The perils of teeth whitening

I decided this weekend to try some of those teeth whitening strips. I figure a whiter smile might take a few years of my age, or at least a few months, as Nora Ephron says.

I’ve tried those whitening gels you put on your teeth with a Q-tip. My problem is that I can’t stand the taste of the peroxide and start gagging long before the stuff has a chance to start working.

The strips are a little better. You slap ’em on your teeth and wait 30 minutes. The problem is that they slip around a lot, and my mouth still gets filled with that foamy peroxide spit. I tried the first strips yesterday while watching a great show on Frontline about the candidates (I didn’t get a chance to see it all the way through the other day), but about 10 minutes after I put the strips on I realized that I’d clamped my front teeth together and now had to keep them that way or the strips would come off.

This morning, I thought I’d use them while I showered. I figured I would kill the 30 minutes by showering, getting dressed, putting in my contacts and slapping on some make up. All I had to do was hold my lips still and not touch my upper and lower teeth together so the strips would stay in place.

Easier said than done. I never realized how much I talk to myself in the shower. Just minutes in the water I found myself oddly frustrated that I couldn’t move my mouth. Apparently, I work column ideas out aloud and wage debates with myself while I shower, which I never realized I did until I couldn’t do it anymore.

So maybe I am a little crazy after all. But at least I’m crazy with a big white smile!


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