If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have teeth like a Hollywood star, you’re not alone. Whiter teeth not only have a big impact on your appearance, they can improve your relationships at work and at home, too, according to a recent survey conducted by dental care brand, Oral B.

The study indicated that a white smile can make people think you’re younger, more attractive, wealthier and even better educated too.

Some respondents claimed it made people look five years younger: proof that whiter teeth are the equivalent of an instant facelift. Little wonder, then, that tooth whitening is such a hot treatment right now.

“Patients in the UAE always want white, straight teeth,” says Linda McGill from the Dr Joy Dental Clinic. “The increase in popularity of these treatments, mainly among young professionals, is because they are time poor and want instant results.”

If you are desperate to have whiter teeth there’s good news. As long as your gums are healthy and you don’t have any dental issues, you could walk out of a clinic with a brand new smile in your lunch break.

“In the past, most people used to use home whitening kits, which can take a long time to achieve the desired colour,” says Linda. “There’s been an increase in the number of people turning to clinic whitening treatments such as Diode Laser and Zoom, because amazing results are achievable within an hour.”

Dr Sonal Mudrale, from the iCare Clinic in Dubai’s Oasis Centre, says there are risks with home treatments as patients often tolerate pain. “This poses a great danger, as it could lead to more permanent, long-term nerve damage and tooth and gum sensitivity,” she says.

Most in-clinic treatments involve protecting your eyes with goggles and putting a special shield on your lips and gums before applying the gel to your teeth; a laser is then shone on your teeth and this releases the gel’s active ingredient, which gets into the enamel of the teeth, removes staining and makes your teeth whiter.

But after your teeth-whitening procedure, it’s vital to follow your dentist’s instructions.

“Results depend on your lifestyle,” says Linda. “If you’re a heavy smoker or drink lots of black coffee on a daily basis, your teeth will discolour more quickly.

Patients are advised to avoid consuming dark food and drinks such as coffee, cola, soya sauce, juices, ketchup, curry spice and coloured mouthwash for 48 hours after treatment. Do this and, “generally, results can last up to two years,” Linda adds. But it’s recommended you don’t have tooth-whitening done more than once a year.

Before you rush to make your appointment, it’s also important to remember that not everyone is suitable for tooth-whitening – like pregnant women or children under 16. And if you have restorations such as composite fillings, veneers or crowns, then you’ll be unable to have tooth-whitening, as these materials do not change colour.

The big question on everyone’s mind is – does it hurt? The procedure shouldn’t be painful, but expect the odd twinge or stinging during treatment (and sometimes afterwards, but this shouldn’t last) says Linda. If you do experience pain or symptoms that don’t subside 24 hours after treatment, make sure you go back to your dentist.

PHILLIPS ZOOM WHITESPEED LIGHT-ACTIVATED WHITENING SYSTEM

Reviewed by Karen Pasquali Jones, Editor

Simon Cowell has a lot to answer for. He’s now made it normal to have super-white teeth and, along with a tan and designer handbag, a perfect smile is de rigueur in the UAE.

My teeth are straight thanks to a brace when I was young, but my love of tea and diet coke have left them less than sparkling. So I’m the first to volunteer to have them bleached and head to Dr Joy Dental Clinic, Jumeirah.

After my teeth have been cleaned, and polished to remove any stains and tartar, the dentist checks their shade 
on a chart. They’re at the end of the scale – a dullish grey tone of white.

“How white do you want them?” she asks, and I tell her I’m after Simon Cowell’s smile. “That’s an A1,” she says – the whitest shade of all.

It’s possible to lighten teeth eight shades so it is theoretically achievable. First, I have moulds taken of my upper and lower teeth. These will be used to make trays for me to use at home to maintain my dazzling smile – I just have to put tiny dots of the whitening mixture into it and wear the trays for half an hour every morning and evening for four days straight after the treatment and whenever I want to brighten my smile after that.

Next, a retractor is inserted into my mouth – it’s a hard bit of plastic to keep my mouth open that clips on to the zoom machine – and a protective gel is put over my gums.

Then the whitening agent is carefully painted on to my teeth. I’m given protective glasses to wear and the zoom machine is switched on. The special light from the Zoom lamp activates the whitening bleach.

I’m waiting for something dramatic to happen, but nothing. No sensation. No pain. Nothing. Each 15-minute cycle whitens the teeth and for best results the dentist recommends four back-to-back cycles.

I ask my dentist for a film to watch, and halfway through she excitedly announces: “They’re going white”.

The time whizzes by as I watch 
Mrs Doubtfire and the treatment is over. After being cleaned up I’m handed a mirror and smile – my teeth are ultra-white. The dentist checks the shade – and they’re A1. I’ve gone eight shades lighter in my lunchtime.

My teeth are slightly sensitive after the treatment but the dentist gives me some relief gel, which helps, and the next day I leave the house grinning, determined to dazzle everyone in my path. Simon Cowell would be proud.

Phillips Zoom WhiteSpeed Light-Activated Whitening System treatments is available at all three Dr Joy Dental Clinic branches – Jumeirah, Mirdif and Karama. Time taken 1 hour including cleaning Cost Dh2,100. Call 04 328 5332 or visit www.drjoydentalclinic.com

PLASMA BLEACHING

Reviewed by Web Features Editor Ma Felicidad De los Santos 

The dental hygienist at the Dubai Sky Clinic gave me her megawatt smile as she led me to the chic treatment room. The setting was so clean, with a relaxed feel it was like I was about to go for a spa treatment.

I settled into the dental chair and took in the floor-to-ceiling view of Dubai. “All dental offices should be like this,” I thought, relaxing.

The range of treatments includes teeth cleaning, deep scaling, periodontal evaluation, deep-level disinfection, fissure sealant, caries prevention, halitosis therapy and mouth hygiene. The clinic assess you on the day and recommends the level of treatments you need for the best results. Yikes.

“Don’t worry there’s no pain. Here, all the services I do are painless,” the dental hygienist, Lysann Janda, assured me flashing a perfect set of her own pearly, whites.

Lysann happily told me that tooth-whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures and successfully removes stains and discolouration of the teeth.

“It’s the food we eat – beverages like tea or coffee – that stains our teeth,” she said, adding that cigarette smoking is also a major culprit. “Patients who have healthy gums and yellow tones respond best to tooth-whitening treatments,” she added.

First came Oral prophylaxis – or to you and I, a thorough teeth clean. With four dentists in my family, my oral-hygeine standards are pretty high.

To my delight, Lysann didn’t disappoint. I could hardly feel her gentle, expert touch as she worked on my teeth. It didn’t take long and she said I only needed light teeth cleaning.

Next she moulded a silicon cast of my teeth and gums. 
It was to become a customised tray for the whitening gel that was going to be used to treat my teeth for about an hour.

When the cast was ready, she coated the insides of it with some gel before inserting it on to my teeth, like a boxer’s mouth guard.

“Do you want to listen to some music while you’re waiting?” Lysann asked. 
“The clinic provides customers with an iPod during treatments.”

Why not? An hour or so of random tunes later, the cast was removed, and I was asked to gargle with water to rinse off the gel.

A few minutes later, I was up on my feet, and flashing a megawatt smile. And the best thing? I was allowed to eat immediately! Really, it was like a deep teeth clean with the emphasis on getting whiter teeth.

The Dubai Sky Clinic, 21st floor, Burjuman Business Tower. Time taken 1.5 hours including cleaning. Cost Dh2,500. Call 04 355 8808 or visit www.dubaiskyclinic.com.

DENTAL SCALING AND LASER TOOTH-WHITENING

Reviewed by Fashion Stylist Gemma Jones

Although I’m not a smoker or a black coffee fiend, my teeth still aren’t as pearly white as I would love them to be. So after hearing such good reports about laser tooth-whitening, I booked myself in for the treatment at Canadian Specialist Hospital in Abu Hail, Dubai.

Once greeted by May, my dentist, my treatment started with a full teeth scaling and polishing to remove any stains. Next she fitted my mouth with a large gumshield and padded around my gums with tissue. Then a rubber-like mixture was applied directly to my gums to protect them from the laser and whitening formula.

May then brushed the whitening gel formula on to my teeth and placed the laser machine directly on to the gum shield to start the first 15-minute phase. During this stage I could only feel heat sensations, and just 
a slight ache from the gum shield, but no pain.

Once the phase was over, the gel was removed and then reapplied to start another 15-minute phase, exactly the same as before.

During this time my teeth felt a little sensitive but it was definitely bearable. The same routine was repeated once again. “The treatment can go up to an hour on the laser machine, but you can stop when it suits you,” May told me.

This time my teeth started to get quite sensitive so I saw that stage through, but decided against the final stage. So the gel, padding and gum shield were removed. After I’d rinsed, I took a look in the mirror at the results. The whitening was instant – my teeth were definitely a few shades whiter. The change was more noticeable after looking at before and after photos.

I was surprised about how comfortable the whole experience was. I’d thought it would hurt but aside from the last 15 minutes I experienced no discomfort, even after the treatment over the next couple of days.

The hospital and staff conducting the treatment were excellent, they explained everything thoroughly and I felt totally at ease. Although the location of the hospital is a little far out, it’s definitely worth going the extra mile to get a professional experience.

Canadian specialist Hospital, Abu Hail. Time taken 1.5 hours Including teeth cleaning. Cost Dh2,200. Call 04 707 2222 or visit www.csh.ae

ZOOM HOME WHITENING KIT


Reviewed by Gulf News Presenter Nawied Jabarkhyl 

Ah the million-dollar smile – in my quest to achieve it I decided to try one of the most popular: Philips’ Zoom Whitening process at the iCare Clinic.

The procedure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light rays, is clinically proven to whiten up to eight shades – depending on how stained your teeth are – and has been used 
on over 10 million people worldwide.

Importantly, the treatment is tailored to your needs by the dentist, who’ll prepare custom-fitted trays on your first visit, and examine your teeth to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. That took about 25 minutes in total.

The second visit will be the actual whitening. First my teeth were cleaned.

For the whitening my dentist covered my gums with cotton wool. My mouth was then held open by a clasp throughout the procedure (which lasts approximately an hour), so my jaw did start to feel tired by the end.

A special gel is then applied to each tooth, and the UV machine is attached to the clasp. When turned on, the UV rays begin to whiten the teeth. The full treatment is done in three sets of 15-minute rays – so 45 minutes in total. And each time, the gel is taken off, and reapplied. I managed to only get through half of the treatment, before the sensitivity kicked in; short sharp bursts of electric shocks. Immediately, Dr Mudrale identified the problem and took the decision to stop the procedure.

The sensitivity factor is a big side effect in all tooth-whitening, but especially with Zoom. It’s expected to last for up to 24 hours. Thankfully, mine lasted about five or six hours. But you are given a special anti-sensitivity gel to wear, which does help in reducing the pain. There’s also a touch-up gel, which you can use usually about six months after the treatment to restore some of the whiteness – ideal, if you’re going to a big event like a wedding or party and need a whitening boost.

All in all, the treatment does make a visible difference, and brightened my teeth at least by a couple of shades. I appreciated the security of having this done within a safe environment with professional supervision. Although the treatment was quite pricey, it is a small price to pay for that satisfaction.

iCare Clinic, Oasis Centre, Dubai. Time taken Roughly 2 hours. Cost Dh2,100. Call 04 384 7272.

IN-OFFICE TOOTH-WHITENING

Reviewed by Friday’s Beauty stylist Sonam Basantani

I was a bit nervous before my treatment as I hadn’t been to a dentist in over a year and I suffer from sensitive teeth and gums. But as soon as I walked in to the clinic, I realised there was nothing clinical about it. With comfy couches, big-screen TV and a water fountain I felt at ease instantly.

I was escorted into the treatment room and just as I was starting to get nervous, Dr Tania Mumtaz walked in with all smiles and banter, putting me at ease. The clinic prides itself on making the procedure as relaxing as possible and I was told that I’d get to watch an episode or two of my favourite TV show on a big screen.

Dr Tania customised a treatment for me and took an impression of my teeth. “You don’t need much whitening,” she said, adding. “But you’ll most definitely see a difference.” Good to hear!

She scaled and polished my teeth to remove some plaque, before my mouth was stretched open ready for the treatment to begin. She then applied the formula to my teeth, waited for it to set and then pointed a UV laser light right at my teeth.

The treatment took place in three stages as I zoned out watching Friends. Before I knew it, I was done. Although it was painless, I left with some sensitivity. But it was worth it. My teeth were whiter and Dr Tania told me they’d whiten even more over the next couple of days.

The sensitivity lasted two days but it settled and my teeth looked two shades whiter than before. The treatment is said to last up to a month, but this can be prolonged for six months by using a home aftercare kit. It’s probably best used for someone in need of a quick brighten for a big event or occasion.

In-Office Tooth-Whitening Package, NOA Dental Clinic. Time taken two hours. Cost Dh1,500. Call 04 398 7075 or visit www.noadentalclinic.com.

MY WHITE SMILE HAS BOOSTED MY CONFIDENCE

Pietro Notari, 25, who works in cabin crew, Emirates Airlines admits his teeth had become yellow and stained as he got older. He took action.

The fact my teeth weren’t gleaming bothered me. Whenever I smiled at a customer I felt self-conscious thinking that people would notice the stains. It was probably mostly in my head, but I was desperate to improve my public image and smile.

Whitening toothpastes didn’t work, but I shelved the idea of tooth-whitening because I have sensitive teeth and was scared that it could damage my teeth.

I’d also heard rumours it was painful. But if I wanted whiter teeth there wasn’t any other option.

In January this year I consulted 
Dr Tania at Noa Dental Clinic, Dubai. She explained the different options and I opted for laser tooth-whitening.

I didn’t feel any pain during the procedure, but the mould in my mouth felt a bit odd.

After the treatment my teeth and gums were sensitive for a few days but I’d been warned about that.

I also had to avoid tea and coffee for 48 hours. Going for three days without tea and coffee is hard, especially with the hours I work. But really it was a small price to pay for my pearly white smile.

And I felt instantly more confident. My friends and colleagues noticed my new whiter teeth and said I looked great. It was a huge boost to my self-esteem. I felt good and more confident about my smile, which has also made me more confident at work. I’d recommend it to anyone, particularly those who work with people every day.

The dentist gave me a whitening gel that I’m still using at home once a week. Now, three months on my teeth are still white.

I’ll do it again, however it isn’t advisable to do it too often because 
it may weaken your teeth.

And even though I was advised to avoid eating sauces long term, once in a while I indulge myself because I love my fries with ketchup.

Who knows… I might even lose weight from this too!