The Hollywood smile – laser teeth-whitening
I had my teeth whitened yesterday. I thought I’d looked into it quite closely given it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for the past seven years.
But, after I’d endured the misery that is sitting in the dentist’s chair with my mouth clamped open for the best part of an hour with the order not to move a millimetre lest the laser burn off my eyebrows, the dentist surprised me with two statements:
1) “Don’t eat anything for two hours.” Which is not what you want to hear at 12.45pm.
2) “Don’t eat or drink anything highly coloured for a week. Coffee, tea, red wine, tomato sauce – anything with dense colour.”
To be honest, I was vaguely aware of the “pale food” diet, though I thought it was only for a day or two that you had to be careful. No wonder he asked me if I could do without red wine for a week; I’d thought he was just checking to see if the alcoholic rumours were true.
So was it worth it?
For a start, it didn’t hurt at all. It took me seven years to pluck up the courage to do it because I’m not even as brave as the Andrex puppy when it comes to dental pain, and the internet is full of reports of post-treatment sensitivity that causes “shooting, burning pains” for 24 hours after treatment.
But, after two painless if tedious 15-minute sessions, my teeth only lightened by one shade, if that – I’m not a smoker and, to be honest, they weren’t heavily stained. Furthermore, the whitening revealed some dark patches of “damaged” enamel, so, while the overall effect is of clean and sparkly teeth, the front teeth actually look slightly mottled now. I guess, with hindsight, no amount of peroxide will make tooth enamel whiter than it’s naturally capable of being.
Next week I’ll be getting a custom-made home-whitening kit, also included in the cost, which the dentist says will continue the process and perhaps remove the mottling.
But what did the all-important man in my life, DH, think? He barely noticed. All I can say is, with a seven-day ban on red wine, I’m jolly glad gin’s transparent.
Cost: AED 2,000
Value for money: 5/10 – may increase after using the home-whitening kit.