new experience #39: whiten my teeth

on the thirtieth day of december...

there is no better time of year than christmas to display dazzling teeth. photo! smile! “cheese!” ’tis the season to strike a pose flash a bright grin!

i’ve asked my dentist a few times, over the years, about different methods to make my pearly whites whiter. so, i basically decided on this kiki project just out of curiosity. i got a giggle out of pursuing this idea because it seems so self-absorbed and hollywood-esque! heck, i should get a spray-on tan and fake boobs and blond highlights while i’m at it!

i procrastinated on starting this project for a good few months. i wanted to get the whitening kit when it was on sale, but even when i did see it on sale, i put off committing to the purchase because of the cost: $44.99 (sale price) for a 28 day supply. i dove in when i decided to use my shoppers drug mart points. ah, what i don’t do for the kiki project

the kit i purchased

i was impressed when i read the instructions: all you need is five minutes a day. hey, that’s a piece of cake! i needed to find a set point in the day (routine lover that i am), and i would have picked wake-up/first thing in the morning, but the directions advised not to do the treatments right after brushing your teeth. so, i settled on taking five minutes while i got ready for work/got organized (or about 8:30 a.m. every day).

first impressions:

~ the strips are thinner than saran wrap! i had envisioned insertable trays, like what the dentist uses for fluoride treatments.

two strips - the longer one for your upper teeth, shorter for the bottom

~ tastes fresh, like toothpaste, and is a teensy bit foamy like toothpaste, too.

~ creates lots of garbage, what with the outer box, the individual pouches, the clear plastic to which the adhesive upper and lower strips are attached, and the strips themselves.

an example of a day's pouch - strips are inside

i actually started this blog post back on december 1st so that i could keep a photo journal and comment log as the 28 days ticked by…on day one, i was most curious about what my teeth would look like on day 28! would there be a noticeable difference?

day one:

a regular pose...need more teeth!

a little better...

out to attack!!

day two: the instructions warn that you may experience sensitivity. i was a bit worried because when i’ve tried whitening toothpaste before, i’ve had to discontinue it due to sore gums. but the strips don’t bug me at all! and i love the fresh, minty, clean feeling after i use them!

day three: at stitch n kitsch, mom tells me my teeth are “glistening.” [does that mean they will be “blinding” by day 28?!].

day four:

is there a difference? can YOU see a difference?!

day five: this is the first morning where applying the white strips feels like part of my getting-ready routine. just like remembering to put on (tie-dyed) underwear and to comb my hair.

day six: dentist appt this aft! now my teeth will be even more sparkly, i hope! i tell my dentist how whitening toothpastes have made my gums and teeth feel sensitive but the strips do not bug me at all. he says there are so many chemicals (*nice*) in the pastes that the combo in the strips may omit one ingredient to which i have reacted, before.

day seven: it’s official – i’m addicted to that super-clean mouth feel, after removing the strips.

day eight:

is it the reflection off the turtleneck, or are we seeing more whiteness??!

hey, if you want a close up of the teeth, you're gonna get a view up my nose, too...

day nine: i was totally rushed this morning and flubbed the application of the strip onto my bottom teeth. so my upper choppers now have a +1 advantage.

day ten: i ♥ love ♥ this new experience!!!!

day eleven: i wear lipgloss to the carols + lessons service at church. let’s draw attention to the teeth! [maybe this project is not such a good thing – it’s encouraging me to be self-centred!].

day twelve:

i'm keeping the background and the time of day the same for each photo update so that the lighting is consistent

i'm getting more daring with the close-ups!

day thirteen: a bit of gum sensitivity on the upper right side – i just apply the top strip to avoid this section – problem solved, and it’s fine the next day.

day fourteen: a customer at the store has glaringly white teeth. i hope i do not stare – i think i talked to her teeth during her sales transaction. it’s on the tip of my tongue to ask how she got that gleam!

day fifteen: valumart will have the crest 3D strips on sale, 30% off, next week!! so tempting!…[i resist buying another round].

day sixteen:

blurry photo cuz i did something to the camera settings during my walk thru the park last eve - will fix asap!

[i am out of thoughts for the in-between picture days].

day twenty:

if we were holding up paint chip samples, i'd say we've moved a coupla shades down the line!

day twenty-four! (merry christmas!)

think we've plateau'd over the past few days...we do have whiter choppers for christmas, though!

day 28 (last day, boo hoo!):

here’s what the strips look like on your teeth:

all my teeth shots look like i am about to pounce on you. sorry!

and the final photo! as white as we’re going to get!…

twenty-eight days of daily applications later...

ok! now let’s go back to day one…

day one - just so you don't have to scroll up...

and again with day twenty-eight…

ta da!

and back to day one…joking!!

definitely a difference, eh?

CONS [get the negative out of the way first!]:


~environmentally unfriendly


~very easy to apply

~only requires five minutes per day

~did not irritate my gums or make my teeth sensitive to hot and cold

~i did see results

~lovely taste and do leave your mouth feeling very clean and fresh **this amazing clean feel is what i will miss most, truly.**

conclusion: would i buy whitestrips again? heck, yes! ->IF i feel like doling out the cash – the price is a significant limiting factor.

now i’ll be interested to see how long the added whiteness lasts!

let’s talk teeth! how often do you see your dentist (every six months), did you wear braces (yes, nine years), have you ever whitened your teeth? (i have now!).

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  • Dorry  On December 30, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve used white strips several times over the years and noticed some good results. They did make my teeth (or maybe just my gums) sensitive, but I thought it was worth it. I think they’ve improved them since the last time I used them…maybe 2 or 3 years ago. Your smile looks beautiful!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 31, 2011 at 5:50 am

      thank you, dorry! you make a good point – i do think, too, that they have likely reformulated the strips from earlier versions in order to lessen the sensitivity factor. that’s cool that you have tried them, too!

  • Zo  On December 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I love this post! I’ve always been curious about whitening, but haven’t used any products. Love all the “process” shots. I’ll be interested to see how long it lasts too.
    I go to the dentist every 6 months. I wore braces for 2-3 years, but now have a small gap between my front teeth that I sometimes think about trying to close up.

  • Johanna B  On December 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I see my dentist (or hygenist) every 6 mos. I wore braces twice – once as a teenager, once as an adult. I still have my 2nd retainer. I did use whitening strips once but I’ve had repairs on my two middle front teeth so I can’t do too much without there being a difference in the teeth but not the fillings so I kinda gave up on the idea.

    A little vanity is a good thing. Glad you had a good experience with it. I swear I can see a difference in the photos. You got good results.

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 30, 2011 at 9:45 am

      thanks, johanna! that’s neat that you’ve tried the strips, too. i know quite a few adults who still use a retainer. helps against teeth grinding, too!

  • The Orchard  On December 30, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I loved this post! I have always wanted to get my dentist to whiten my teeth, but too expensive and not covered by my plan. So, I bought the strips that you used many years ago but couldn’t use them because my teeth became soo sensitive. In fact, it was after trying those white strips that I had to switch to toothpaste for sensitive teeth! I still wish my teeth were whiter though, so I finally found a whitener for sensitive teeth. Typical me, though, I have only used about half of the package. Every once in awhile when I remember I do it again, but I am sure you don’t get the same results if you only use them every now and again!

    Your teeth look great! Very noticeable, but not blinding white!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

      thanks, tricia! and thanks for sharing your experience. it’s sooo expensive to go the dentist route…although i bet you get really white teeth (but maybe un-naturally so?!). and yes – i agree that you have to use the products (toothpaste, strips, whatever) consistently!

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