We’ve all seen them, jumping out at us from the front page of glossy magazines, no, not a witty headline…dazzling, white, perfectly aligned teeth, attached to a grinning celebrity. From Tom Cruise to Cheryl Cole (or is it Cheryl Fernandes-Versini now?) they’ve all got them, and if you’ve ever wondered how you can get them too, read on to find out!
There are two key components to a celebrity smile: white teeth & straight teeth. Now, most celebrities will have achieved their perfect smile with veneers. A costly process involving fitting a thin layer of porcelain over the original tooth to improve its colour, shape and position. Costs can vary, but you will be looking at somewhere in the region of £300-£1500 per tooth. That’s right, per tooth.
So if you want a whole mouth full of beautifully white and even veneers, that will cost you somewhere in the region of £9,600 – £48,000. Ouch indeed.
So, what options are available to those of us who don’t have that kind of money to spend? Well, if we go back to the basic principle of needing straight and white teeth, then (you’ll be pleased to know) there are a few.
Let’s start with white teeth.
There are many options on the market to help you achieve a whiter smile. However, not all of them will be able to get your teeth quite as white or uniform as veneers, but anything is better than yellow, right?
Professional teeth whitening from a dentist
When talking about professional teeth whitening, there are two main systems: Professional home whitening kits & laser whitening.
Professional home whitening kits
Your dentist will take a mould of your teeth in order to create a custom whitening tray for you to use at home. You then fill each tray with the whitening gel provided by your dentist and wear them for the designated amount of time.
Although some gels can be left on overnight, others can only be used for 1-2 hours at a time, so the time taken to achieve white teeth varies, with the process usually finishing in 2-4 weeks.
This process takes place in the dental surgery, and involves coating your teeth with a whitening gel before shining a light onto the gel to activate it and accelerate the whitening process. Whilst this process is a great deal quicker than the home whitening kits available from your dentist, taking just 1-2 hours to complete, it is also more expensive.
With so many different over-the-counter whitening options available to you, we’ve decided to break down some of the most popular ones.
Home whitening kits
There are many home whitening kits available to buy over the counter, presenting a cheaper alternative to the professional procedures. These kits should be used with caution; any dental procedure should be supervised by your dentist to avoid damage to your teeth and mouth.
It is also worth noting that due to legal restrictions, over the counter kits contain a much weaker dose of hydrogen peroxide (the active ingredient) than the kits your dentist can offer and so are much less effective at whitening.
These kits are much like a professional home whitening kit, except the trays are not custom made to fit your teeth exactly, and the gel used is weaker. You wear them for around 30 minutes each day, and manufacturers claim that you can expect to see results in 2-3 weeks.
Coated in whitening gel, they are usually worn on the teeth twice a day for a couple of weeks. As with the whitening kits, caution is advised, and the results are unlikely to be as good as with professional whitening systems.
Whitening toothpastes are slightly abrasive and ‘whiten’ your teeth by removing surface stains. They do not alter the colour of your teeth, and the results do not last beyond your next strongly coloured drink, so are best used to maintain tooth whiteness, rather than relied on to make your teeth as dazzling as a celeb’s.
Whitening mouthwashes are unlikely to produce any whitening results as they are in your mouth for far too short a period to be effective. However, the use of mouthwash is important for promoting healthy teeth and gums, and we do recommend its use as a way to keep your teeth in tip-top condition!
So we’ve covered off the basics of whitening. What about straightening? There are only two methods to banish crooked teeth and get them ready for Hollywood – traditional braces and Invisalign.
There are many different types of traditional braces; some are removable (for minor alterations), and others are fixed to the teeth. All braces available on the NHS are made of metal. Privately you can have ceramic braces fitted, although this is more expensive than the metal alternative.
Treatment usually lasts from 18 months to 2 years, and you have to attend appointments with your dentist every 6-8 weeks to have your braces checked and adjusted as necessary. Make sure you watch what you eat with both removable and fixed braces, as some foods can damage or break them.
It is recommended that you avoid the following foods:
- Chewy & sugary foods
- Chewing gum
- Hard food such as whole apples and crusty bread
- Fizzy drinks & fruit juices
Invisalign are clear, custom made braces that are cheaper then getting veneers! The virtually undetectable aligners are made using snazzy 3D printing technology and they slide over your teeth to apply carefully calculated pressure to move them millimetre-by-millimetre, week-by-week.
Unlike traditional braces the process usually only takes a few months, offering an advantage to those who are hoping to smile like a celebrity sooner rather than later, or have an important event on the horizon (hello lovely wedding pictures!).
Like traditional braces, you will need maintenance appointments, although they are less frequent at every 8 weeks and over the course of treatment you get several pairs of aligners to respond to the changing shape of your mouth.
There are 4 types of Invisalign braces available (Infographic: Which Invisalign Braces are Right for You) so whether you have a whole mouth full of gaps and rotated teeth that need straightening or just want to perfect a slightly crooked smile (à la Khloe Kardashian) there is an Invisalign brace for you.
And another thing…you can eat and drink whatever you want, just pop out your braces while you eat! You don’t even need to take them out when drinking, so you can enjoy your morning apple juice without any worry about what it will do to them.
The typical cost of Invisalign treatment is £1995-£4500…which certainly isn’t cheap, but when you consider the benefits, the technology involved and the 0% interest payment options that The Invisalign Doctor offers at all of their clinics, it can be thought of as money well spent.
So now you know the options available and processes involved in achieving a celebrity smile…but what if you want to avoid these more invasive routes; what if you just want some tips on how make the most of what you’ve got? Well, you’re in luck!
Our top 5 celebrity smile tips
1) Look after your teeth! Good oral hygiene is essential. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes, rinse with mouthwash and floss, floss, floss!
2) Don’t use your teeth as a tool! Yes, we know that sometimes that packet of ________(insert insanely difficult-to-open packaged product here) is hard to open, and your scissors aren’t where you left them (we bet they are…), but don’t use your teeth! It places unnecessary pressure on individual teeth, and they won’t thank you for it!
3) Take a look at your diet. Are you eating a lot of fruit? Sugar? Refined foods? Then you aren’t doing your teeth any favours, in fact, you will be aiding erosion.
Do you like a cup of coffee to get you going in the morning and a glass of red wine to help you wind down at night? They might make you feel good, but they will stain your poor teeth and a celebrity smile you won’t have!
We’re not saying avoid them completely; maybe just cut back a bit and brush after consuming.
4) Create a little tooth care kit to have always with you, so there is no excuse. If you always have a toothbrush, a little tube of toothpaste and some floss to hand, then you can keep your teeth in tip-top condition whether you have an unplanned stopover at your friend’s house, or you’ve decided to head out to a red wine and cheese sampling evening!
5) Finally, if there are any lipstick fans out there, here’s a little cheat – wear lipsticks with a blue undertone (we’re not talking blue lips here, think berry red instead of terracotta) – it counters the yellow in stained teeth to make them appear whiter. Win!
If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about Invisalign braces, or would like to book an appointment then contact us today!