Floss, brush, checkup, repeat. That was my dental care routine for a long time, until I cracked a tooth trying to eat a frozen Cadbury Mini Egg. Yes, frozen. We were trying to discourage the pillaging of a Costco-sized bag of Mini Eggs by putting them in the freezer and clearly, it backfired.
After this, I started thinking more ways to improve my dental health. My dentist suggested a new nightguard to help with grinding, and to use an electric toothbrush in order to reduce my chances of gum recession. At the same time, I inquired about teeth whitening. The estimate for all of this came in at over the price of a pair of Chanel sandals I’d been lusting over (I know, I know – it should be health before fashion), so I started investigating whether there was a cheaper way to do it all. Read on to learn about what I found…
Many people I know swear by Crest White Strips, but they aren’t long enough to cover all of your teeth. For someone like me with a big ol’ smile, I’d be flashing yellow molars to the world while my front teeth dazzled away.
What’s the alternative? At home teeth whitening kits, complete with custom molded trays and tubes of bleach. I tried out Smile Brilliant, a company that sends you a kit to create molds at home. You then mail them away, and your custom trays and bleach kit arrive about a week later. You fill the trays up with the bleach gel and leave them on for 15 minutes to 2 hours, and do it often as you want. They also send a desensitizing gel, which I found was more effective to use before the bleach. Also, I was getting it all over my gums at first, which is a majorly painful. Once I figured that out, I was pretty comfortable leaving the trays in for 2 hours.
I didn’t notice much of a difference in color, but I was told this is because my teeth were fairly white to begin with. Maybe I just need to drop $300 to get zapped with the super powered machine in the dentist’s office to see results… or maybe that will just make me look freaky like Ross from friends.
Two years ago (plus $500 and four return visits for adjustments) I was fitted for one of these at the dentist. I think our cleaning lady must have given it a run for it’s money, because it permanently tastes like Lysol. I decided to look into cheaper options.
After some Googling, I found a company online called Pro-Teethguard. They make nightguards by sending you an kit to make impressions (similar to the whitening kit above), that you send back. They then create a nightgaurd for you from one of several options. I didn’t do the best job of my impressions, so I had to send my first completed nightguard back to Pro-Teethguard be adjusted, after filling out a list of questions and a diagram to show where it was too tight.
After this, the fit was great. The regular cost of the model I chose is $159.99, but I was lucky enough to have mine comped. I think it’s definitely worth a shot to avoid the price tag at the dentist, if you’re okay with the potential need to send it back for adjustments. The company offers satisfaction guaranteed so it’s not really a risk.
Give it a try, since there’s no real risk.
Electric Toothbrush…or not
After being told by his dentist that he needed it, my guy elected to buy a Philips Sonicare toothbrush. Lucky for me, no need to buy my own! It has made a huge difference in reducing my gum sensitivity, probably because it cleans more thoroughly. I also had a tendency to brush too hard with a regular toothbrush and destroy the bristles, bending them every which way so they’d stab me.
That said, the Philips Sonicare is a pain to travel with, so I needed to find a good alternative to a regular toothbrush that didn’t make my gums bleed. Enter the more-T “T” shaped toothbrush. The head of the toothbrush is horizontal instead of vertical, and the bristles are super soft. I find it WAY more comfortable than my old one.
This shape actually makes a big difference. It goes with me wherever I travel!
What does your dental care routine look like? Do you whiten? Let me know in the comments.