I'm a born-and-bred British girl and it wasn't until I moved to this country 12 years ago that I discovered my nation was internationally renowned for having lousy teeth. Shock! Horror! Humiliation! In hindsight, I realize I missed some pretty big hints—Austin Powers, that Friends episode, my uncle Peter... But honestly, in the UK, having perfect teeth isn't on our beauty bucket list and I was quite happy with my slightly stained, yellow-brown teeth. However, the constant bombardment of whitening products on American shelves finally struck a nerve (pardon the pun), and after a quick trip to Rite-Aid and the purchase of some whitening toothpaste, I was able to temporarily put the whole UK teeth stigma behind me.
Until this past spring, that is. Cue the wedding of the year. Not only did Meghan Markle glow, but her teeth SPARKLED. I wanted that sparkle and I wanted it NOW. Just four days after the royal nuptials, I found myself with the wonderful dentist to the stars and RealSelf Contributor, Dr. Victoria Veytsman (@drvictoriadds), whose clients include Karlie Kloss, Hailey Baldwin, Madison Beer. Her office is in the swanky neighborhood of Beverly Hills, just seconds from Rodeo Drive. And, yes, Dr. Veytsman's teeth are perfect and, yes, they also SPARKLE. I had come to the right place.
To clarify, there is such a thing as too white. A smile that's too white looks just as bad as a fake tan that's gone too dark, so we aimed for a natural white hue. After a surprisingly quick and (maybe more importantly) pain-free 45 minutes, I got exactly what I'd hoped for.
"Does it hurt?" is the most popular question when it comes to teeth whitening procedures, and the answer is no*-ish*. The treatment is totally devoid of pain, but two minutes after the treatment, I received what is known in the dental industry as a 'zinger'. Much like it sounds, it's a shot of deep root pain from a tooth—in my case a bottom front one. Ouch! My teeth also felt super sensitive, but to be honest, my main worry was having to avoid any colored food or drink for the first four hours following the procedure. White bread, egg whites, and milk would now become main staples. Because I'm an English girl with an understandable 'cup of tea' addiction, the immediate post-whitening period felt like a caffeine-free marathon and had me wondering whether having white teeth was worth skipping my daily quota of cuppas. However, after four long hours, I made it. And with about six zingers under my belt, my teeth not only felt back to normal, they appeared transformed.
I can't wait to return to the motherland this summer; Put the kettle on, 'Duchess Sparkle Teeth' is coming home! For those considering teeth whitening for their big day, or just looking for a some whitening pointers, check out Dr. Veytsman's top six tips below:
1. Teeth will still stain after a whitening procedure, so using Crest White Strips for maintenance is helpful. You can start them about two weeks after your in-office treatment to keep your smile bright and stains from settling in.
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2. A whitening pen is perfect for on-the-go maintenance. I love carrying one in my purse to easily apply after a cup of coffee or glass of red wine. It oxidizes stains off and there's no need to rinse.
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3. Crest 3D White Whitening Toothpaste also works great as part of a daily maintenance program.
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4. Again, no staining foods for 24-48 hours following the procedure. Because teeth are dehydrated, they turn into little sponges that will absorb anything with color.
5. We all know coffee and red wine stain teeth, so it's always a smart idea to have a glass of water after indulging, and remember to rinse with water before you brush after consuming anything acidic. Otherwise, you'll just be brushing the acidic beverage into your teeth.
6. Bridal beauty tip! Lipsticks with berry, cool pink, or blue undertones will make teeth look whiter than those with orange, peach, or brown undertones. Go for the berry lipstick or gloss for that extra pop! Try Bite Beauty's Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Dragonfruit.
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Finally, check out RealSelf to learn more about whitening procedures and pricing, and find great dentists in your area!