Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The whole thing started quite innocently with me glancing through the NUSS flyers, and found that there was actually a discount for tooth whitening package at Angel Tooth at $640.00. I believe standard prices are easily $1200. I HAD TO GO!
secured sponsorship from E for all the presents he owed, current and goodness knows how many future presents...
So we went on a bright Saturday morning, full of anticipation. Alas, the Dentist had to clean my teeth and that lead to some bleeding at the gum, so we had to reschedule for the following. but but but the offer was laspsing at the end of the month wor... Oh, you'll hold the offer for me? cool.
The next week, the gums were no longer bleeding, i hadn't developed sores, or had a chip/ huge hole in my teeth. All systems go.
First step. Determining the hue and value of my teeth. D4.
oh oh. did i like, fail some test?
Based on Hue
ok, apparently, the hues are based on types of races. As are mostly whitish for ang-mohs, Bs are greyish for Indians, Cs are yellowish for Malays, and Ds are brownish for Chinese.
Based on Value
To see how many shades of improvement there is, the most usual way is to measure against value. Interestingly, B1 is 1 shade higher than A1. And my D4 is not the last of class, but shade #8... still.
Our aim is to get to B1, or A1, 7 or 6 shades improvement. Okay, as long we're clear that we are not going for the artificial hollywood plastic white (which incidentally cannot be achieved by teeth whitening, and only by veneers. ah so.)
We started by fixing some kind of braces/ mouth guard which made me grin permanently while exposing all my teeth. This was just a little uncomfortable, and i had to make sure i didnt move my jaw too much and be able to swallow saliva without disloging the braces.Some gel was applied to my teeth, we waited for 10min then activated the bleaching agent (in the gel) using laser light for another 10min. The gel was stirred on the teeth in between each set and the dentist checked on my condition. Through successive sets, the pores on the enamel will open bigger and let more of the bleaching agent into bleach the dentin (which is naturally off-white/ yellowish), but not much till the bleaching agent seeps further to the pulp or hit the nerves in the root canal. OUCH!
This was done in maximum 4 sets, depending on tooth sensitivity and condition of teeth. Basically, if you have very sensitive teeth, you will be crying and howling in pain by 2nd set, and if you have dead nerves, you can go all the way to 4th.
I was alright all till half way point of the 4th set. By then it felt like a drill was going into my temples, while finger nails were scratching across a blackboard behind me AND froze ice-cream jammed into my mouth. (this feeling was to hit intermittently throughout the 1st night requiring 2 of my stashed ponstan, and thankfully with less frequency throughout the 1st 3-4 days.)
But the good news was: I had acheived shade B1!
FORBIDDEN FOOD (and drinks)
I had done some research earlier and understood that i wasnt too eat/ drink stuff that would stain my teeth, especially for the 1st 2 weeks as the pores on the enalmel were still open and will close slowly over 2 weeks. Ok, no coffee, no tea, no orange juice, not nice, but i can handle it.
However, I was not prepared for the full extent of forbidden stuff. NO COLORFUL STUFFNO chilli - curries, laksa, chilli sauce, etc
NO tomata - stews, pizza etc
NO black sauce - char kway teow, lor mee, chai tow kway etc
NO coffee/ tea/ juices/ red wine etc
NO yellow noodle - ALL noodle dishes etc
NO cheese - burgers, pizza, baked rice etc
NO vegetables - well, anything that has color, carrots/ leafy veg/ pumbkin etc
seriously can die right? and oh my goodness...
NO chocolate - 'nuff said...
The analogy was, if it stained a white shirt, you can't have it. ARGHHHH!
The stuff that i could have were:
- Milk (fresh, not flavored)
- white fish (no salmon etc)
- chicken without skin
- white rice, rice noodle
- baked potato
- green apple
- pasta in white sauce
oh good grief.
2 weeks later
First thing first, by the end of 2 weeks, i had lost weight. LOLz.
I went back for a review and found that my teeth had rebounded to 1/2 shade between B1 and A1. The dentist thought we should get it done properly, and go for another treatment to gun for B1. i.e. another 3-4 sets to touch up.
i was aghast, another $640?!
no lah, free lah.
ermmm... oh. yeah! sure. (all the pain and suffering after the first treatment forgotten on hearing the word FREE, so human)
And we did acheive B1, half a shade better than B1 in fact, and it had just that little bit of fakeness...
MORE SUFFERING, but migated with a desentizing gel that the doc prescribed that will help to decrease the sensitivity and temporary close the pores.
Another 2 weeks.
This time the review showed that i had rebounded a full shade to A1. The dentist couldnt understand why, but i supposed i had cheated a little on the food...
Still A1 is pretty good lah, 6 shades improvement leh!
I'm gonna be smiling alot more brightly from now on.