Monday, August 14, 2006

Public Service Announcement

Apparently, at my lovely dentist's office, they've got this new thing. It's some sort of powder that sandblasts some of the stain off your teeth. Sounds great, eh? I made an encouraging sort of assenting noise as the hygenist, clad in full-face mask and handing me goggles, set to work. I'd noticed that the choppers, thanks to years of coffee and tea, had developed a rather jaundiced cast. I'd even played with having them bleached or whatever that whitening process is, but then found out that you have to abstain for a full two weeks from the sorts of beverages that, when spilled on your clothes, cause you to mutter profanities and reach for your full armament of stain removers.

Give up red wine? Fine.

Give up coffee? Fine.

Give up tea? Fine.

Oh. Wait. Give up coffee AND tea?

Nope. Not to be considered.

I'm tied to my nice, warm, milky cuppa or three each and every morning. I can give up one or the other, but not both. No, cocoa is not a substitute. I don't want sweet beverages in the morning. No, it's not the caffeine. I've reaped the seeds I've sown by bragging all those years that caffeine doesn't affect me. For years it relaxed me. Never mind that it never gave me that boost I needed at 2 am during school and more school and residency and private practice. Bastard caffeine.

Now, not only does it keep me awake (even a demitasse of decaf after dinner), I get horribly crawly and jittery if I drink a fully caffeinated cup in the morning on a full stomach, with plenty of milk. It also bloats me. The shame. Rat bastard caffeine.

"Much better!" the nice, helpful hygenist proclaimed, her own teeth flashing in the reflected light off my goggles. "Here's a mirror! Look!"

And so, I did. Through the goggles and in the glare of the fluorescent light of the exam room, I flashed a grin in the hand mirror. They did seem less tarnished.

"They DO look better!" said I, and gave her a heart felt thanks.

The rest of the check-up proceeded routinely, and I smiled in my rear-view mirror as I started up the car. Hm. In the dim car, I can't see any difference.

Later, at home, I grimaced in the bathroom mirror for several minutes, imitating a wolf. Nope. Looks the same to me. Oh well. Let's get us a glass of iced tea, shall we?


And it was then that I discovered the hidden downside that was not mentioned, indeed may not even be something the hygenist had been aware of (and even had she mentioned it, I'd probably have waved and mmmm-mmm-hmmmmed her to do it anyway, in my quest for a quick fix, true blue, red-blooded, American that I am). It removed the scant bit of stain that was not part of my inherent tooth structure. It also removed the layer of calcium or what-have-you that I'd layed down by the 2 tubes of 'sensitive tooth' toothpaste last year.

Now the teeth, they are again exquisitely sensitive to anything warmer or cooler than mouth temperature (97.6 degrees F) and, as an added bonus, to anything of concentrated sweet. Fortunately, it is just the left side of my mouth, as it had always been.

Fortunately, I have 2 new tubes of the 'sensitive tooth toothpaste', bought last year.

And, in the mean time, I'm brushing up on my drinking out of only the right side of my mouth for the next several months.

It goes without saying that our dear Babs is giggling fit to bust, with her movie-star-white 'deeth', sipping scalding hot tea and swishing it all around her mouth.

Good thing she's too much of a lady to gloat.



Anonymous Ariella said...

Ohhhh man. I also have sensitive teeth and they are hateful. Same deal with me and caffiene; I hope it stays this way and doesn't prevent me from drinking it later in life!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...

I spent some bucks doing the bleaching thing and after the first session? It hurt TO BREATHE. Like, the air whooshing across my teeth was AGONY. No joke. I had just started a brand new job and had no sick time. It was one of the longest days of my life. The only thing that slightly helped was to drink warm water. Ugh.

11:45 AM  
Blogger karmic_jay said...

Oh boy. That is tricky trying to drink from one side of your mouth.

As someone who cannot do without my Indian rea first thing in the morning, and then a coffee as soon as I get in to work, I have to say that I have my share of stains, despite regular dental care.

I am not sure I can go thru what you did and/or give up tea/coffee/read wine.
You are a braver soul than me. :)

2:40 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ariella- Isn't it hateful? A small thing but so annoying. I wish for caffeine to stay your friend. I heartily wish it.

Cagey- Wow! I'm so glad you said something. That would absolutely drive me insane. Makes me wonder how I ever lived my life without my blog friends to steer me right.

Jay- Hah! I could never give up all 3. NEVER. So, with stained teeth I will go to my grave. Albeit, with a dingy smile on my face.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Ouch! I would most certainly have said yes to the sandblasting if it was on offer at my weirdo dental office.

A few years back I forked over the dough for the bleaching process (a couple of hundred semolians) and saw NO DIFFERENCE at all after two weeks of treatment, but, like Cagey, ended up with sore teeth and gums. I feel your literal and figurative pain.

Please tell me that they didn't charge you for this torture.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

Actually, I nearly had tea go up my nose the moment I read that. Because, yea verily, I did giggle.

But GLOAT?? Petite MOI??

Wouldn't dream of it. Am far too busy *ahem* sipping my tea.


And, please, don't accuse me of being a lady again. I've got a reputation to live down to, dammit.


12:53 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

Dammit!! You win again!!

I was so busy NOT giggling and NOT gloating (I swear it) that I forgot I can't have any tea until tomorrow afternoon because I've got to fast for a !@$%@%!*& blood test!!

Oh go ahead and chortle away.

You know you want to.


1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy crap. you're use of the word "sandblasts" makes my teeth hurt! yikes!

I couldn't give up the red wine and tea. a little glass of either at the end of the day settles the nerves.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- Nah, already got the bill and it was inclusive in the 'routine adult care' code. They do offer that bleaching treatment on special a few times a year for about $100. I'd been tempted despite the foreswearing of the beverages I adore for 2 weeks, but now? No way. You and Cagey are my beacons.

Babs- Tea cleans the sinuses. Didn't you know? Especially green tea. I'd avoid cream and sugar, though. Really? No tea? How unbearably cruel. We at least let folks have black tea or coffee when fasting for things like cholesterol and blood sugar. And I'd never chortle. It takes a lady to know one, m'dear.

Amy- It was a bit disconcerting, I must say. I won't do it again. The world would be a much better place if we all had a bit of red wine or some nice tea at the end of the day.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

I could have had tea with fake (aka cancer inducing) sugar?!?!

I thought it meant nothing but water!! I didn't even ASK!!

I managed to console myself, however, with the purchase of a Boston Cream Donut at the bakery down the block from the needle-pokey-cow.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Babs- Yes! Well, at least next time you will know you can. (See the implicit assumption of 'the next time'?) Homer J Simpson has nothing on me regarding the love of the donut. Boston Creams are at the pinacle. Our little village bakery makes The Best Ones in the world.

12:42 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Every time I have my teeth cleaned, it takes a solid week before my mouth gets back to a point where the sugar and cold doesn't want to make me curl up in a ball and cry. I feel your pain.

1:49 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Sorry about your tooth experience. I've had okay results from the store bought white strips- not dramatic, but whiter. Plus, I've had no sensitivity issues with them.

I hear you- NO WAY would I give up tea, coffee or wine. For my own well being and also those who must be around me.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I got complete veneers a few years ago to cover my tetracycline-stained teeth, and I adore them. No more fillings, no stains, no sensitivity... they're dreamy. It's like my mouth has a mortgage now because they were so expensive, but it makes trips to the dentist a lot more fun when I know there will be no stains or cavities!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

damn bastard sadist dentists and their ilk.


11:23 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

So now your teeth are extra sensitive and only slightly whiter?? THANKS for the PSA. Will try to remember to JUST SAY NO TO TEETH SANDBLASTING! I bet you look funny trying to drink from one side of your mouth!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Beth- OH, sweetie! I'm lucky. This is the first time I've paid the price. It would make me dread going if it happened every time.

Stacy- Hm. I've got a box of those whitening strips in my cupboard (a free sample from the dentist, natch) but haven't tried them. Maybe I'll give them a whirl after the teeth calm down. Or maybe I'll do it just on the bottom ones and compare to the tops? Hey, it's something to blog, at least.

Leigh-Ann- Sounds dreamy, indeed! Are they teflon coated to resist further staining? Sounds quite tempting. (Smile when you write that 'mortgage' check.)

Teri- Sigh. My own damn fault, really. Wishing you a good night's sleep.

Colleen- Yeah. Pretty much. Especially if you emphasize the 'slightly'. Straws don't work too well with coffee.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I think my veneers are porcelain. There's no consensus on how long they'll last, but I hope it will be at least a couple of decades. They really have made my teeth easier to care for, and I highly recommend them for anyone who's in the position to try them. I do like smiling now :)

5:48 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Thank you. You have inspired my next post.

There is a woman I know or Keem knows or someone knows that would drink coffee with a straw so it wouldn't affect her teeth. I imagine it looks dorky but still, keeps the stains away.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I've never actually experienced what you describe but good thing...I'd not be willing to give up my Java!

8:53 PM  

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