Thursday, September 11, 2014

On the Road: Toothy Tales

I am an avid coffee and tea drinker, and my favorite alcoholic drink is red wine. Needless to say, my teeth are not the whitest of the white. But, hey, I still have teeth, which is shocking given the amount of sugar I used to dump in my coffee and tea. (I use Splenda now and actually prefer it!)

Fearing there might be some “capture everyone in the family” photography going on at my cousin’s wedding, I picked up the Crest 3D White 1-Hour Express strips — they were on a 2-for-1 offer at at the time! — and took them along with me. I was worried I might not have enough time to see any improvement before the wedding, but I recently had an ulcer on my gum and was not putting whitestrips anywhere near it. 

Ulcer cleared up and numerous cups of coffee consumed on the road, I was ready to test them out. Here's the before picture. No, I am not grimacing because that's how I smile. I'm just trying to show as many teeth as possible. Sorry!

You guys… they work. The name gives the impression they are to be left on for one hour, but apparently they are meant to be left on for two. Still, I did notice a difference in the hour I had them on. I could feel something happening, but there was no pain, burning, tingling, just a strange sensation that something was going on. 

And here's the after. My teeth are a shade whiter. The lighting isn't different. That's the reddening caused by the strips (or, more likely, friction from brushing my teeth). Not a huge difference, but one I noticed.

I’d definitely recommend these because if using them improperly — oops! — gives results, what will happen when I leave them on for the full two hours?

On a far less shallow note, I can't let this day pass without thinking of the men and women who died on 9/11 over a decade ago. I was in my advisor's office discussing what would be my first semester of college, and he answered his phone. The color drained from his face, and he asked, "Do you have friends or family in New York?" I said yes, I did have a dear friend who lived there. He told me our meeting was postponed, and I needed to call my friend because the city was under attack.

I vaguely remember calling my friend, Kevin, and him repeating, "Jesus, I'm okay. I'm okay. Jesus Christ. I'm fine." We made it home in time to see the second plane hit, and that's something I remember clearly. 

A guy who is basically my brother was working outside that day, and he remembers seeing ash everywhere, coating everything it touched and the horrible realization that some of that ash had once been human beings. I think it scarred his soul. 

Everyone, regardless of political affiliation or religion, can agree the attack that took place that day was atrocious and cowardly. I hope those affected, directly or indirectly, can find a measure of peace today. I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

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