I'd been advised to have whitening procedures by my dentist, but with the price-tag that came with them, they just weren't a necessity at the time so I left it. Then, I spotted a deal on Groupon at a nearby clinic - Miami White in Camden, London that was offering laser teeth whitening for £69 instead of their usual price of £299. It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, so I took advantage of it.
They must have been overwhelmed with bookings, because when I tried to make my appointment they had extended the expiry period to enable them to fit anybody in!
As I'm a bit of a control freak, I had a look online to see what I could expect. So many people who had had their teeth whitened had spoken of 'zingers' - a feeling so painful they thought they might die! In preparation for this I took some Nurofen about an hour before I left to try to help with the pain I would later be feeling.
Miami White isn't far from Camden Town underground station. It isn't well signposted; based within a building where they are evidently renting a (very 'officey') room or floor... it was just a case of keeping an eye on the door numbers to find the place, where, once I worked out which buzzer was theirs (again, no indication of this on the actual buzzers) I was instructed to make my way to the top floor and wait in the room.
When I got to the top of the stairs I was greeted by a notice printed on a bit of A4 paper instructing me where to go, and I went and sat in the room, awaiting my fate.
After a couple of minutes, Marie, the therapist popped into the room to welcome me and give me a form to fill in with my details and any medical conditions. She was very lovely and seemed to be doing a good job of single-handedly running the business.
She left me for a few minutes to fill it in, then took me into the treatment room. It really wasn't what I was expecting - three beds squished into one small room. I wondered as I sat down if there are ever three people being treated at once and how if I had spent the usual price of £299 on this procedure, I would definitely have expected more than this.
Marie talked me through what would be happening - I would apply Vaseline to my lips, then she would put a lip shield (which was tres attractive) over my mouth to hold it open, put the whitening gel onto my teeth, and then hold the laser light to my teeth for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes was up, I'd remove the lip shield, rinse my mouth, and the process would happen again - a total of three times. She got out a chart to note down the shade of my teeth before treatment then I began to brace myself for the zingers, although I had nothing to worry about as they never came.
Sure enough, while I was in the position pictured above, in came another client who began having her teeth whitened directly opposite me. Yep, deffo would have kicked up a stink if I'd have spent the £299, but at 77% discount I felt I couldn't really complain. I did wonder if I was just being fussy - after all, she must treat hundreds of people - if it was that much of a problem surely something would have been done about it?
Eventually the time came when my 3 lots of laser whitening was done. I was excited to see the results, to see my front teeth being the same colour. I was worried they might be too white - well that was very optimistic, because when Marie got her chart out again my teeth had apparently lightened by one shade. It was barely noticeable. I think she could sense my disappointment, and told me to wait two weeks because they should lighten more. Only, they didn't. I had planned to show you a before and after photo, but honestly, in the 'after' photo, which I took two weeks after my treatment, there's no difference at all, so I'll spare you the photo of my teeth close up.
Marie gave me a form telling me not to drink anything but water, not to smoke, eat certain foods or brush my teeth for the next however long, and I went on my way. I suffer from quite sensitive teeth and was expecting they may have got worse after the whitening, but they didn't. Because of this, and no zingers (I can't believe I'm actually disappointed there was no pain!) I think perhaps the machines weren't strong enough, or certainly not strong enough for what I needed. In case you are interested yourself, the machine they used on me was a Futura 2000 advanced whitening machine.
So, there you go. If you are looking for a slight brighten of the teeth, I'd recommend it - if you can overlook the surroundings. As far as therapists go, Marie was wonderful. If you're after a dazzling Hollywood smile, I'd skip Miami Smile and find somewhere that can make you 'zing'!