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January 9th, 2013

Saving Money: A Guide For Everyone (But Mostly Girls) – Part 2

Oh my god you guys, hi again! As I promised you yesterday, in Part 1 of this extremely professional and well-researched series on how to stretch your dwindling paycheck, today we will discuss your teeth and your money and how best to combine them. There are necessary dental hygiene tasks that must be completed daily, obviously, but then there are some things that really aren’t necessary. My overall view on the subject is

Tooth Whitening: Seriously?


Look, friends. Those at-home tooth whitening kits are expensive. They’re like $40. That’s almost a full tank of gas. And if you have the dentist do it, it’s practically a mortgage payment. And for what? A paper-white smile? You’re just going to ruin it by smoking cigars and drinking wine anyway. I know what the fashion magazines say. Whiter teeth can look nice, sure, but this is something you do when you’ve got a little extra cash. Not when taxes have been raised and you just bought a Honda. The thing to tell yourself is: You don’t need freakishly white teeth to have a pleasant life. “But” you argue, “that commercial I saw says that, with whiter teeth, I can attract, marry and mate with that nice-looking gentlemen a few tables away at the Starbucks.”

Please tell me you’ve all seen that ad. It’s so unsettling that I don’t even remember what brand of tooth crap it’s for. It features a beautiful woman, making eyes at an attractive man at a cafe. She daydreams as the voice over gets way the hell ahead of itself, saying, basically (I’m only slightly misquoting this), “he could be the man of your dreams. He’ll probably marry you and father your children. But first, you have to say hello.” Then the girl flashes him a mouthful of glowing dentition. Then The Voice of Unrealistic Expectations comes back in, saying, “What will a whiter smile do for you?”

You know what it will do? It might – might – get you a compliment from some lady in the restroom of the Cheesecake Factory. But that’s it. It’s not going to make any significant improvements to your life. It won’t solidify your friendships, help you learn Spanish or teach you to fly fish. It’s not going to help you get a job. Unless you’re a tooth model. Which, let’s be honest, you are not. It’s certainly not going to find you a husband. Because all the carbamide peroxide in the world isn’t going to do anything about your earth-shattering halitosis.

How about you just floss and brush like you’re supposed to? It ends up being like four cents a day and, aside from keeping the cost of dental procedures down , your mouth won’t smell like a paper mill any more. Maybe that guy with the chinchilla who sits across from you on the bus will finally ask you out!

Additionally, if you use a whitening toothpaste, you can be working toward your fairly needless goal anyway. An added way to save money AND protect your teeth, though it might be impossible for some of you addictive types, is to lay off the coffee and red wine. That crap is pricey and stain-y. I know my weekly red wine budget (I don’t drink coffee) used to be in the $300-range. If you stop drinking those things, you can save a boat load, both on daily costs, and on future liver transplant surgery.

The point is, don’t shell out forty bucks for this mess. Dental hygiene is the key to success people, not the color of your teeth. Plus, it’s 2013, we have Photoshop now. You can make your teeth any color you want!

Next time, we’re going into your closet to throw up in your shoes to see if there are any cash hemorrhages happening there.

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