The Fashion Spot Momtastic

Whiten My Teeth at the Mall? No Thanks.

Posted 03/26/12 at 01:26PM by Audrey Fine

When I was 9, I auditioned for a role in my summer camp's production of "Winnie the Pooh." I couldn't wait for the Head Counselor to post the casting results on the mess hall wall. Would I be playing Christopher Robbin? (It was an all-girl camp.) Or maybe even, dare I hope, Pooh himself?

What seemed like days later, the list was finally tacked up and while my name did appear, turned out I wasn't to play either of those lead characters. Instead I was cast as the sun. The freaking SUN. What?

When I mustered the guts to ask why they'd thought I was suited to the part, they told me it was because my smile could light up a room -- just like the sun lights up the world. Gimme a break.

I mean, sure it's true, I was blessed with nice teeth. They've always been super-white and I never needed braces (though I thought retainers were so cool that I wore a bent paper clip in my mouth throughout most of the fourth grade). But, because of them I was relegated to playing the sun? Clearly I've never gotten over it.

Now umpteen years later I find myself longing to be cast in that part again -- minus the giant yellow orb costume. Why? After seeing pictures of myself over the past several months, I've realized that my once pearly whites are significantly less so. Don't know why. I don't drink red wine or coffee or even soda (I've been Diet Coke free for three years and two days -- but who's counting?). So, what gives?

I asked my dentist and he said it was just normal "wear and tear" on my teeth, and would I like to have them whitened? Um. Sure. And, I'd also like a Malibu beach house, but as a single mother of two who gets zero child support I'm not about to indulge on such a thing.

Hmm. Other options? Well, I could head to the mall and lie there with a blue light emanating from my mouth as Cinnabon-clutching teens snicker? I'd rather have dingy teeth, thanks.

But if the mall's too unappealing and the pro whitening's too expensive, what's left? Do those drugstore whiteners really work?

Yes. According to Dr. Michael Apa, a partner in the Rosenthal/Apa Group on Manhattan's Upper East Side where he works exclusively on aesthetic and restorative dentistry. He suggests that his patients use a whitening toothpaste daily and also recommends using Crest Weekly Clean Intensive Cleaning Paste, $14.99, saying that "[It] is a good product that has heavy silica ingredients to brush stains away."

Well, OK then, I'm willing to try anything once. Will let you know how it goes -- and also if I get mistaken for the sun again anytime soon.

Do you whiten your teeth? What do you use?
And the survey says...
1-6 of 8 Comments

  • Posted by KelseaT on 04/08/14 at 02:35pm

    Rembrandt was an amazing whitener but too abrasive (I got two cavities) for long term use.

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  • Posted by GigiSD on 05/15/13 at 08:09pm

    I use "Dentisse," a clay-based polish and Colgate "Optic White." Will check out the Crest product! Thanks!

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  • Posted by EricaC123 on 12/29/12 at 01:32pm


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  • Posted by Nicole2814 on 04/26/12 at 05:05pm


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  • Posted by BeachWalker on 04/09/12 at 10:53am

    ...and sadly? P&G discontinued the best tooth polish on the market!! I do not believe they did this. I called and they told me there was no demand for it. I wouldn't quibble about their's that good...but what I would complain about was the measly sized tube it came in... .85oz!...there was now way that was going to sell on the shelf with giants....dopey marketing strategy ...shame too...nothing put there compares .

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  • Posted by VV001 on 03/30/12 at 10:57pm

    I've been using Arm & Hammer Advanced White toothpaste. Their claim is that one tube whitens your smile seven shades. I started getting compliments on how white my teeth were are I switched. Not exactly whitening strips, but definitely worth checking out.

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