I Know Which Lipsticks Will Make Your Teeth Look Whiter Because I Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Years

I’m worried I’m going to end up with the yellowing mouth of an aging rock star, but makeup can help anything!

I haven’t been to the dentist in a decade. That’s really bad, I know, but there’s a semi-traumatic story that justifies all that.

You see, when I was around seven or eight, I was really fucking big on dental hygiene. A real nerd about it. I’d brush at least three times a day, gargle Listerine; I even flossed, for god's sake! So it was obviously a big shock to me that, despite doing everything right, I still got not one, but two cavities. You just can’t escape those fuckers! Everyone I know, at some point, has had a cavity or tooth pulled, which makes me feel better. And in my defense, said cavities were located in my last two hard-to-reach back molars.

So me being me (levelheaded), upon hearing the news, held my shit together until we got out of the office, and then I immediately blamed my mom for not buying me some expensive unnecessary toothbrush. “This is all your fault,” all woe is me, and I’m ruined. I defelected everything as a child.

Obviously though I’m not that irrational and didn’t actually think it was my mom’s fault, or at least not after some reflection (time out). I was just scared! And who wouldn’t be? Is there anyone out there that subscribes to the gloved-hands-poking-around-your-mouth-with-cold-metal-tools-inflicting-pain fetish?

So for weeks, everyone told me they’ll numb you up. It’ll be fine.


The first thing the dentist told me was that the numbing needle hurts more than the drill. I’m not sure if this is true or not (so feel free to tell me in the comments), but I am pretty sure that was another lie. I, of course, said fine, I’ll be fine, I’ll do it with nothing. I’m a tough girl. Just think of the bragging rights I’ll have. I can handle it!

Oh, the lies we tell ourselves.

It was pure hell. Like a hole was being hacked into my gums with a white hot poker. But I was stubborn, stoic even, while this strange white man drilled into my teeth, with his hands all in my mouth, which was upsetting on its own. Even to this day, the very sound of a drill makes me cringe, ugh.

So to sum it up: I’ve never had the desire to go back to the dentist again.

Oh and the filling is ugly. UGLY. I guess maybe this was before they did white fillings. Or maybe that costs extra, so it ended up being this gross silver color. Not even a cool metallic silver either — it’s just dull. And it’s chipped on several occasions; like sometimes I feel something in my mouth and I spit out a little silver flake. NOT COOL. NOT SEXY.

But anyway, since I’m on a dentist hiatus, I worry a lot about my teeth and keeping them healthy or whatever. I mean, I drink and smoke a lot, so I’m worried I’m going to end up with the yellowing mouth of an aging rock star. These are the things that keep me up at night, but makeup can help anything!

Does anyone remember when CoverGirl teamed up with Crest to make those incredible Wetslicks Amazemint Lipglosses? I treasured them because it was the first lip gloss my mom ever let me use. I remember specifically my shade was Berry. I loved them, but then they got discontinued, and in my heart I felt a little shallow pang.

I didn’t even realize this until I was browsing the makeup section of Walgreens a few months ago with a friend. We’d been in there for like an hour (so I’d had the time to scour the walls up and down) hoping the near-permanent corner fixture of drunk cat-callers would disperse so we could walk back to campus in peace. Anyway, the CoverGirl website says these are the replacements but I honestly wouldn’t recommend them. Never trust a gloss that comes in a plastic squeeze tube — just as a general rule, they’re usually sticky.

So instead I give you Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lipstick! Which is so weird but actually works.

It’s a well-known beauty tip (wouldn’t you agree?), that red makes your teeth look whiter. But it’s actually the blue undertone in the color that creates the illusion of having white teeth.

This lipstick does go on blue, but it doesn’t stay that way — it fades out into a nice berry color. To be honest, I don’t understand why they didn’t just make the lipstick berry in the first place, but the general effect of it is cool. It goes on sheer, and the texture is like one of a tinted lip balm. And your teeth do look whiter despite not wearing a bright, super-noticeable color.

If you are into reds, though, I can recommend what’s been recommend: Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 01, which is a classic blue-red that looks good on truly anyone. BITE Beauty also makes a lip pencil in Pomegranate, which has a red berry tone.

Or there’s my new favorite Maybelline’s Color Sensational Lipstick in Red Revival. Have you seen that line?! It’s sick! They have like 66 shades, which are organized into color schemes when displayed. There’s like 10 other reds that are just as good (not to mention the nudes, pinks, and corals, so check it out!).

Back on the blue trend, Go Smile makes a bunch of lip treatments that are designed to make the teeth look whiter. The lip balms are tinted blue and are to be used as a base coat to a lipstick or gloss, which is genius.

And if you’re just missing that minty taste which will do nothing at all for your teeth but in theory could give you the illusion of fresh breath, there’s CO Bigelow Ultra Mentha Lip Shine, which can be picked up at Bath & Body Works and is akin to rubbing liquid Altoids on your lips.

So tell me your dentist horror stories, will you? Any nitrous mishaps or root canals gone wrong? And feel free to add in your favorite lip product that makes your teeth look white. I’m listening!