The unbearable whiteness of being

It seems as though a lot more people than I realized use Crest whitening strips. I bet a few people here have gone in for the actual light treatments, which reportedly work pretty well, teeth whitening training programs have become quite popular. Someone I know recently fell asleep with a strip in, and woke up with very sensitive teeth. The closest I have come to doing this is passing out dead drunk about 20 years ago with a huge wad of Copenhagen in place. My lip looked like the surface of Mars once I peeled the snuff out, but my teeth didn’t hurt.

Everyone likes a nice smile, but the focus on “the whiter the better” is pretty lame. I’d like to see strips in various other colors. Wouldn’t it be cool to meet people for the first time and offer them an arrestingly gorgeous neon-mauve grin? You could find a complimentary color for the bottom teeth.

Or better yet, not strips but patches for individual teeth. You could do a ROY G BIV across all fourteen top chompers (for those whose wisdom teeth are gone), two teeth per rainbow color. You could have a Pride Flag smile. And screw tattoos, jerseys and hats — your favorite pro sports team could decorate your mouth. THAT would be loyalty.

If Tiger Woods or Gary Busey did this it would probably violate a lot of local ordinances normally applicable to billboards and the like.

I know that the antibiotic tetracycline can cause mottled tooth enamel in infants born to moms who take the drug while pregnant, but this falls a little short of what I’m proposing here and besides, it would be inconvenient to have to be a foetus in order to enjoy the privilege of unfettered and permanent tooth staining.

I have no doubt that people can and do get crowns in various colors, but a Google image search only turns up a few pictures of kids with colored braces. Between the expense of dental crowns and the whimsicality required to undertake this kind of procedure, it would pretty much take a wealthy eccentric with an impulsive demented streak. If I could afford to do this, or anything, I wouldn’t bother because instead I would buy a really nice, expensive car that would be the envy of mindless middle-aged men the world over, like a vintage Lamborghini, and fuck it all up. I’d key the thing myself, put gray primer paint all over the doors over a green base, give the windshield a few love taps with a golf club for a nice spiderweb effect, and dislocate the bumper. An old “Carter/Mondale” bumper sticker to go with a “support out troops” ribbon, plus a decal for the rear windshield from DeVry University, would round out the ensemble. I’d never tire of driving.

6 thoughts on “The unbearable whiteness of being”

  1. “I’d like to see strips in various other colors.”

    This is a hell of a neat idea. I’ve always found tooth whitening to be a response to a problem that doesn’t actually exist – but being able to color your teeth as you wish is something I’d go in for.

    Maybe you should contact Paas and see if they’re into it.

  2. Several years ago I had a student with a “tooth tatoo”, I think it was more along the lines of something bonded to the tooth. It was a Harley symbol.

    Personally, I find that people with excessively white teeth look freakish. It’s obviously fake. I see it all the time on TV commercials now. I don’t think “Gee, that person has nice white teeth”, but rather “How much whitener did they need to do that?”

  3. By the way I saw the movie Unbearable Lightness of Being and I think you had to read the novel to appreciate it. I didn’t get why people liked it so much.

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