Nude lipstick has always been so elusive to me. I adore the look, and yet, cannot ever seem to get past its inherent ability to enhance the non-whiteness of my teeth. We're not talking Austin Powers status, but coffee drinking, age, and unfortunate genetics have taken their toll on my smile and there are a few things that I've had to part with as a result: cheesing for a photo and wearing warm-toned lip colors being at the top of the list.
As a gal who admittedly prefers to go the natural route with many beauty and health treatments, I've attempted to handle the situation on my own in a number of ways: coconut oil pulling, charcoal toothbrushes, and pretty much anything at Whole Foods with the words "whitens teeth" printed on the package—all with scarcely noticeable results. So when Dr. Kevin Sands DDS—aka the "90210 Dentist"—offered to give my smile a makeover, I wasn't about to sleep on it.
Beyond the aforementioned Biebs, Dr. Sands' list of celeb patients reads like the guest list for Met Gala: Kim and Kourtney Kardashian (who the doc tells us are the two sets of teeth most patients list as their smile goals), Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift, and Hailey Baldwin—who happened to Instagram a photo of herself in the office the same day I was there. Need I say more? The dude knows how to create a killer, red carpet worthy smile.
In advance of my Philips Zoom whitening by Dr. Sands, I confessed to having missed—er—a few of my regular six month cleanings. No biggie, a friendly hygienist started my nearly three-hour visit with a X-rays, gum measuring, and a thorough cleaning—ouch!—but, I learned that freshly cleaned teeth work better with the Zoom. Otherwise, you're literally whitening plaque (gross). Emerging mostly unscathed and super fresh from the process, I already noticed a major improvement in the way my teeth looked and felt. Oral hygiene is key, ya'll.
Then it was off to the Zoom, at which point I was practically holding back tears of both happiness and total fear. I confessed to the doc that I had hypersensitive teeth and expressed my concern for pain. He let me know that the procedure itself—which constitutes of having your mouth propped open, a protective gel applied to your gums, a hydrogen peroxide gel applied to your ten most visible teeth (both top and bottom), and then two 15-minute long blasts from the Zoom light, which helps the gel penetrate—rarely hurts, but many patients experience "zings" for the 24 hour period that follows. A little acetaminophen helps, and I happily accepted some. And did I mention the futuristic goggles you get to wear? I asked if anyone's ever asked to keep them and when the technician said yes I immediately assumed it was Amber Rose (yep, she goes to Dr. Sands, too).
When I finally got to scope out my new and improved grill, I was psyched with the results. I'm happy to report that Dr. Sands didn't turn me into Ross from Friends (remember his glow-in-the-dark teeth whitening mishap?), but rather my teeth looked naturally refreshed and brighter. I'd estimate a solid two shades whiter. Because the procedure cleans "down to the teeth's pores" and dries them out, I was warned to avoid food and drinks that are prone to staining for the next two days. That meant no coffee (Nooooo!!!), red wine, green juice, even tomato sauce.
The promise of being able to—finally!—pull off nude lipstick made the two-day beige colored diet a non-issue. I slicked on a shade that I would have previously avoided at all costs, and proceeded to take selfie after selfie of my pearly whites. It's actually kind of amazing what a beauty-booster having a brighter, fresher smile can be. And the best part? I even scored my very own photo with the doc, and as you'll know by checking out his star-studded Instagram feed, that puts me in some seriously stylish company.