Do vampires dream of electric teeth?
It's been about three months since my last update on the teeth whitening experiment. This experiment is my attempt to find safe ways to whiten my teeth and keep gums from receding. Given that I drink copious amounts of green tea and coffee daily, the whitening part has proven rather challenging.
For those who haven't been following the blog for very long, here's a quick recap. The first toothpaste I tried was Beverly Hills Formula Natural White, which I found in a grocery store while abroad. On paper, this toothpaste had all the good stuff – including coenzyme Q10 and green tea extract – but I didn't really see any real results. For the next few months I turned to Colgate Sensation White with its "micro-cleaning crystals". Again, no visible whitening of the teeth.
After Colgate it was time to try an ordinary store brand. The product I tried contained a combination of hydrated silica and triglycerides, which were supposed to work together to remove plaque and whiten the teeth. Granted, my teeth didn't get any more discolored despite all that tea, coffee, dark chocolate, and turmeric, but still, they didn't get any whiter either.
So now, after discovering that none of these whitening toothpastes seem to have any real whitening effect, I've brought out the big guns. Or at least slightly bigger than those pathetic toothpastes. This product is called Plus White 5 Minute Bleach Whitening Gel (for sensitive teeth), which is not a toothpaste per se but a gel that you leave on the teeth for a few minutes.
The whitening effect of this gel is based on hydrogen peroxide, a common ingredient in DIY teeth whitening products, and best of all, a substance actually proven to whiten teeth. You could probably make a very similar gel at home if you got your hands on some hydrogen peroxide, but I took the easy way and ordered the product online (since they don't sell Plus White in Europe, at least not in Finland). With international shipping it was a bit costly, but if you live in the US, you can get this stuff for a few dollars in several retail stores.
The instructions say to apply the gel on the teeth twice a day and leave it on for five minutes. After two weeks of use, you can start applying it less often. I'm going to start by applying it once a day to track any possible whitening effects more carefully. I'll probably be too lazy to take pictures, though, as it's a hassle to get the lighting right to make any worthwhile comparisons of tooth color. But rest assured, once I see results (or once I run out of the stuff), you'll be the first to know.
I have to say this is the first teeth whitening product that I actually expect to work. But then, I've seen absolutely no effect from so many supplements I've experimented with that I won't be too surprised if it doesn't. I'm just worried that if this doesn't work, the next step is going be an expensive visit to the dentist.
For more information on oral health, see these posts:
Tea, Coffee and Cocoa: All Good for Your Teeth
Dental Health Effects of Green and Black Tea
The Role of Coenzyme Q10 in Oral Health
Preventing Mouth Ulcers with Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste - Results after Two Months