Let Me See Ya Grill

5 Degrees of Team MR teeth whitening


You know that episode of Friends, “The One with Ross’ White Teeth?” He leaves whitening gel on for an entire day in order to impress his date, and the result is so extreme that Chandler asks Ross what was wrong with his old “human” teeth.

I, on the other hand, thought the color of his grill looked great. Like Chicklets. There’s just something about blindingly white chompers that makes me feel better, like having a bit of a tan, or a good hair day. I’m sure it’s some sort of Hollywood mind-infiltration — that elusive Movie Star Smile — but if I can’t have the legs of a waxed Zac Efron, then dammit, I want my teeth Ross-Geller-white.

When I decided (with 3 days to spare) that my teeth were to be my best birthday party accessory, I needed to call in The Big Guns. In Manhattan, The Big Guns is a man named Dr. Marc Lazare who had the best selection of movies to watch, not to mention calming bedside manner, an all-access NETFLIX pass and a lovely set of his own white teeth.

I’d try to set one of you guys up with him if I knew his marital status.

He explained the procedure to me, I didn’t really pay attention, and then the teeth whitening process began. It was 3 sets of 15 minute Philips Zoom action, where I reclined like a diva with this thing that pulled my mouth open as though I were making a face at someone on the subway. I watched a movie, did some texting, and I left with teeth so white that I stopped 5th avenue traffic. BA-LING.

Here’s where I messed up: I immediately had coffee, and then later, red wine.

Here’s where Dr. Lazare saved me: teeth whitening trays! It was a DIY that I could handle, and due to my teeths-o-steel I experienced almost zero sensitivity. (“Zingers” are normal — a sharp shooting “WTF!” moment for your teeth. Luckily, this only happened once and then I carried on.)

Two weeks later and I’m still receiving compliments on how white and bright my teeth are. A stranger asked if they were natural so I lied and said yes. She was impressed. Would I do it again? 100%, but not until my next birthday. You know, just to avoid any awkward makeouts in black-lit rooms.

Guess who else I got on the Bling Ring board? Everyone at Man Repeller, each one with a different technique.

Leandra, tool of choice: specialized whitening toothbrush

Amelia ‘asshead’ Diamond assigned me a vibrating toothbrush for this project that allegedly maintains extreme teeth-whitening capabilities. Initially, what I thought this meant was the rapid brushing of enamel off my teeth but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the toothbrush did not “allegedly” whiten my teeth, it de facto light-washed these babies.

But first, I had to get used to it. The tooth brush looks like a vibrator with white nylon whiskers at the tip (aka bristles), which doesn’t seem that far fetched for a vibrator if you think about it hard enough and the moment it touches your teeth, you kind of feel like you’re drilling into your own cavity only to learn that like a sour patch bear, it’s only so bitchy for so long. If you have the wherewithal to let your gums acclimate to its lunatic movements, you will learn that it’s actually quite nice. Like a massage or something.

I wasn’t sure whether the toothbrush was working until last week when I went to the dentist to get a cavity filled and she let me know that she’d have to bleach my cap because my teeth were so much whiter than her color samples.

Leandra: 1.

Cristina, tool of choice: name brand whitening strips

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but for the first time ever in my life I completed a box of whitening strips — which for me — is an accomplishment in and of itself. I used the Crest 3D White Strips with the Advanced Seal technology, which I was personally a big fan of as this technology leant to a tighter grip on my teeth and limited the not-so-sexy saliva build up that accumulates when you have whitening strips slipping off your teeth. I used the strips as recommended: once a day for 14 days and removed them after 30 minutes.While I’ve heard horror stories of pain that is associated with whitening strips, particularly with people with sensitive teeth, my own experience was pain-free.

Were my teeth school bus yellow before? No (at least I hope not). Is there a significant change in the color of my teeth? I’ll let you be the judge of that. But please be easy on me — I refused to give up coffee for the sake of this experiment and felt like too much of a narcissist drinking hot coffee with a straw.

Amelia again: Cristina’s teeth are really white.

Kate, tool of choice: oil pulling, then whitening trays

In an unexpected bout of consistency, I’ve kept up with oil-pulling since March, mostly because it makes my teeth less sensitive. It’s also supposed to whiten teeth, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of that. So, in the spirit of teamwork and journalistic integrity, I went in for the Philips Zoom trays

One of the many differences between Amelia and I is that she has superhero dentin and chilled tap water makes my teeth cry. I was hoping the combination of oil-pulling, fancy prescription toothpaste, and the desensitizing gel in the kit would make teeth whitening tolerable. After two weeks of gradually increasing wear-time, and obsessively following sensitive-teeth protocol, I’m almost there.


Despite my hygiene lacking in other areas (erhm, face washing, hair washing), my dental hygiene is something I have never skimped on. I floss at least twice a day (even when I had braces) so I was up to the challenge of adding something to my otherwise lazy daily routine in the good spirit of my teeth.

I tested the generic CVS brand of white strips over the course of three weeks. They conveniently dissolve in your mouth so there’s no messy removal and saliva build up like I’ve had with other strips. I do imagine, however, that if you can eat the materials you are using to whiten your teeth you’re either A. being poisoned or B. not using very strong whitener. I have come to the conclusion it is an amalgamation of the two. After about a week of using the strips I saw a subtle difference in that my teeth looked cleaner, but beyond a week they didn’t look much different. I feel the whiteness plateaued pretty quickly and my teeth didn’t change all that much.


Now we want to know? Have you ever tried whitening? LET US SEE YOUR GRILL.

I know this is less exciting than outfit credits buttt: Leandra used the Philips DiamondClean sonic toothbrush, which my roommate said is like the “Lamborghini of toothbrushes.” Charlotte used CVS Dissolving Whitening Strips Easy Peel Application. I had the Philips Zoom WhiteSpeed treatment done, with accompanying white trays. Cristina used Crest 3D Whitestrips and Kate pulled with coconut oil, then attempted but is still completing the Philips whitening trays. 

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  • Fashion Follows Her

    I’m kind of in two minds about teeth whitening- looks lovely but I don’t think I could handle the pain if they go super sensitive! http://fashionfollowsher.com/

  • Aubrey Green

    I notice the biggest difference with Amelia’s teeth, that being said all of you have great teeth in general :).

    • Amelia Diamond

      I actually think the lighting is weird in the left picture, but my teeth have definitely never been this white before. Maybe when I was a baby but really, never this white.

  • Kate Barnett

    my greatest takeaway from this experiment is that i should visit palm springs more often.

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    ¿Are the Friends references really necessary?

    • Quinn Halman

      Riddle me this; when would a Friends reference NOT be necessary?

    • could the BE any more necessary?

  • Quinn Halman

    I have such a tumultuous relationship with my teeth, I’ve learned to just whiten as I go along. Just so you know, I don’t have 9 of them (4 wisdom, 4 molars, 1 in the front) and with that came a number of contraptions in my mouth and surgeries (3rd operation is on Wednesday). For some reason when I was 12, there was a gold chain put in that dragged one specific tooth to its place. Because I was 12 and a self-proclaimed baller, I referred to it as my bling and people still laugh about it to this day. All I can say is use mouthwash and wear your elastics

    • Amelia Diamond

      Quinn I literally have no idea what you’re saying here.

      • hahahahhaah. yeah, i’m so worried about your mouth now. are you ok Quinn?!

        • Quinn Halman

          To clarify: the surgery on wednesday is to put in a tooth (because I was born without 9)

          • Wait from an observer’s viewpoint that’s actually kinda cool.

      • Quinn Halman

        one time my orthodontist said anything that could naturally go wrong in a mouth happened with me

        • Kirby

          That basically what every mouth doctor ever has said to me, like multiple times in one visit. Therefore, my teeth are definitely not my favorite body part and I normally try to ignore them.

      • Quinn Halman

        And there was a gold chain in my mouth that I called my bling when I was 12

    • doublecurl

      I HAD THAT CHAIN. I feel ya.

  • exploringwardrobes

    I love the look of white teeth but I really hate my dentist. He’s so smug that I’m paying for his kids college education #dentistprobs


  • A+ gif. Professor Diamond, was that your doing?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Sigh. Charlotte found it for me.

  • E

    Such beautiful grins, ladies! I myself have dabbled in the teeth whitening game. Crest Pre-Brush Whitening rinse works wonders. A quick swishing before brushing and you’re good to go!!!! Smile on. xx

  • Catbird

    Friends AND Grease reference in one post? A++.

  • kb

    Another method is brushing with baking soda, which I think I would feel better about!

  • Lexie

    I’ve tried plenty of different name-brand whitening stirs that don’t do anything for my teeth. Leandra, what was the name of the toothbrush you used?

    • Kate Barnett

      hey lexie – she used the Philips DiamondClean sonic toothbrush. i have a sonicare as well and swear by it. it makes my teeth feel post-dental-check-up clean.

  • Ecem Sheyda

    Crest whitening strips – booyakasha. Unlike the above review it does wonders for me (aka almost Hollywood smile but without feeling like I’m burning my teeth off) but I guess it depends on your tooth enamel etc. (I drink enough black coffee to blow my brains out by midday, and almost equal amounts of red wine). Although it is slightly less effective nowadays than how it originally used to be – as they have lowered the level of peroxide, so you have to get through a couple of packs if your teeth are in a pretty bad state.

    Orrrr……If you want to be really naughty, dab a layer of CVS brand (‘cheap as chips’) whitening pen before applying the strips. (Pre-date ‘shit hit the fan’ ritual) I get the cheapest stuff. (Who said French pharmacies were a God send – CVS is so much more interesting for those of us who live on this side of the pond)

    Also, Plus White 5 Minute Gel was my initial go to after the Crest whitening strips went slightly downhill, but it’s super strong so you need to apply it very carefully without getting it onto fillings, and you’re better off buying a pack of mouldable tooth guards for a few bucks and following the instructions on the package to make a pair of tooth guards that actually fit onto your teeth than using the stupid plastic thing that’s included in the pack. The better fitted the tooth guard (unlike the one they provide) the more product actually gets absorbed into your teeth than into gums/gut = whiter smiles, less poison.

  • 1. This is awesome, ladies. You all look great. Welcome, Cristina! Maybe a lil “About Me” segment could be written? (….I’m nosy, or the online equivalent of an anal mom in a grocery store: I like to know who’s behind da site.)

    2. I see a visible difference in all of your teeth.

    3. Kate! Your hair is so sleek. Really, really cool.

    4. My uncle and Brooke Shields (as per slideshow) were best friends in college. We have this original baby picture of her she gave to my uncle as a gag gift party favor one year. I think it sits in a drawer with other oddities.

  • belulopezchamba

    I have to admit that I’m a little bit scared about teeth whitening since a classmate of mine once told me that it really wasnt good for yo’ teeth. So, I’ve looked for other options, such as the hundreds of tutorials that exist in YouTube. There is a particulary one, that says that if you scrub your teeth with banana peel, and let the residue for a while, then your teeth will beacome whiter. Who knows! Maybe i’ll try this more organic version!

  • I always tell my Dentist I want “glow in the dark white” teeth, he laughs and tell me they are white enough but I just stare back with a serious face and say “I’m paying cash.” Also the best thing about Dentists are they are just as excited about teeth as I am. I go every six months along with my regular cleaning. But when I get that OCD feeling that my choppers my be a bit beige I use 5 Min Whitening, sip through a metal straw “a la Oprah” and eat strawberries and dark chocolate.


  • Natalie

    I’m thinking about teeth whitening before my wedding in Oct. Definitely some things to try out before.

  • doublecurl

    My teeth are sensitive babies. Whitestrips technically work but feel like hell and I am also prone to falling asleep with them on (DON’T). Enter GloSmile, because I can’t afford actual dentist prescribed trays and gels etc. This thing works insanely well and caused zero sensitivity. It did burn the inside of my lips……but I’ll take it.

  • pamb

    Love the vintage picture of Brooke Shields, and Amelia’s drinking coffee and red wine right after having her teeth whitened!

  • emac

    All I could think of after I read this is, “when is part II, asshole whitening, going to appear on the site?”

  • Susan Palmer

    Who is Cristina? Is she new to the Manrepeller team?

  • Neza

    How much the dr. cost? Your teeth look great!