Whitening Toothpaste

In a comment on my last post, Alison asked if the whitening toothpaste I mentioned actually worked.

Here is my story.

It all started when I decided to break up with my dentist. It’s sad, actually, because I really like the dentist (actually a married wife/husband dentist team, both of whom are absolutely delightful and skilled). The problem is my hygienist. We go to a large office where there are several hygienists and the first time we went, everyone was assigned one randomly, and I have a different one than the rest of the family. She’s a very nice lady and we always find plenty to chat about but after every single cleaning, my mouth is a total mess. Bleeding, soreness, awkward feelings when I chew. I have two crowns right next to each other in the back of my mouth and after every cleaning they kind of felt “shifted” – not sure that is even possible, but they always felt really oddly out of place, and I would keep getting all kinds of stuff caught in them, and they’d bleed all over, and it would take weeks before I felt like everything had settled down.

(Caveat: I have been through SEVERAL dentists and hygienists in the past 15 years, to the point where it MIGHT be me, and not her – either my over sensitive gums or my over sensitive heart. But WHATEVER.)

So all five of us had a cleaning coming up in August – today, actually – and as the day got closer and closer I found myself dreading it. And then I had a thought: what if I just cancelled it? But then: what if they want to know why? But then: I could say I just need a break! Or that the insurance is maxed out due to the root canal I had back in February! Or whatever!

So I called and cancelled, and they didn’t even blink an eye or ask me why, even though I am obviously not busy as I am bringing in all three children at the exact same time. Success!

But it was a bit of a scary thing for me, because I actually have not gone longer than six months between cleanings since I was a baby. My mom was passionate about our dental health, and I had an awesome dentist growing up who I loved (also: a pretty good hygienist), so regular cleanings were just part of the lifestyle, and I always totally bought into the idea that my teeth would turn black and fall out without the regular attention of a dentist.

So to counteract my daring act of rebellion, I bought myself some antiseptic mouthwash to use after brushing and flossing, and made it a pact to take better care of my teeth myself, in order to avoid the hygienist. I started nightly rinses with the stuff (Crest ProHealth if you want to know).

And then, after about three weeks of having a super clean mouth, I noticed that my bottom teeth had these weird brown marks on them, like really bad stains from a life time of smoking and drinking coffee, neither of which I do. I thought maybe they’d always been like that, and I just never noticed, but then I had a sudden flash of inspiration and I read the label of the mouth rinse, and it said this:

“Staining of teeth may occur with this product, but it can easily be removed with a professional cleaning.”

WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS TRYING TO AVOID WITH THIS PRODUCT. GAH.

I immediately stopped use of the rinse and, in desperation, went out and bought some whitening toothpaste. (Sensodyne Whitening, if you want to know).

So I’ve been using the whitening toothpaste for about two weeks and LO, the stains are almost completely gone. And I even feel like my teeth in general are more glowy and shiny, without looking really fake-white. I’m not sure I will continue to use it once the stains are gone completely, but it has more than solved the problem.

So to sum up: yes, whitening toothpaste works.

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One thought on “Whitening Toothpaste

  1. I always find it funny how obsess North American are with their teeth. I mean, nothing wrong with that. But it makes us, European, feel bad. A check up every year? Yeah… I’m pretty sure most French go much longer between check ups. And cleaning is virtually unknown. We don’t have that many kinds of toothpaste and toothbrushes and all either.

    I’m all for dental health but I can’t help thinking obsessing about it can’t be healthy.

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