The pubs reopen on Monday, and we’ll be (hopefully) spending our summer having a good time with actual people, face to face.
This pandemic has given us a lot of time to sit and ruminate on our looks, and it appears that beauty treatments are going to have a boom period while we all get ourselves outside-world-ready.
When they were open for cosmetic appointments, Drury Lane Dental Clinic invited me along to try out a 90-minute fresh breath treatment which they’ve seen grow in popularity as people look for a smile makeover before lockdown ends.
As a smoker who’s spent the last 12 months drinking coffee by the gallon, I was intrigued to see whether the combination of an oxygen clean and Zoom! whitening would actually make a difference to my teeth.
Given the number of home whitening treatments there are – some of which I’ve used myself – was an in-office treatment actually necessary?
Here’s my Is It Worth the Faff? verdict.
What is Zoom! tooth whitening?
The fresh breath treatment offered by DLDC starts off with an oxygen clean which preps your teeth for the whitening. A salty fluid is sprayed onto the teeth, loosening any tartar.
The Zoom! (going to drop the exclamation from here on out because you know what I mean) treatment itself involves three 15-minute sessions, where a hydrogen peroxide serum is painted onto your front teeth while a lamp accelerates the process.
You’ve potentially seen it being used on shows like America’s Next Top Model, and the normal price for Zoom whitening at DLDC is £495, but there are often special offers.
Honestly I was just nervous to be out of the house after not seeing a person in forever, but the clinic was lovely and the staff were very friendly. Dr Nejati – who has 400k followers on Instagram and is impossibly glam – told me all about the treatment while she sorted everything.
Because the backs of my teeth were in a bit of a state, Dr Nejati used a scaling tool as well as doing the oxygen clean, which felt no different to a standard scale and polish.
You have to wear a plastic thing to keep your mouth open, but it doesn’t hurt or really even feel uncomfortable. I’m surprised by how relaxing the whole thing was – by the end of each of the 15-minute intervals I was almost falling asleep.
At the end I rinsed off and was given some syringes of the bleach to top up my result later. Dr Nejati advised using this with custom trays (which I already have) every day for about a week.
This part wasn’t hard, but as I mentioned I’m a smoker, and was terrified I’d be a miserable wreck if I had to avoid it. Alongside a ‘white food diet’, this is what’s recommended for at least 48 hours after whitening, to avoid the porous tooth taking on any new staining.
Thankfully Dr Nejati said it was okay to cut down smoking rather than having to avoid it entirely, as long as I brushed my teeth regularly and used the home bleach.
It was hard, but I made it.
Before the treatment, a tooth chart put mine between an A3 and an A4 (the chart goes from bright white A1 to duller D4). On average, you can go eight shades whiter with one Zoom session.
I didn’t have eight shades to shift – humblebrag – but I went to an A1/A2 in just 45 minutes, which is amazing.
The result is hard to show properly in pictures, but my teeth are literally sparkling white now, and have stayed that way since I visited DLDC about two weeks ago.
Is it worth the faff?
The whole process was pretty much faff-free, but I do think the cost is still a faff factor. It’s obviously an expensive treatment for most people.
That said, I still think I’d recommend it, as the results are dramatic. If you’re self-conscious about your teeth, you might not know that a quick treatment like this can truly make a difference, but it absolutely did for me.
It’s never going to be something you undertake lightly, and you should always have teeth whitening done by a registered dentist, but do speak to them if you think you could benefit.
I’m definitely going to be smiling wide at fellow Londoners come Monday, and I won’t be acknowledging their freaked-out glares back.
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