Oral health is an important part of your overall well-being, but choosing the right dentist isn’t as simple as walking into the closest dental office. Lucky for you, we already did the heavy lifting: 5280 teamed up with topDentists, a company that creates nationwide dentist listings, to locate Colorado’s 598 best dentists. A healthy smile is just the flip of a page away.
Teeth Whitening: Bright Whites
One man’s adventures in cosmetic teeth bleaching.
When my wife and I moved to Miami Beach years ago, we expected an added emphasis on appearance—but I never thought that superficiality would extend to my dentist. On my first visit, the hygienist noted that I might want to have my teeth whitened: “If you’re in an office and out meeting people for work,” she said, “you really might want to think about it.” “I’m a freelance writer,” I countered. “Most days I sit in front of my computer, in my home office, and don’t see a single person besides my wife.” That ended the conversation. My teeth are straight; they’re just a bit…gray. When I smile for a photo, they almost look like they’re not there. As someone who thinks of himself as more substantive than vain, I never really cared—until I got the South Beach hard sell.
Fast-forward a few years. My wife and I moved to Denver, and I took a job at this magazine where—wait for it—I now work in an office and am out meeting people. A lot. That hygienist popped into the insecure recesses of my mind. So a couple of months ago I caved and headed to my dentist’s office to have my teeth whitened using a system called Zoom. A tech used a contraption to pull my lips apart, applied a bleaching solution to my teeth, and then shined a bright light into my mouth for a 45-minute session. I made it through, but afterward the tech’s reaction was what I’d call “nonplussed.” The gray parts of my teeth had brightened somewhat, but now the very bottoms of my two front top teeth were very white, creating a bigger contrast. Great. So: My teeth are a bit brighter today, but they’re nowhere close to South Beach–worthy. I recently picked up my at-home whitening trays (part of the whitening package), and we’ll see if those help. In the meantime, I suppose I can take solace in the fact that if my teeth aren’t as white as the snow on the Rockies, maybe no one here really cares anyway. —Geoff Van Dyke