Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Say "Cheese"!!

Grab this related post Widget!
I recently started to notice that my teeth were looking kind of tired after a lifetime of consuming grape popsicles, blueberries, red wine, coffee, and whatever else is a staining agent. In the past I've tried those whitening strips you can buy at Target but the results were always short-lived and less than impressive. So, vain guy that I am, I decided to go the professional route and put a sparkle back in my smile.

I'm fortunate to have a really great dentist right up the street from our residence. Dra. Daniela (Danny) Ordonez is thorough and gentle, and she speaks perfect English. She's also a perfectionist, a quality I'm always happy to find in a medical practitioner.

So into the chair I go, not knowing what to expect since I've never had this procedure performed on me. Basically I laid there for about an hour with a contraption in my mouth to keep it open properly while she painted a strong hydrogen peroxide solution on my teeth several times and held a special light over them. It wasn't the most pleasant experience but I figured, what the hell, if my teeth look great for years this is no biggie.

We weren't done. I had to come back the next day to be fitted with mouth guards into which I was to squirt syringes of more peroxide, then wear them for three hours over the course of four days. Cynthia was quite pleased with this development since she would get a short daily vacation from listening to my constant blabbing.

But that still wasn't all. Danny told me the longer I refrained from drinking red wine, coffee, and green or black tea during the next month, the longer the whitening procedure would last. No problem, I thought. After consuming copious amounts of excellent red wine in Chile, Argentina, and the States this year I've pretty much sworn off of the stuff we can afford to drink here anyway. Fortunately white wine and dark rum weren't on the forbidden list. Tea--I didn't really drink that anyway. And coffee? I drink 2-2 1/2 cups each morning so I figured I wouldn't even notice.

Uh, wrong.

God, my head hurt so damned bad the first day that no amount of ibuprofen could make it stop. Trust me, I know--I tested the dosage limits to no avail. My body literally felt like I had the flu. I couldn't believe that cutting off what I thought was moderate coffee intake could have such a devastating effect.

This caused me to reevaluate my whole relationship with this particular beverage. I've been putting something into my body in amounts I thought were benign, but the severe withdrawal symptoms emphatically demonstrated otherwise. I obviously should consume less coffee once I could drink it again, but that was so----later. In the meantime I didn't want to take a chance experiencing another miserable day and I needed a substitute source of caffeine now.

Off to the Supermaxi. Searching the shelves of tea I spotted a box called Runa with some herb from the Amazon that promised natural energy with antioxidants. I turned the box around and, YES!!, that energy came from caffeine, the same amount as a cup of coffee. Now we're talkin'!

I've been drinking a single cup a day since and you know what, I've discovered that's all the caffeine I really need to clear my head and get going in the morning. No, it doesn't have the wonderful aroma and flavor of fresh brewed coffee, but it tastes OK. And I've come to realize I was really too jacked up with the amount I was previously consuming, so I've learned a valuable lesson about myself in a very unexpected way.

And my teeth? I have to say they look terrific, and I'm very glad I decided to have them professionally whitened. If you're a reader in Cuenca, take a good look in the mirror and see if maybe your smile could use an upgrade too. The treatment is quite inexpensive and Danny is a fabulous dentist. Email her at


Dave Sailer said...

Obviously, I don't check in that often or I'd have commented earlier. I did try coca tea once. Someone gave me a couple of bags of it and I brewed them both. I wouldn't drink it for the taste, but it wasn't bad either. I did find that the boost it gave me was pleasant - a real uplift but a gentle one, and without any of the jitters that caffeine imparts.

And while I've got your attention, do you have an address for your dentist? I don't need one at the moment (and I'm not even in Ecuador, at the moment) but I'd like to keep her in mind.

Edd Staton said...

You're right, Dave. Coca tea is not like, "Wow, this is delicious!" but it does produce a mild buzz. Danny's address is Av. Paucarbamba 4-117 y Las Retamas.