Black and Yellow: Your Teeth?

Why don’t you try bleaching your teeth? What else are you doing right now? Whiter teeth are very attractive and youthful and clean-looking and make people want to make out with you. I can guarantee that if you, like me, do any of the following, you need a good bleaching:

Do you drink coffee, cola, red wine, or tea?

Do you smoke anything?

Do you do some sushi with soy sauce several times a week?

Are you into blueberries or POM juice?

Yes? Then follow me. We’re gonna bleach your teeth at home because most of you can get pretty amazing results for relatively little $$ this way.

(There are exceptions: if you have any tooth-colored fillings, crowns or bridges that you can see when you smile, don’t DIY. The reason is that unless you bleached your teeth right before you got that dental work done, your dentist matched the color of the filling or crown to your unbleached teeth. Therefore, if you bleach, your natural teeth will get lighter but your dental work won’t and that could be a very bad look. All that can be done in that case, I’m sorry to say, is to consult your dentist. Or risk it? Your call.)

OK! For the rest of you: get Crest Professional White Strips with Advanced Seal Technology. What a mouthful. There are like three different varieties of this brand depending where you shop. They’re $40–50 (as opposed to the $600 you’d spend at the dentist) and really stick to your teeth if you do it right and won’t slide around and the results are visible in a couple days. I use them about once a year. Just be sure you follow the directions and DON’T GIVE UP EARLY. Trust the experts. Bleach until you’re done! The most difficult thing is figuring out the best time to rock gooey tape on your teeth. Here are some suggestions:

-On your way to work

-As you walk the dog

-During 30 Minute Meals

-On the Stairmaster

-When your mom calls

-While you spray tan

-While doing it

-During chores

-During your winter pedi or deep conditioning!

Two normal side effects that you shouldn’t let scare you: your gums might feel funny from the bleach getting on them. You’ll just have to get better at keeping it off. And if you get super-white spots on your teeth after a few days, that’s just dehydrated enamel. It should go away a few days after you’re done bleaching entirely and trust me: no one but you notices it in the meantime.

If for some insane reason you’re still not convinced, be wasteful and spend five bucks on this app that lets you see how you’d look in photos with whiter teeth. (Hint: way better.)

(Ed. note: As always, no one is paying Jane to say these things.)

Previously: Dry Shampoo — Don’t Put a Bag on Your Head.

Jane Feltes is a VERY CLASSY LADY and produces the radio program “This American Life.” She can be seen regularly on stage at The Talent Show in Brooklyn and also blogs about cooking awesome meals for that special someone — herself — at ReadyMade.

Photo via the New York Times Magazine, for which the author modeled her very own grill.