Jul 9, 2009
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PacNW
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So as you may know, working and taking a full load of dental school prerequisite classes at the same time requires a lot of energy. I tend to drink a lot of coffee to remain focused throughout the day, and I drink it black.

As a result, my teeth are stained a bit. I'm not looking like a meth head or anything, but still, as someone who will some day be working in this industry, is that something interviewers will notice? Is teeth whitening something predental students do before an interview? Should I just not smile ever and talk with curled lips? Should I introduce milk to my coffee, even though I don't like it that way?
 

vlct0ria

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Jul 24, 2008
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I always wondered this too- if it was expected of dental students and dentists to have nice teeth...I mean it seems logical- I wouldn't want to have my hair cut by a stylist with awful hair! If you are really self-conscious about it, try some at-home whitening strips; I have personally used Crest White Strips and they are relatively inexpensive and effective for a quick fix.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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I can see the reasoning, but....on the flip side, does that mean that a physician can't be a little on the plump side? I've seen my fair share of cardiologists that are a little chunky....
 

sugarsting

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Aug 23, 2008
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I have the same problem (drinking coffee since high school and the smoking during high school) and unfortunately I have extremely sensitive teeth so I refuse to do any whitening because I would probably never be able to eat again, no joke. I'd rather have a root canal than a cleaning because that ultrasonic pressurized water wand of death thing (name?) is so painful for me.

I think having clean teeth (health) is more important than having white teeth (cosmetic). So if it's been more than a few months, have a cleaning. I can't see interviewers expecting students to have white teeth (I hope). I don't think there's any dental benefit to it other than cosmetic. I'm sure it's good advertising to have nice teeth if you're a dentist, but you can get it done while you're in DS anyway.
 

xiphoidprocess

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Jun 23, 2008
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So as you may know, working and taking a full load of dental school prerequisite classes at the same time requires a lot of energy. I tend to drink a lot of coffee to remain focused throughout the day, and I drink it black.

As a result, my teeth are stained a bit. I'm not looking like a meth head or anything, but still, as someone who will some day be working in this industry, is that something interviewers will notice? Is teeth whitening something predental students do before an interview? Should I just not smile ever and talk with curled lips? Should I introduce milk to my coffee, even though I don't like it that way?

IMO if you're so worried about them, why don't you just get them professionally whitened? I knew a friend who spent a lot of $$$ to get his teeth whitened. Then again, he was grossly obsessed with teeth. Ironically, his passion was the medical field, though I think he would have made an equally great dentist. But, his teeth looked great. You should look into possibly whitening your teeth.

Also, there are some OTC whitening strips that some dentists actually recommend. A general dentist I worked with always gave patients an option for the OTC whitening strips for a cheaper, sufficient way to get your teeth whitened. ADCOMS definately look for appearance during the interview. I am not sure if they are very strict to the extent that they won't accept you based on how white your teeth are, but I think it is a good thing to look presentable. So, basically it's your call, your teeth. Do what makes you happy :)

Hope this helps!
 

supermax

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Jan 24, 2008
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I wonder the same question too but good thing that I don't coffee.
 

Sublimize23

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Start using sensodyne toothpaste for a week or 2, use listerine whitening in addition, then get your teeth professionally whitened at the end. BAM
 

wigglytooth

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bottom line is that the adcom won't discriminate against you if your teeth aren't brillantly white (or straight for that matter). if you are self conscious about it (like i was) and have a relatively healthy mouth, over the counter strips are a way of taking care of it. try doing only the upper teeth so you can see if it's doing anything by comparing with the bottom. if it's not working, you have a problem deeper than surface stains. if you want and have the means to get it professionally done, then that is the next step.

for life, it's a personal choice on how much attention you want to pay to your own health. for me, i feel that since i am going to be a health professional, i should do my best to be a role model for those who i am treating. you're selling yourself basically, so you want to make the best impression possible.
 

longhornpride

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Oct 16, 2007
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if you have the money, go ahead and get it done. it will improve your confidence and you'll have a beautiful smile. I went with the laser whitening treatment 4 years ago. It cost me $300 but everyone compliments me on my teeth. The white will start to wear off a little after a couple of years, but they will still be significantly whiter than before. I'll probably go ahead and get them whitened again after 4 or 5 more years.

If you do get it done, I would stop drinking black coffee because your teeth will darken much quicker.

Either way, I don't think darker teeth will have any bearing on your application. If you're going to get them whitened, do it for yourself.
 

icedspice

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ofcourse adcoms do not have a checklist... applicant teeth condition: Good/Acceptable/Poor

but assuming you really do have a noticeable stains (some perfect people want to be more perfect if possible..haha), then get em done. it is a worthwhile investment. like the person said earlier, her professional treatment lasted 3-4 years :)
im going to cheaper route -- crest strips it is!
....unless the dentist i shadow offers me a discount, :laugh:
 

sugarsting

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Aug 23, 2008
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Start using sensodyne toothpaste for a week or 2, use listerine whitening in addition, then get your teeth professionally whitened at the end. BAM
If this was directed at me, my response is, I've used sensodyne for the past few years...it's the only way I'm able to eat and drink like a normal person. And drink that coffee! lol
 

Teeth4Life

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Feb 27, 2007
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They have this teeth whitening stuff...not sure name but you can get it at CVS or walgreens and it bleaches them almost instantly...pretty hardcore stuff but if you get it on your gums the pain is just ridiculous
 

Stephie3

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Nov 1, 2008
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ANINCONVNTTOOTH, post your pic and we'll decide :)

ok obviously if you look like you have meth mouth, that may be a cause for concern. however, ordinary less-than-perfect smiles are nothing to fret about.

but i would suggest starting to always drink coffee a straw, it helps to minimize enamel erosion from the acid.

i dont have perfect teeth (but ok looking one) and i got into several dental schools.
 
May 15, 2009
1,922
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CA
Status
Dental Student
So as you may know, working and taking a full load of dental school prerequisite classes at the same time requires a lot of energy. I tend to drink a lot of coffee to remain focused throughout the day, and I drink it black.

As a result, my teeth are stained a bit. I'm not looking like a meth head or anything, but still, as someone who will some day be working in this industry, is that something interviewers will notice? Is teeth whitening something predental students do before an interview? Should I just not smile ever and talk with curled lips? Should I introduce milk to my coffee, even though I don't like it that way?
You're not auditioning for a Hollywood movie!
What's next?! Applicants worried about getting breast implants?!
They want to see that you're an intellectual person with proper social skills. You need to look professional, which is why most people emphasize the dress code. But other than that your physical appearance should not and will not affect your interview results.
 
May 15, 2009
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I was actually hoping to do this while I'm in LA interviewing at USC to let destiny decide my future career. Teeth whitening it is, then.
Yea!
Besides, interviewing at USC isn't much different from auditioning for a Hollywood movie.
 
Jun 1, 2009
380
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Yea!
Besides, interviewing at USC isn't much different from auditioning for a Hollywood movie.
In that case, breast implants would probably be a good idea in addition to the teeth whitening. Those two should be on every (female) dental applicant's checklist. Haha.

Seriously though, if you don't have horrendously discolored teeth, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. What are they going to say? "I noticed this applicant didn't have very white teeth... so let's disregard their academic and extracurricular achievements." I think just dressing nicely for the interview should be fine. They probably won't even notice your teeth unless it's really terrible.
 

garples

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Jul 1, 2008
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If you feel worried about coffee stains, trust your gut. You want to walk in as confident as you can. :)

And like another poster said, use some sort of toothpaste aimed at reducing sensitivity. I heard that some in office bleaching includes a fluoride treatment as one of their final steps.

But if you're just worried about coffee stains, OTC products worked for me. :) If you're not in a real rush to get them whiter, pick a lower percentage of peroxide. (The regular Crest Strips have about 6%, I think.) Stay away from in office bleaching/ one hour bleaching stuff--- they have a lot more peroxide.) Try your OTC product for a day or two and see how sensitive you get.
 

garples

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Jul 1, 2008
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If this was directed at me, my response is, I've used sensodyne for the past few years...it's the only way I'm able to eat and drink like a normal person. And drink that coffee! lol

Hey Sugarsting: What is causing your sensitivity? Do you use a fluoride rinse daily too?
 

LoLPoPs

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I've been chewing this Trident White gum for like past two years and trust me on this- All my friends and even my dad asked me what I have done to my teeth because they thought my teeth look so white! like white white :D My dad started to chew it too! :)
I didn't really try to whiten my teeth or anything, but I just like to chew gum and Trident White gum with peppermint flavor tastes good too! So on a side to whiten your teeth with those strips or whichever else you decided to use, try chewing those trident white gums whenever possible. And it gives you a nice & refreshing breath too ;)
(Do I sound like I'm advertising this gum? :D I'm really not though...haha)
 

Stephie3

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Nov 1, 2008
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And like another poster said, use some sort of toothpaste aimed at reducing sensitivity. If you're not in a real rush to get them whiter, pick a lower percentage of peroxide. (The regular Crest Strips have about 6%, I think.) Stay away from in office bleaching/ one hour bleaching stuff--- they have a lot more peroxide.)
ok first of all, if you are drinking a lot of coffee, you should cut down on the amount of coffee you drink or at least drink it through a straw. this is because the acid in coffee can eat away the enamel on your teeth. you can google "enamel erosion" and find some disturbing pictures. threshhold pH for enamel erosion is like 5.5 and coffee is acidic. 1. enamel erosion can lead to hypersensitivity 2. if you just use a toothpaste like sensodyne just to decrease tooth sensitivity, you could just be masking a larger problem, which is your teeth getting eaten away by acid. so stop drinking acid instead of trying to mask it. 3. personally, i have used sensodyne and found that after brushing my teeth, a lot of tartar has still stuck around on my teeth.


also, i have read stuff saying they've found that peroxide really isn't damaging to your teeth (or at least there is a disclaimer on crest white strips about how whitening is perfectly safe for your teeth). i'm not sure on that.

disclaimer: i'm not a dentist YET, so this is only my humble sharing of knowledge from readings i have found. don't take my advice and then sue me. k?
 

garples

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Jul 1, 2008
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ok first of all, if you are drinking a lot of coffee, you should cut down on the amount of coffee you drink or at least drink it through a straw. this is because the acid in coffee can eat away the enamel on your teeth. you can google "enamel erosion" and find some disturbing pictures. threshhold pH for enamel erosion is like 5.5 and coffee is acidic. 1. enamel erosion can lead to hypersensitivity 2. if you just use a toothpaste like sensodyne just to decrease tooth sensitivity, you could just be masking a larger problem, which is your teeth getting eaten away by acid. so stop drinking acid instead of trying to mask it. 3. personally, i have used sensodyne and found that after brushing my teeth, a lot of tartar has still stuck around on my teeth.


also, i have read stuff saying they've found that peroxide really isn't damaging to your teeth (or at least there is a disclaimer on crest white strips about how whitening is perfectly safe for your teeth). i'm not sure on that.

disclaimer: i'm not a dentist YET, so this is only my humble sharing of knowledge from readings i have found. don't take my advice and then sue me. k?

I totally agree w/ you-- coffee is acidic. I usually try to rinse my mouth after I drink coffee. It's a hassle sometimes but it's a good habit. :)

And I'm not a dentist yet either. I was just sharing what I did to deal w/ my sensitivity. :)
 
OP
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Jul 9, 2009
99
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PacNW
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The acidic coffee can also give you stomach ulcers, on top of the ones you're getting from waiting for dental school acceptances.
 

sugarsting

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Aug 23, 2008
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Hey Sugarsting: What is causing your sensitivity? Do you use a fluoride rinse daily too?
No, I don't. I think I just have very brittle, thin teeth. And I take calcium. Except for the ultrasonic scaler, using the sensodyne I have no problems eating or drinking, so I haven't really thought about why they're sensitive.

After reading Stephie3's post, it could be the fact that I've been drinking coffee daily since I was 16. [insert grimace smilie]
 

uncbestyet

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Aug 3, 2008
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I have had some pretty long days myself over the last couple of years and coffee was my best friend. Recently I switched over to a caffiene pill instead. I take half of a 200mg caffiene pill each morning and get the same effect without the teeth erosion/staining.

A lot of people are skeptical of taking pills, but but this way is just as effective and cheaper than the iced coffee I used to drink every morning.:smuggrin:
 
OP
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Jul 9, 2009
99
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PacNW
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Dental Student
I have had some pretty long days myself over the last couple of years and coffee was my best friend. Recently I switched over to a caffiene pill instead. I take half of a 200mg caffiene pill each morning and get the same effect without the teeth erosion/staining.

A lot of people are skeptical of taking pills, but but this way is just as effective and cheaper than the iced coffee I used to drink every morning.:smuggrin:
This reminds me of a very special episode of Saved By the Bell.

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bflYjF90t7c[/YOUTUBE]
 

Bizznet

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I'll just throw in my 2cents....

When I came into dental school I assumed most if not all dentists would have exceptional looking teeth. However, since coming I have noticed some of the faculty (DDS faculty) have not kept up with what I believe should be a standard.

In any case.. I don't think it would be held against you in most cases unless its more of an unconscious decision by the interviewer.

So rule of thumb...if it looks like a cat $hit on your teeth..get them whitened ;)