Five years ago, I had my teeth whitened for the first time and last week was the second. Both experiences were surprisingly different, which I'll describe below. What was the same was actually what happened afterwards: the experience of being perceived as much younger than my age that immediately followed having my teeth whitened both times! The first time I had just had my daughter, and I was looking to get back into acting. (I was a professional actor and model in NYC for almost ten years.) The second time around, just last week, I was now a stay-at-home mother of two, and my teeth had grown even more crooked. (It happens over time, and I'm considering Invisalign now as well! More on that below, too!)
However, long-term solutions aside, I've found that whitening my teeth is a very quick, easy way to feel less self-conscious about my smile! Also, coincidentally (or not), following both experiences, strangers who knew nothing about my life, perceived me as being college age. At least that's what two college kids who were also drying their nails at my favorite salon in Roxborough thought this Sunday until they asked to follow me on social media, opened up my Instagram, and then quickly became visibly horrified when they realized I was an old lady mother of two. So, maybe it's anecdotal or coincidental, but it does seem to me that whitening your teeth is a quick way to take years off your age!
As a blogger now, I've had several companies approach me about teeth-whitening. I considered an in-home treatment, but ultimately I decided to work with Rittenhouse Dentists, because I really love their whole approach from start to finish. While an at-home treatment is always tempting for a busy mother of two and would have saved me a car trip, I also know I'm not that great at following directions and messing with your teeth and gums seems like something to leave to professionals. Plus, Rittenhouse Dentists promise not to be "regular dentists" but "cool dentists." (A reference to one of my favorite feel-good movies Mean Girls!) Going to the dentist is something I usually dread, but their self-aware humor helped lighten my mood ahead of my appointment. I found myself actually looking forward to going to the dentist as I got in my car for the long drive from Philadelphia to Bryn Mawr. (Rittenhouse Dentists also has offices in Rittenhouse Square and on City Live Avenue.)
Here's my honest review of Rittenhouse Dentists that I provided in exchange for having my teeth whitened:
Just as promised, the Rittenhous Dentist's office in Bryn Mawr was not your "regular" dentist's office. When I walked into what you can see (above) is a spacious, serene waiting room, I was immediately offered tea or coffee. My wait was almost too brief! Not only were the aesthetics different, but unlike my previous experience, comfort was key. Instead of staring into space for 90 minutes, while lasers were aimed at my teeth, aware of every minute of excruciating discomfort, Dr. Abdulla's assistant offered me Netflix goggles. Something I've never tried before but loved. (Obviously! Who doesn't love Netflix?) I selected Friends on the iPad before placing the goggles over my eyes, because that's what I watched during the countdown to my son's due date. It helped time pass just as quickly while having my teeth lasered as it did while waiting for my son to decide to be born. I don't know if it was the Netflix and not having my mind on my teeth, but the procedure also barely hurt. The first time I had my teeth whitened I thought my teeth were very sensitive, but the second time I got through all three sessions without any pain-- only some mild discomfort the third session. (Teeth are whitened in sessions of three laser treatments about fifteen minutes each, so that the treatment can be adjusted to your comfort level.) The assistant offered to turn it down to mild, but I told her I didn't think I'd need her to!
"Has the procedure changed in five years?" I asked afterwards. That's how quick and much more painless the whole thing felt. They said it hadn't, so I really think the difference was in the atmosphere. After my teeth whitening, they even provided me with a complimentary paraffin hand treatment. I felt completely refreshed and renewed! It really was more like a spa visit than a dentist's visit just as promised. (I did experience some pain (or zingers as the assistant called them) afterwards, but I took ibuprofen that evening and felt fine by the next morning.)
What I also appreciated was Dr. Abdulla's helpful advice about other ways to improve my smile, followed by her assistant helping me look up my insurance and providing me with a truly incredible tip, "You can usually add orthodontist work to your dental insurance for sometimes only an addtional $7. It's worth contacting your HR to ask!"
Yes, it is! My other dentist's office was only focused on the bill-- not on helping me pay it! And now that I'm the mother of two, even if my teeth-whitening has made me look younger than the tired mommy I currently am in reality, many more orthodontist visits are probably on the horizon for my family as well.
You can book your own incredible spa-like dentist visit here.