“You’re never fully dressed, without a smile.” – Annie, 1982
You want to know the secret to success? It ain’t always money. It isn’t always a degree from Harvard (although that helps), and it isn’t always wearing red bottom shoes (although that helps, too!) The secret to success is a bright white, be-dazzling smile!
You don’t believe me, do you? Well, Doubting Debbie, there was a study done by the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics that asked hiring managers to rate an applicant based on his or her smile. The study found that people with an ideal smile had a greater chance of being hired and were considered more intelligent. Based on their smile!
And given all the products on the market today, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t invest in making your smile as fabulously ideal as you can. And your efforts to make your teeth look amazing don’t have to cost an arm and a leg!
Teeth Whitening Strips are my FAV! (I prefer Crest.) Whitening strips use hydrogen peroxide bleaching agents to get the blingy whitening job done, but they’re much less of a mess than what some people experience with gels. You simply stick the strips on your teeth for an allotted amount of time and keep it movin’. I use them in the morning while I shower and do my makeup. They are especially helpful right before a really big fundraiser or gala. (Average cost: $15 – $45+)
Teeth-Whitening Gels seem to be okay, but I have no working knowledge of them. They have a dose of hydrogen peroxide that essentially bleaches your teeth. I hear they’re convenient and brilliantly effective at whitening and removing stains. (Average cost: $17 – $40+)
Activated Charcoal – Yes, charcoal! (IKR?) It’s a newish phenomenon, brushing with a bit of charcoal and some restorative ingredients. Your teeth become alarmingly blackity-black and then after a few uses—voila!—they transform into pearly white once rinsed. It’s au naturel and … um, fun? I want someone to try this out and let me know how you liked it. (Average $10 – $25+)
Homemade – Looking for alternatives that are more natural? Take a spin on Google and search for ‘baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and toothpaste.’ You can make your own “gel” and get some superb results. If you’re patient and don’t mind waiting for results, you can also try pulling with coconut oil. According to DrAxe.com, this is “one of the best ways to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. In fact, it’s been proven to be even more effective than flossing, and it’s one of the best ways to naturally whiten your teeth.” Hmmm…
Professionally Whitened – I am not going to lie, I tried this once and thought I was experiencing firsthand what it feels like to be executed in an electric chair! OMG! My dentist told me I would feel a little bit of a “zing.” Now, I don’t know what HER threshold for pain is, but the INSTANT that damn light—or whatever the hell it was—hit my teeth, I wondered why no one had told me I’d been put on death row. As SOON as that first blast of pain was over, (and I stopped thrashing around like Jack Nicolson in the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when they give him those electric shock treatments), I threw the damn X-ray protection vest offa my chest, across the room, and jumped the hell up outta that chair! Now, I normally DO NOT SWEAR like this, people! But it is my duty and OBLIGATION to share this public service announcement with you: THIS SH**SH HURTS!! So, don’t say I did not warn you. I’m cringing just thinking about it. Lord. Whew! Okay, now, where was I? Oh yeah, to get your teeth whitened at your dentist’s office, you might be looking at $400 – $1500 for laser whitening or upwards of $600 for in-office bleaching procedures.
Ya’ll know I’m all about investing in yourself, but there’s no need to spend the dough if you don’t need or want to. Find the method that works best for you. (If you have sensitive teeth, it’s NOT the in-office treatment that makes you wear a radiation-blocking vest, I promise you.) The point, my people, is to make sure you’re walking around looking your most dazzling self. You’re welcome.