Saturday, August 13, 2005

Product Endorcement

Have you ever wanted to try a product only to leave it on the shelf refusing to be duped into the hype and dissatisfied with the desired results? S'mee too. But a year ago my #2's wife came over with a more than usually pretty WHITE smile. Grrr! S'mee thinks! She is already youthful and gorgeous, and had white teeth enough! Then I witness #3 with a packet from her job. Seems the dentist she works for has given her a home tooth whitening kit to try. He wants her to use it and give it a rating for ease of home use. Her teeth are also very white to begin with, age has not taken it's toll as yet. No fair!

So S'mee decides to take things into her own hands and scope out what's on the market. One a scale of 1 - 10, 10 being best, I will rate my findings and home research! 10 to me would be the results of, say, BrightSmile or ZOOM! via a dental lab or dental office. But since S'mee is poor and or relatively cheap, I cannot afford cosmetic dentistry. So a 10 rating will probably not happen over the counter.

Last year when I first caught a glimpse of the youthful whiter smile of my Daughter in law, I went in search of the product she used. Simple White (I think by Colgate, it's been a while)- a small tiny little bottle with a paint brush applicator. The idea is for you to brush your teeth, floss, and then brush the gel onto your teeth prior to bed time. The gel will be absorbed overnight and after 2 weeks you have my daughter in law's bright pretty smile. The simple part was correct, how hard can it be to brush gel onto your teeth? The problem? FOAM! Killer FOAM! The FOAM that make rabid dogs in the last stages of death foam look like a baby's spit bubble. Foam from the lowest level in hell from which no mortal can escape! I am talking FOAM! So you paint your teeth and try not to drown in your own saliva all night long. YIKES! There is also a funky taste. Not disgusting, just really funky. Could they not add some peppermint to this stuff? After three nights I decided I was old and deserved the yucky yellow teeth I had.
Simple White = 2

Six months later I saw a local news show science experiment on which products were most effective. Their #1 choice was Crest White Strips ($30.00 or so with a coupon for two packs at Costco). I decided once again that I would delve into the mysterious world of bleaching kits. The news show didn't mention anything about FOAM so I thought I was safe.

The package contains gel coated pliable plastic strips which you peel off of another plastic strip and place on the front of your teeth, folding any left over gel strip under or over the teeth to the inside surfaces. Wait 30 minutes and remove. Rinse well and wait a while. They suggest two applications a day with a good rest period in between, every day for a week. The foil pack is easy to open and the gel strip is easily removed and applied to your teeth; and it sticks well enough while working.

The problems: #1 The manufactures somehow feel that the back and side teeth in your mouth need not be white as the front teeth, so the strips are made so that the top strips cover about 8 teeth, and the bottom strips cover about 6. This was a problem for S'mee who wanted all teeth that show (read: I have a BIG MOUTH) to be equally white. The bottom strip is deceptively small in that it appears to be as long as the top strip until you remove it from the other plastic strip. It's a lot smaller and leaves about one third on the packaging. S'mee outsmarted the manufactures and cut the edges off the remaining gel strip and over lapped them on her lower teeth. Messy but more effective.

Problem #2 The FOAM! Oh. My. HECK! What is it with the FOAM in these things? Geeze Louise this stuff is torture, I mean the Geneva Convention has rules about this sort of thing!

O.k. So I endure this treatment in hopes of whiteness. I have found the best solution is to not move any part of your mouth at all. No tongue movement. No lip pursing. No crunching of teeth. No swallowing. This is difficult because your nature, instinct and reflexes demand that if you are drowning to get out of the water or to at least swallow in an attempt to drink the pool dry and save yourself. This will only add to the forming of more FOAM. RESIST at all cost! After the 30 minutes race to the nearest sink and allow the 1/2 gallon of saliva to spew forth, slide the gooey icky strips from your teeth and rinse away! Relief at last!

The foam and the funky taste are the same as with the painted gel; it only lasts 30 minutes instead of the entire night. It was easier and faster to apply than the paint gel. No one noticed the whiteness except myself and then I wasn't really sure if it was real or imagined in hopes of not enduring the torture for nothing.

Crest WhiteStrips = 5

Baking Soda and Peroxide are #1's toothpaste of choice since high school and man!, does that kid have white teeth! Good ol' Arm and Hammer on a brush wet with peroxide and scrub the dickens out of your teeth everyday of your life. No foam, just GAG reflexing taste for S'mee. Next!

Baking Soda and Peroxide = 2 for taste and user friendliness, 10 for effectiveness

Recently I was in Target and noticed Rembrandt 2 Hour White. At $19.00 per pack I was hesitant for more than 3 weeks to step up to the plate and finally give in and buy a box. With my #4's wedding coming fast and furious this next Saturday I thought, "what the heck?" and this morning the science began again.

The package, to my surprise, contains three syringes, and two "comfy trays" (small mouth guards); along with instructions. The mouth guards can be heated in hot (as coffee or tea) water for 5 seconds and then placed in your mouth, pressing into your teeth for a good impression, with your tongue and fingers. Allow it to cool while still on your teeth for about 30 seconds and remove, cut off the tag like handles (or not) and you are ready to bleach. The resealable syringes contain "7-10" applications each. This means that if you are careful you can brighten your teeth, top and bottom 5 times with one syringe! This makes that $19.99 price seem very little now - 30 applications! Wooo-whoo!

Taking the syringe, place a thin stripe of gel along the proper place in the "comfy tray" and place in your mouth. EASY! Less GOO and less MESS. Nothing to throw away. Wait 20 minutes, rinse; lather; repeat. No wait, that's shampoo. Just rinse and wait at least 10 minutes before applying again. Now I must say there is foam with this product as well. Lots of it; but it seems like less because most of it is contained in the tray and you don't get that "going down for the third time in the lake" feeling. That, and the manufactures of this bleach decided to add some peppermint to the funky gel so it's less nasty than the afore mentioned products.

I wasn't able to continue with the applications (busy day), so I just had the one 20 minute run through. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WE HAVE A WINNER! Almost immediately people around me asked if I had bleached my teeth. They actually LOOKED whiter and unsolicited remarks were had. Yippi! I am anxious to see what happens after the whole 2 hour routine!

Rembrandt 2 Hour White = 9 1/2

add to sk*rt

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