That Time I Whitened My Teeth

If you’re like me and you find yourself an adult…an adult without dental insurance…and more importantly, an adult who hates the dentist, you may have managed to spend many a year–or 5–not going to the dentist.

But then one day, you find yourself in a situation where your job (by some miracle!) offers you dental insurance.

And after months of not using it (because truth–you don’t want to use it) you decide it’s time to go to the mother effing dentist like an adult!

Of course after having not gone for 5 years, your initial visit will look like this…

Me: So um…yeah…it’s been a few years since I did one of those bi-annual appointment things.

Dentist: I can tell.

Me: But I oil pull! That counts right?

Dentist: *confused*

Me: So…are my teeth okay?

Dentist: Your teeth need ALL THE THINGS!

And the next thing you know you’re getting a root canal, and crowns, and wisdom teeth pulled out, and cavities filled, and braces!

And oh yeah, when all of that is over, they offer to whiten your teeth.

I didn’t think my teeth really needed it, but I figured, since half my earnings this year (haha, as if dental covers ALL THE THINGS) went into my radiant smile, I might as well whiten it the hell up. In any case, at this point, I’ve started playing dentist bingo, and I only needed one more item to win. Oh, and my brother’s wedding was that weekend.

So I went in for ZOOM! And holy crap!

I kid you not when I say it was the most physically painful experience of my life. I went online to read reviews of the process while I suffered the fire of a thousand burning suns on my teeth, and learned that half of ZOOM! customers would have preferred giving birth to twins instead of repeating that process. So you know, it wasn’t just me using hyperbole here.

The way it works is your teeth go under a light while ZOOM! gel is applied to your teeth every 15 minutes for an hour. Each time the gel is reapplied your teeth get even more sensitive, but also whiter. You’re closer to being finished, but feel more like dying. Balance!

And that’s it.

Oh except for the zingers which come and basically feel like a hundred burning knives are stabbing the inside your teeth for the rest of the day.

PLUS…I had to go on an all white-food diet for 2 days while my enamel healed. And when I say white-food, I literally mean WHITE-colored food. I had to be that terrible toddler who is like, “I only eat food that’s shaped like a dinosaur. Rocket ships?!? I’ll show you where you can take your rocket ships! Give me DINOSAURS!”

Here was my dinner that night.

white food

Rainbow colored diets be damned!

A white smoothie! Full of white vanilla almond milk, white coconut meat, white bananas…and not a whole lot else.

Other things I could consume were:

the insides of apples (no peels because color–duh!)

mashed potatoes


white bread

white rice

(exciting, right?)

And in the meantime while I was scarfing down plain white coconut yogurt, I was wishing for 10,000 paper cuts to cover my body. Because that would have been less painful.

But…I did get this smile for my brother’s wedding.

white smile

The smile of a thousand burning suns!


The pain was gone after 24 hours, so it had that working for it. Plus, pretty smile.

But the moral of the story is this. If you put something off for 5 years, you will end up spending a ridiculous amount of time with your mouth wide open in various states of numbness, knowledge of what real Princess Bride-like suffering feels like, and a serious commitment to making your next 6 month appointment because I’m never doing ALL THE THINGS again!

P.S. I actually like my dentist. She hurt me, but we’re cool.



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