Here they are in all their sparkly white, straight glory: My new teeth after their full makeover. I promised a follow up post to part one when I had them whitened - here are the final before and after pictures!At the end of November I wrote a review of the Philips Zoom teeth whitening process, and I couldn't have been happier with how beautifully white (but not scarily white) they turned out in the end. But when I had the initial consultation at Devon Teeth Straightening in South Street, Exeter*, I asked the very lovely Dr Grant about the possibility of having my teeth reshaped, meaning filed down a little.
*this post is not sponsored - see the end of the post for a full disclosure.
The reason the idea was in my head was because my 26-year-old niece had been to the same practice a few years ago to have her teeth whitened and filed, and they looked absolutely beautiful. She and I have almost identical teeth, typical of our family: Quite big teeth with pointed canines. She was conscious of her canines - as I've always been about mine - and the difference that having them filed down was amazing.
She'd ended up with teeth that were all the same length (meaning level along the bottom of the top teeth, hopefully you know what I mean!) and for ages I'd been meaning to book an appointment. So when I was at the practice for the pre-whitening consultation I asked about the filing - and to my delight I was told it would be very easy to do.
Being conscious of my pointy teeth permanently affected the way I smile: I couldn't bear seeing them in photos, so I trained myself to smile without showing the canines until I did it subconsciously.
Here are the before and after pictures (always the best bit)!
Before - not showing my teeth fullyThis is how I've always smiled: With part of my top teeth "hidden" behind my bottom lip. I've trained myself to smile this way so well that I do it without thinking - smiling with an open mouth is just something I've never done!
Most people who've not met me in real life wouldn't know that my teeth actually looked like this (below)...
Before - showing my teeth fullyHere are the "before" teeth, post-whitening but pre-filing. I would never have willingly smiled like this before for a photo.
I smiled like this so you can actually see what my teeth looked like before. (Remember this is after the whitening, so I will admit they do look beautifully bright.) I was always so conscious of the "bobbled" edge of the front teeth and my long canines, hence the way I smiled to hide them.
As you can see my teeth are pretty straight. I had a brace to wear at night for a few years when I was a teenager, but they're straight mostly due to having had four second teeth pulled out to make room... My teeth were too big for my mouth! But I'm grateful to the dentist that suggested it, because otherwise I'd have ended up with horribly crammed and crooked teeth.
However, it was the long canines that really bothered me. I know it's not the worst thing in the world, but when the dentist told me the price of filing them down it was so much cheaper than I thought: £15 per tooth. I figured less than £100 for the front six was absolutely worth it.
The results of my teeth makeoverAll I can say is why had I not done this years before instead of being self-conscious of them for so many years?! It's so ridiculous how we put up with things that are so easy to fix.
This is exactly what I had done: I had them whitened last month, and when I went back for the follow-up appointment to check all was well I asked for the front teeth to be filed down a little. I wanted the bobbles on the four front teeth to go and the canines to be filed down in line with the rest of my teeth.
And here are the results, with a pre-whitening, pre-filing picture - and the after!
Can you see just how happy I am with my new teeth...?!
The after picture is somewhat grainy because I took it on my iPhone almost immediately after having them done. After leaving the dental surgery I went to get something to eat, and I took a selfie in the restaurant toilets because I simply couldn't wait to send a picture to my friends to say "Look at my new teeth!"
The canines couldn't be filed down to exactly the same level as the other teeth because you risk filing them down far too much - I didn't ask him to go into detail as to why (permanent tooth pain came to mind), I was already sitting in the chair and feeling nervous! He insisted he'd file them so they were slightly rounded, not filed off straight which I was happy about.
I KNOW THIS IPHONE PHOTO ISN'T THE BEST QUALITY BUT I'VE PUBLISHED THIS ONE BECAUSE I THINK IT BEST REPRESENTS JUST HOW HAPPY I WAS WITH MY NEW TEETH RIGHT AFTER HAVING THEM DONE.
The process was totally and utterly pain-free and over in less than a couple of minutes... It's no different to filing nails - Dr Grant filed them down to get the shape right, then buffed them to ensure they were smooth. In fact I did say "Is that it?" because I figured it would take a lot longer. I was handed a mirror and asked if I was happy with them... I was happy with them!
I know this iPhone photo isn't the best quality but I've published this one because I think it best represents just how happy I was with my new teeth right after having them done - and I figured I wouldn't be able to recreate that joy if I tried to set up a new photo. I got it right first time, in other words... I didn't take dozens of selfies to get one good one, I didn't Photoshop it (not that I would have anyway, what'd be the point) - it was one take, no editing.
All I can say is that if your teeth are pretty straight but have seen better days, for a few hundred pounds (about £300 for the whitening and £90 for the filing is what this would have cost me in total) you can have a brand new smile with very little fuss indeed.
It's totally worth it in my opinion.
HAVE YOU GIVEN YOURSELF A TEETH MAKEOVER OR ARE YOU CONSIDERING ONE? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!
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Disclosure: This specific post was not sponsored in any way. Although Philips sponsored the teeth whitening post, the Devon Teeth Straightening practice very kindly wavered the cost of the filing when I came to pay for that part. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.