*This blog post is a review of a gifted treatment. I have not been paid for this content and all opinions and experiences are my own*
Before I jump into the blog post can I just take a minute to pinch myself because honestly if you’d told 22 year old Lucy that her little blog she started in her bedroom at her parents house would lead to her getting her teeth professionally whitened I think she would have had some sort of meltdown in shock. It’s times like these I can really see how far I’ve come in the last few years, and it’s times like these that I need to remember when I have low days and think I’m doing terribly…
Anyway, a little back story coming up for you:
I’ve always had (naturally) super yellow teeth. I remember from the age of about 6 or 7 I would complain to my dentist about them because I was embarrassed. I thought that people would think I didn’t clean my teeth or that I wasn’t clean because my teeth were so yellow. The dentist told me that it was a sign of strong teeth and nothing to worry about, but this worry only stayed with me into adulthood and for the last 20 years I have been so ashamed of my smile.
I had actually vowed to save up for professional teeth whitening this year after trying a multitude of whitening toothpastes and treatments bought from Boots and Superdrug. So you can only imagine my joy when I got a call from Redcliffe asking if I’d like to come in and have their Enlighten teeth whitening treatment done – I honestly could have cried with happiness!
I actually vlogged the whole process which you can watch here (don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel while you’re there), but I thought I’d put this post together to give you an in-depth review of the whole process.
WHAT IS INVOLVED/HOW IS IT DONE?
I won’t lie to you guys, I was pretty nervous going into my first appointment at Redcliffe. I’m not nervous of the dentist usually, but because this was a little more involved than your normal check-up or hygienist appointment (although I had both of these done at the same time too!) I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I actually visited Redcliffe three times during the duration of the procedure, and each time was slightly different.
As I hadn’t been to the dentist for just over a year, the lovely Clare carried out a full dental check up for me to make sure my teeth were in good working order before we began the whitening process. I’d been having some trouble with bleeding gums so it was a relief to be given a clean bill of health, and the wonderful hygienist Jo showed me some new flossing techniques to keep my gums happy 🙂
Clare took some photos of my teeth before the treatment began and we matched the shade my teeth were in order to predict how much we could lighten them. Then it was time to begin the first stage of the process – this was the only remotely uncomfortable part for me and it really wasn’t that bad at all! I had to have impressions taken for the bespoke whitening trays that are required for the Enlighten process. This is to ensure they fit my teeth perfectly and give the best whitening result. This is done with a putty formula that is placed into two stainless steel trays and placed on your teeth. It can feel a little uncomfortable while it’s in your mouth as it’s such a strange sensation and you can’t swallow, however it’s all over and done with within minutes. If you have had a gum shield fitted before or Invisalign braces then you will already be familiar with this process. Once the impressions had been taken, I was ready to head home with a special desensitising toothpaste that I had to use every night for two weeks before we began whitening my teeth.
The second visit was a lot quicker! We took a few more photos of my teeth before the treatment and then I was shown how to fit my bespoke whitening trays and how to use the at home Enlighten kit. The kit contains two different syringes of bleach (one 10% for week one, one 16% for week two), some desensitising swabs in case you experience sensitivity during the at home section of the process, and two syringe heads for applying the bleach to the trays. Once I was confident with how to apply it was time to head home and begin stage one of the process.
The at home section of the Enlighten process takes place over a two week period during which you wear the Enlighten trays with the bleach gel in overnight every night, and you should begin to see a difference in the colour within four days. I found the trays a little uncomfortable to wear the first night as I wasn’t used to them but once the first night was out of the way I wasn’t bothered by them at all. Each morning once I’d taken them out, I’d wash the bleach gel off my teeth and clean the trays with cold water before drying them. It is important to wash them with cold water only as hot water can distort the shape of the trays. Once the two weeks were up, it was back to Redcliffe for one last appointment.
This appointment took 40 minutes and involved two more sessions with the bleach gel in the trays, this time for 20 minute bursts. The reason this section is done in shorter bursts is because the bleach used for this final appointment is much stronger and therefore works much quicker. Once the trays were off for the final time it was time to take photos of my new teeth so we could see the changes (I’m currently awaiting these photos, once they come through I’ll update this post to include them!) and you guys, I was seriously impressed! My teeth are so much whiter now than they were just a few short weeks ago and I can’t tell you how much happier and more confident I feel! I was also sent home with some top up bleach gel to use every month or every other month depending on how I feel, and some whitening toothpaste to continue using post-treatment.
I decided to create a little story highlight on my Instagram at the start of my Enlighten journey, and I did a little Q&A on my stories towards the end of the process. You can find that by heading to my Instagram, but I’ll also list the questions and answers below for you!
- Did Ross from Friends have any inspiration? (Couldn’t resist putting this one in again because it made me lol so much when I received it)
So while I would love to say yes because let’s face it, while arguably the most annoying character he’s still kinda an icon, he didn’t actually have any inspiration this time! I’ve shared more in my vlog but I’ve always had issues with my teeth since I was very small. I have always had naturally very yellow teeth which apparently shows that they’re really strong which is great but they looked terrible! Getting them professionally whitened has been something I’ve wanted to do or as long as I can remember and I’m so grateful to Redcliffe for giving me the opportunity!
- How much did it cost?
I was lucky enough to receive the treatment complimentary from Redcliffe in exchange for content, however I believe they offer three different types of whitening treatments at the surgery. I can’t speak for the other methods but I believe the Enlighten procedure which I had done costs £565 (I will update this if its incorrect) for the full treatment including the toothpaste, bespoke trays, at home whitening and in-chair procedure.
- Did you experience any change in tooth sensitivity?
I’m very lucky in that I’ve only experienced minimal sensitivity over the 15 days of the treatment, most of which has occurred in the morning after the home treatments. I’ve eaten a lot of hot and cold food, had ice cold drinks and ice cream and haven’t really encountered any problems although I should note here that that’s different for everyone and I guess depends on the individual’s teeth. The Enlighten home kits do come with special desensitising strips if you need them and you are given the desensitising toothpaste to use for two weeks prior to beginning the treatment and during the treatment as well.
- I smoke and drink a lot of coffee, my teeth are nice but is it worth it?
So obviously when you whiten your teeth they’re still liable to staining after. I think if you’re prepared to drink things like tea/coffee/coke through a straw to minimise stains and are aware that smoking means they may not stay as bright white as they are when you’ve first whitened them then sure! Enlighten give you a toothpaste to use after the procedure to keep the whiteness and also advise you to top up every other month/every month depending on your teeth. I guess if you’re willing to maybe top up a little more often then you’d be ok! Best thing to do is to talk to your dentist though.
IS IT REALLY WORTH IT?
I think if your teeth are already really white then perhaps, unless you have the money to burn, it might be a bit excessive, but for anyone like me who is struggling with the colour of their teeth whether that is due to genetics or just a penchant for smoking or drinking coffee then I would wholeheartedly recommend it. As I mentioned earlier in the post, I am genuinely so happy with the results and I can’t believe the difference it has made to my smile and my confidence already!
I just want to take the time here to once again thank Redcliffe from the bottom of my heart for giving me such a wonderful opportunity that has made such a huge difference to my life, and to also thank each and every person who has read my blog, watched my videos or followed me on Instagram. Without you I wouldn’t have had this opportunity and I will be forever grateful 🙂