Last night I bleached my teeth again.
Dental bleaching. I know it sounds like S&M for dental hygienists but it's not. It's as close as I'm getting to cosmetic surgery. The thing is, I had my teeth professionally whitened a year ago and as part of the monthly upkeep, I have to wear bleach filled dental trays overnight.
It's not as bad as it sounds.
I have to psyche myself up for the task. I take painkillers: oral and topical. Then I put on these bleach filled plastic trays molded to match my top and bottom teeth. The bleach comes in a gel, which has a sicky lemon taste. Then I will myself to sleep knowing that I'll wake up in the middle of the night from the pain in my teeth. It starts off with a dull ache and develops into a mind grabbing jabbing pain.
In the morning, I take the trays out of my mouth and use Sensodyne toothpaste. (The one they advertise with "normal people" talking about how sensitive there teeth are...) It's pink and tastes gross (everyone knows toothpaste should taste minty). But it does the trick! The pain subsides.
Until I have something to eat. Or to drink. Hot. Or cold. Or at room temperature.
My teeth start to ache again.
It's an odd type of pain in that it feels slightly disassociated from my body. A bit like saying that the ends of your hair ache. Are you with me?
I become incredibly sensitive to noise. Because it goes straight to my teeth. Rustling paper, metal on metal... it all feels like someone's running their nails across a black board.
The ache lasts all day. Although it usually subsides in time for dinner, I know I have a few days of intermittent jabs of sensitivity to look forward to.
As you can imagine this does not make me particularly relaxed or sociable. It puts me on edge. Literally. Short fuse and all. I call that state of being: toothy. As in, "I'm a bit toothy today."
The thing is. It's not the discomfort that I dread. It's the memory of the discomfort that gets to me: knowing what the next 24 hours will hold.
Wait. That's not all.
There's more to it than that. I've also stopped drinking tea. And coffee. And eating anything too yellow or red or brown. So I eat a lot of hummus. And no chocolate. It's a bit like the voice diet (see the Notes from the Fridge blog) but colour based.
Am I insane? No.
Driven? Yes, but not sure where to.
So is it worth it? I think so. As an actress it makes sense to have a good smile. Especially in the American market. (Oh, I didn't know you'd been working in the US. I haven't.)
Here's to the next 10 hours of toothiness and pearly whites!