A month ago, I took advantage of another Wahanda MobDeal. This time, it was a Bright Whites 45-minute teeth whitening treatment for just £85 (instead of the usual £199). The Brite Whites treatment uses Gentle Touch Whitening which claims to achieve visibly whiter teeth without using hydrogen peroxide or UV light, and without causing tooth sensitivity.
I'd already had my teeth whitened back in 2002 when it was still a relatively new concept in the UK. It had cost me £700 for one-hour laser whitening with BriteSmile (the leading laser whitening brand at the time). I'd always had a massive complex about my teeth. Prior to 2002, they were naturally very yellow (my adult teeth just grew like that, it was nothing to do with staining!), and both my top canine teeth twisted forward due to overcrowding. At the time, I felt loaded because not only was I working in a call centre over my university summer hols where the pay was high due to the sheer soul-destroying nature of the job, but I was also living with my parents. Armed with my bags of cash, I got my teeth "fixed". In a nutshell, I went up eight shades on the tooth colour chart to off-the-chart white, and I had my canines filed down and veneered. (I was too impatient to get braces.)
I was ecstatic with the results at the time - my teeth looked like Wrigley's Extra pieces in photos. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but having whiter teeth really does freshen up the face! Plus I no longer had to recoil on seeing photos of my clunky, yellow smile.
Eight years on, the whiteness of my teeth inevitably faded a bit, especially my canine teeth because porcelain veneers stain faster than natural tooth enamel. Not to mention that the dentin (the dark stuff behind the filed-down enamel) and the cement behind the porcelain veneers can both stain and show through the veneers over time. So I didn't need much persuading to get my teeth whitened again for just £85.
The treatment at the salon was as expected. I had to lie back wearing goggles and have my mouth clamped apart to expose as much of my front and bottom teeth as possible (it's uncomfortable but not painful). The therapist, Nicole, mixed then applied a gel over the visible surface of my teeth, then placed a special, non-UV lamp in front of my teeth to accelerate the whitening. After 15 minutes, she cleaned the gel off, and then started the process again. This was done three times.
The whole 45-minute process is completely pain-free (albeit slightly drool-y). When I had BriteSmile done eight years ago, it was actually quite painful... the hydrogen peroxide made my teeth really sensitive during the treatment and for months after (I couldn't smile outdoors in the winter, not kidding). Another big difference with other whitening systems is that Brite Smile doesn't use a UV lamp to accelerate the bleaching effect (for those worried about UV damage).
When Nicole was done, she measured my teeth against the colour chart and apparently I went up a couple of shades (there was never going to be as extreme a jump as when I originally had my teeth whitened), but I couldn't see much difference. Admittedly my teeth did look a more even colour, but the whitening effect wasn't noticeable. Someone I know had the Brite Whites treatment recently too and ended up with a similar result... negligible whitening, but a more even colour.
One thing I was worried about was whether my porcelain veneers would whiten because there's conflicting information on the internet about whether veneers can be whitened. Luckily I found out that they can be whitened (but only up to their original colour). They're still a little darker than my other front teeth though.
After the treatment, I was told to go on a "white food diet" for two days because my tooth enamel would be extra porous for a couple of days after, and thus much more susceptible to staining. This was hard. I felt very malnourished living off white bread, white rice, porridge and bananas.
I was also sold a couple of products (DioxiBrite Toothpaste and White Lasting) to help prevent re-staining and to re-strengthen the enamel. I paid something like £39.50 for what was basically two tubes of toothpaste
All in all, I am disappointed by the lacklustre whitening effect of Brite Whites. My teeth aren't visibly whiter, just a bit more even-coloured. If I'd paid full price, I would have been pretty annoyed! I had hoped that the whitening might show more after a couple of weeks of using the toothpaste and White Lasting. But nope
By the way, I bet you thought the photo at the beginning of the post was a "before" photo! Well, it's not, it's the "after" photo from a wedding I went to a couple of weeks ago!
It seems like I'm not the only one disappointed with the Bright Whites treatment... Read more reviews at Wahanda here.
You can find out more about Brite Whites at www.brightwhites.co.uk.