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Our Associate Fashion & Beauty Editor Elizabeth Swanson test drives the latest beauty products and treatments to help bring our brides-to-be the best of the best in the skin care, makeup, and hair world.
If you don't need a complete teeth transformation before your wedding, but still want them to look a little brighter, Philips Zoom QuickPro might be the treatment you didn't even know you've been looking for. It's not quite as hard-core as traditional in-office whitening treatments, says New York City dentist Marc Lazare. "It can make your teeth up to four shades lighter, so it's great for a last-minute pick-me-up before your wedding," he adds. I decided to take it for a test drive.
What to know before: My first question was whether there would be any dietary restrictions after the treatment. (My beloved caffeine addiction could not handle abstaining from coffee for multiple days!) Thankfully, all I would have to do is wait at least two hours — ideally four, if I could handle it — before resuming my teeth-staining diet of coffee, chocolate, and red wine. That, I could handle.
What it's like: Since the treatment works best on squeaky clean teeth, Dr. Lazare first gave them a quick polish. He then applied the whitening solution, put a seal on top, and sent me out the door with instructions to wait half an hour before removing them with a toothbrush and water. I was pleasantly surprised with the whole no muss, no fuss process: Cleaning included, I was in and out of his office in half an hour. (For those of you worried about sensitivity, I can report that I felt only a hint of it on a lower back tooth for a total of two seconds. Since then, I haven't felt any at all.)
The results: That afternoon, I received more than a few comments from coworkers that my teeth looked "really white!" (I wasn't fishing for compliments, I swear.) It wasn't a dramatic, blinding-white effect, but it looked natural and the difference was noticeable and immediate. The longevity of the results, of course, depends upon how much teeth-staining food and drink you consume after. It's been a month since my treatment, and I have fully indulged in wine and coffee, yet my teeth are still whiter than they were before.
How much it costs: It varies by dentist, but the approximate price is $125. (Traditional in-office whitening treatments cost anywhere from $250 and $500.) Click here to find a dentist who offers it in your area.