be vast improvement.

I decided to try the 1Hour kit first, which consists of 2 treatments in one box, one you do now and one you do another time later in the year apparently. I am glad I read the instructions and googled for better ones.  About 45 minutes in, I got my first giant nerve spike (that actually was later than I anticipated!), so that's when I took the strips off, but just in that 45 minutes I noticed a significant improvement. 

I wasn't thinking about this being a blog post prior to my adventure, or until my husband mentioned "why aren't you documenting this for your blog?", so I didn't think to take a before-before photo.  This is what I took after I took the 1Hour white strips off. Which, I wish I could prove was a VAST improvement. So they must have been erm, off white...

Next time I'll floss apologies.

I had read you could use another set after the 1 hour, or double up sets, so I decided the next day I'd bust into the other package and keep this train going. I didn't expect to end up with Ross Gellar's glowing blue teeth or anything, nor did I think my teeth would become exceedingly white, but I wanted to see what was actually possible, since my lower teeth weren't as white in that 45 minutes as I'd hoped for and those are, I believe, completely natural (sans bonding, etc.) in the front.

At Present...

So it's now been almost 2 weeks since I started this experiment, I still have two more little packets of strips left, in fact, and the change is, to me, incredible. I am quite pleased. I am also glad I took photos along the way so I could keep track of it. I did a starting set after the 1Hour kit, and then sporadic shots through the kit just to see how it went along.   

Considering I have dental material on my teeth, it really removed the stains on the restorations as well as my natural teeth quite well. I don't know if anyone else can really tell, but I can, and it kinda catches me off guard a little bit. I am debating trying an additional kit, maybe the "professional effects", just to see if there's any additional whitening.  But I will say that just this adventure was money well spent!

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