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All I want for Christmas is all my teeth white

On December 6, 2001

Everyone wants whiter teeth. I am no exception. After years of forking over what should have been college tuition money to my dentist, he recently approached me with the option to try a tooth whitening kit.My initial desire for white teeth quickly diminished upon hearing the sinful amount of money the procedure would cost. While my teeth were giving me the go-ahead, my bank account was telling me otherwise. My teeth would just have to be happy with their current state.Until Walgreens came to the rescue.Huntsville's friendly neighborhood drugstore graciously agreed to donate four of its tooth whitening kits in order to aid Houstonian staff members in their quest for pearly whites. Walgreens offers a wide range of products at a remarkably reasonable price. So save a day's lunch money and see how you can benefit. Here, we review the products.

BioDent's Dental WhiteWalgreens Retail: $9.95

Tester: Emilie Hornak, sports editor

"Everybody likes to have white teeth, but after trying to use this product I think people would be more willing to just brush with baking soda and peroxide. Not only is the product too time consuming, it is also difficult to use. "To start using it, you have to make this mouth piece to fit your teeth, and this involves using hot water. During this phase, the instructions actually warn you to be careful with it because it will tear."One you get the mouth piece to fit, the instructions tell you to do a test run to see if it will be ok in your mouth. One plus is that you can refit it if you get it wrong the first time."Once I actually got it to fit, I had to wear the thing for an hour and a half each day. And that was only for my top teeth. The instructions tell you to use the product separately on the top and bottom teeth."Well, in the end, my top teeth looked a little better, but they didn't match my top teeth. Now I have to spend a few hours over the next couple of days on my bottom teeth so they'll look a little better."I think I'll stick to some less time consuming teeth whitening methods for now on."

Rembrandt Age Defying Whitening Fluoride ToothpasteWalgreens Retail: $5.99

acob Brooks, staff writer and roommate J. W. Steinke, junior English major

"When I first poured it over my toothbrush, and began to brush, I was amazed at the softness of the paste--it's obviously for people who may have a sensitive gum line. I don't have a sensitive gum line but I drink a lot of coffee and occasionally smoke, so I paid close attention to the whitening aspect of the toothpaste. I can't say that in the past two weeks I've seen much of a change, but there does appear to be some change. My teeth are maybe one shade degree whiter than they used to be. As for the taste, it tastes just like fluoride, which is the active ingredient." Jacob

"My first impression was that it was very gooey, and had a very strong, distinctive taste. It also made my teeth tingle for several minutes. After a few days use, though, I did have whiter teeth. That's saying a lot, because I smoke. All in all, it is a pretty good toothpaste with very impressive whitening results." - J.W.

Plus+White 5-Minute Teeth Whitener GelWalgreens Retail: $3.99

Audrey Wick, entertainment editor and roommate Melinda Kalmus, junior accounting major

"To combat post-holiday voraciousness and subsequent tooth rot, my roommate and I tried Plus+White 5-Minute Teeth Whitener Gel. Noting both the ridiculously fake picture on the front of the tube and the main ingredient of the concoction being water, we were skeptical. But we swabbed our teeth following regular brushing twice a day and grinned like Cheshire Cats for three to five minutes until the "oxygenating action like dentists use" subsided. Viola!

The paste tasted good enough to eata liquid form of Certs. We were also pleasantly surprised by the results. The paste need only be used continuously for two weeks. Then sporadic applications suffice. Three cheers for the $3.99 underdogmy teeth have never been whiter!"

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