This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.
As we grow older, we step up the exercise, swallow more vitamins – and often forget about our teeth. Regular visits to the dentist and hygienist are vital (so we can go on chewing!), and this is one of the many areas where health and beauty coincide. Teeth whitening is one of the non-surgical treatments that knocks ten years off your face. In one study where 2,000 people were shown photos of one woman with gleaming white teeth and another with artificially stained teeth, subjects guessed the first was 31, and the second was … 44.
Sensitivity used to be a fairly common and painful problem but London dentist Dr Adam Thorne says the new generation of whitening procedures can avoid this issue. The Enlighten Evolution 3 system (available from 2,000 dentists nationwide) involves a combination of ‘chair’ and home whitening. It claims to make the process ‘less painful than ever before’ so my colleague Victoria tried it out. Here’s her report:
‘First, Dr Thorne checked my teeth as leaky fillings or tooth decay must always be treated first. (That’s one of the reasons dentists worry about OTC whitening kits.) Crowns, veneers, false teeth and white fillings will not whiten and may need to be replaced to match. ‘He found two areas of exposed dentine that might be extra-sensitive during whitening. So as well as brushing with Enlighten’s special desensitising, enamel-strengthening Tooth Serum instead of toothpaste for ten days before treatment, I had to coat those areas with it at night.
‘Next, he measured my mouth for thin clear moulds, called “trays”, which hold the whitening gel and fit your teeth snugly. Compared to other whitening systems I’ve tried, these are much softer and more comfortable, with a special “lip” to stop gel seeping on to sensitive gums.
‘You wear them for 14 nights, the first week with a 10 per cent carbamide peroxide gel, the second a stronger 16 per cent. Staining drinks and foods (coffee, tea, red wine, beetroot etc) are forbidden during the treatment.
‘The 10 per cent solution stung a little, although I wiped desensitizing swabs (also in the kit) round the teeth base beforehand, but things improved after peaking on the third night, as Dr Thorne had warned. The stronger solution made my gums burn a bit (possibly because I overfilled the trays) so I went back to the 10 per cent.
‘The final stage was sitting for an hour at the surgery, the trays filled with a dentist-only solution of 9 per cent hydrogen peroxide, which was fine.
‘You’re meant to use the Enlighten system for six hours each night for maximum effectiveness, but despite cutting that down a bit, I still ended up with the palest shade of natural white on the dentist’s scale. I ‘m really happy with it and can also top up whenever I need to.’
Baby Blanket Bliss
My mummy tester loves the chic, 100 per cent lambswool baby and toddler blankets from the Stripy Company – British designed, knitted rather than woven (so softer) and washable. Wool in summer? No, we haven’t gone dotty. Wool has brilliant temperature-regulating qualities, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. It helps repel dust mites, which can trigger allergies, and is naturally fire retardant (so no synthetic chemicals). From £32 for a pram blanket from thestripycompany.co.uk
Give Stubborn Cellulite Short Shrift
If you’re having a wobbly about your lower half, you’ve still time to improve it before the end of summer. Our tester had been ‘plagued’ with stubborn cellulite on her thighs and bottom for years but saw positive results after 14 days of a six week programme, where she wore Lipo Contour Elite shorts during twice-weekly PowerPlate classes. The supertight shorts are claimed to remove toxins and fluid, and exercising on the vibrating PowerPlate machine enhances circulation and tones the body. ‘After about two weeks, my thighs started to look much smoother and my bottom more pert and toned and the improvement continued. The shorts feel odd at first and can be tricky to get on – a bit like a wet suit – but they allow you to move easily. The 25 minute PowerPlate sessions fit into my lunch hour. So I’m thrilled all round!’
Website of the week: cycletta.co.uk
Sign up here for two women-only bike rides – Cycletta South (from Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, on Sunday 11th September) or Cycletta North (from Tatton Park, Cheshire, on Sunday 2nd October). The £45 entry fee gets you 40km of safe traffic-free roads, through gorgeous scenery, with training advice from Olympic Gold Medallist Victoria Pendelton, and comprehensive support en route (including Helmet Hair Remedy Centre!).