One of the perks of the job is the occasional treat – time constraints mean that I rarely have the complimentary treatments on offer and other than a little bit of Botox every now and again, I’m actually pretty low maintenance in the beauty department. But I couldn’t resist having a Zoom tooth whitening treatment with Uchenna Okoye, who you might know from 10 Years Younger. Since I ship over bulky amounts of stronger strength whitening toothpastes from the USA regularly, its an area that I am really interested in, and think it’s one of the most anti-ageing things you can do for your face.
Uchenna’s one busy girl; with three London dental practices, regular slots on 10 Years Younger and Oral B’s official dentist, she’s now in high demand in America where there’s only currently one level of toothwhitening – and that’s full on BLING. She nips across the pond to tutor dentists in how to bring down the glare and give more natural looking whiteness. I visited the Goodge St practice, where, in fact, it’s not all white carpets, stainless steel surfaces and surgical masks – its completely unintimidating and normal. Uchenna checked my teeth and gums, and, probably the most useful thing of all, showed me how to use my electric toothbrush properly (you press onto the tooth and keep the brush static – don’t swish it about in a brushing or circular motion – that way you get a proper gum clean, too). I got to choose a DVD to watch (through a super-swish goggle viewer) for the 45 minute treatment. Tooth sensitivity is one of the downsides of whitening treatments and some way into the second set of 15 minutes bursts of light pointed at my mouth, I got the dreaded ‘zinger’. These feel like electric shocks running through the tooth and are horrid in their intensity. But, they’re very brief, so I was able to continue the rest of phase 2. I’d run out of time (see, I’m not making it up!!) and had to miss the 3rd and final phase, but nonetheless, my teeth are lovely. They look very natural, very fresh, and most importantly, very clean.
Tooth whitening isn’t cheap – this is an £800 treatment. But, Uchenna is making me bespoke mouth trays so in future I can just order the gel and treat my teeth at home, so in effect it’s a one off treatment. The clinic makes sure you are treated like royalty (although I drew the line at someone applying glossy balm on my lips for me – after 10 years in the beauty biz, I can do that myself!). I didn’t get as much time as I’d like to actually talk to Uchenna (you can’t with a deckchair-like implement in your mouth!) so we’re going to have a coffee (milky latte!) in September. Hopefully, I’ll get some good whitening tips to pass on.
In the past, I’ve seen ‘experts’ who are a bit into their media image, and make you feel like you’re the lucky one getting a bit of their time: Uchenna genuinely isn’t like this at all (would that she were – I’d have loved to dish the dirt!) so I’d say don’t be put off by the fact that she’s a ‘celebrity’ dentist. The woman loves teeth, and she doesn’t care whose teeth they are! And, she’s a blogger, too, which instantly sends her to the top of the class.