Hi, my name is Michelle, and I’m a coffee addict.
(The first step is admitting it, right?)
I’m one of those people whose brain simply does not function until I’ve had a coffee in the morning. I just have to get my fix or I don’t even feel like a human. And then I’ll continue dosing myself with black coffee as the day wears on – whatever it takes to keep the engines running.
Coffee has loads of wonderful benefits. We all know it’s a source of antioxidants, and only a couple of calories a cup (if you drink it black like I do). But coffee consumption has also been linked to decreased rates of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer (to name a few!)
But there is a downside to this. Yes, it’s the only thing that turns me into a human. But regular coffee drinking can and will stain your teeth.
So, earlier this year, I had my teeth professionally whitened.
This is something that I have wanted to do for a long, long time. I always thought I had a nice smile, but after being kindly told by my friend that my teeth were “real brown”, my confidence really took a hit.
(Side note, can we please make it a thing that you don’t say stuff like that? It’s super rude.)
So, I did my research. I googled searched “how to fix coffee stained teeth” and all the results seemed to be saying the same thing. There is just no effective or safe way to whiten your teeth at home. Charcoal toothpaste wears down the enamel on your teeth (don’t do that) and home whitening kits are usually so weakly concentrated that by the time you’ve done enough rounds to have any effect, you may as well have got them professionally whitened.
I compared the different companies offering laser teeth whitening in Christchurch, and I settled on The White Smile Company.
For a couple of reasons. First of all, Terri (the founder of the company!) gets great results. Her social media and her website are plastered with the shining white grins and rave reviews of happy customers.
Second, Terri has been in the game a long, long time.
When you book with Terri, you’re getting over twelve years of experience. But not just twelve years of experience in all things to do with cosmetic dentistry, no. Terri has specialised in teeth whitening and only teeth whitening for her entire career.
Terri has personally done over ten thousand teeth whitening treatments.
In short, there isn’t a damn thing she doesn’t know about teeth whitening. She’s the expert for teeth whitening in New Zealand.
You get three options. You can have the laser session, or you can get custom-made trays and gels to do it at home, or you can do both.
I opted for both for two reasons. A, I’m the kind of girl who likes instant gratification – I want it to work, I want it to work well, and I want it to work now. And, B, I knew I wasn’t going to be giving up my black coffee anytime soon. The trays and gels would give me the ability to touch up and maintain my desired level of pearly whiteness.
I came to Terri’s clinic on a super-hot and sunny Saturday and it was an absolute sanctuary. The room was cool and beautifully decorated in soothing greys and pinks.
Instead of running you through it herself, she gives you an iPad with a video of her explaining the procedure. I thought this was bloody smart. After twelve thousand procedures I expect you’d get a wee bit bored of saying the same thing over and over too.
She then lies you down on the bed and gets you to chomp onto a squishy clay-like substance. This makes the mould of your teeth that she will later turn into a sparkling set of custom fit trays.
Because the trays are made from a mould of your teeth, they sit perfectly and snugly around every tooth. The perfect fit makes them far more comfortable than store bought trays, and you can really customise the gel placement to target specific teeth.
Then she clamps your mouth open with this very attractive contraption and slaps on a pair of equally attractive protective goggles. Another wee courtesy is she smears your lips with Vaseline to keep them moisturised and comfy since you won’t be able to shut your mouth for at least an hour.
Then she sets you up, pops the laser in place, and leaves you to it (checking back at regular intervals and making adjustments after each round).
During my research, I had noticed that some people experience pain during this process. I didn’t experience this. I felt no discomfort or pain whatsoever except I really, really wanted to swallow the pool of saliva gathering in my mouth. I didn’t feel any pain until later that night when I had on and off sharp pains right inside the nerve of the tooth. But that only lasted until the morning and it was only for a few seconds at a time.
The hardest part of this entire procedure is the aftercare. The aftercare is really important because the treatment opens the pores in your teeth to get rid of the stains and they don’t close up straight away. You have to avoid all coloured food and drink and you can’t brush your teeth for 24 hours.
A simple rule of thumb – if it would stain a white chopping board, don’t eat it.
She does give you a list of okay foods, but as I can’t have dairy it wiped out a lot of the options – no milk, cheese or yoghurt for me! I had dairy-free cauliflower cheese bake for dinner and it was awful. Do not recommend.
But the straw that broke the camel’s back was coffee. I couldn’t function the next morning and, sadly, injecting it straight into my veins wasn’t an option. I caved and drank a black coffee about 20 hours in.
I do not recommend this and Terri, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry!
I was so happy with my results even with only the laser session – I went eight shades lighter in one hit! So when I received my trays I only really used them for about a week to target the darker teeth on the sides. Now I’ll pop them in sporadically to perk them up but it’s not a nightly habit for me.
The trays are soft and clear and you can’t even tell I have them in. They’re also really quick to put in and you can forget about them while you go watch TV. They’re like a face mask, but for your teeth.
So, to bring this absolute novel to an end, would I recommend Terri to a friend?Yes, absolutely. Am I totally, 100% stoked with my results? Another great big YES!
I also have a super special deal for you – if you tell Terri I sent you:
You can get the laser session for $175 instead of $350
The custom-made trays and gels for $200 instead of $400
Or you can double dip (like I did!) and get both for just $300 which is less than you would pay just for the laser alone!
As always, this blog post is entirely my own honest opinion. I was not paid to write this review. I did receive my treatment and trays for free but that does not change my opinion.