Monday, 4 September 2017

A Little Enlightened

8 months into the year and I’ve barely put fingers to keyboard. The Becca Edit has been neglected, my desire and inspiration to write has wavered as a result of the year being fairly manic with some mega life stuff and light bulb moment realisations. That said, it’s been niggling that I’ve not put the effort into consistently posting, shooting and developing content as it’s a process I enjoy, but no longer to the detriment of taking real downtime, clearing my diary of days off, and allowing time for a little more spontaneity.

For the most part of my adult life, I’ve felt completely knackered. Time poor, lacking in energy and certainly not taking taking this trend for self care much beyond using it as a hashtag on Instagram. Well, no more. Taking a week off immediately after submitting my university dissertation in May and being completely unable to even allow myself to stay in bed past 7am (even on holiday, due to some serious FOMO) was a good reality check of how unsustainable my expectations on myself were. I thirive on a challenge, progression, seeing new places, meeting new people... therefore lying in bed when I can spy blue skies through my blinds is quite frankly a waste of time. Or so I thought.

The timing of an invite to then put a bit of self-care and self-indulgence back on my agenda could not have been more appreciated. A new job, a lot of travel a big change in routine and a total overhaul in mindset and suddenly I’m finding myself saying a big “hell yes” to things I’ve never committed to before (and would previously have considered a total waste of time.) The first; changing my fitness routine. Yoga isn’t just for ‘rest days’ and stretching is not just something you do for 2.4 seconds at the end of a session. The second; relaxing my diet. A month of eating in caloric surplus and doing little resistance training and yes you will lose some muscle mass and gain some fat, however I’ve not suddenly ballooned. (My body actually feels enormously relaxed and content, which I’ve quite possibly not allowed it to feel for years.) And finally the third; feeling zero guilt about pamper appointments. I’m a low maintenance kinda gal, but hell to the yes for nail goddess Studio Alice, calgel and HD brows.

So that said, this post has been a long time coming, especially since upping the self care one notch higher and booking in for some much needed dental spring cleaning. A review of my Enlighten teeth whitening treatment and some 'what to expect' detail is something I've specifically wanted to share, as frankly, a side effect to my give-yourself-a-break lifestyle over haul is smiling. 

First things first, I've not found many reviews of this treatment online, so a step by step guide to the treatment procedure and process will hopefully be a useful resource for any of you looking into whitening treatments with Enlighten. The whole process can be completed in a 3-4 week period and requires only 3 appointments at an Enlighten dental studio. I personally experienced very little pain with sensitivity and noticed a difference in colour in just a few days. #WINNING

I had my treatment at the Aesthetic Dental Studio in Nottingham with Dr Dimitrios Ilisdis, who honestly, exceeded my expectations regarding the care for the health of my teeth, and meticulous attention to detail at each of my appointments. Upon my first consultation it was decided that a session with a hygienist for a full scale and polish, to give my teeth a proper clean prior to treatment would ensure the best results, so after a thorough inspection and advice on how to maintain healthier gums and teeth forever more, I felt in safe hands. I was sent away equipped with my tooth serum paste to use for 2 weeks before I headed back for my 2nd appointment, the fitting of moulds for my trays. In the time I used the tooth serum alone, my teeth were starting to look whiter and glossier and my trust was growing as I certainly felt some initial scepticism around the proceeder, and cosmetic dental practices on the whole. Dr Dimitrios's expertise and knowledge on the science and safety of Enlighten impressed me and by the time the appointment for my trays came around I was definitely more excited than anxious. A previous concern had been that the whitening would be abrasive and harmful to the enamel and might make my teeth weaker and more sensitive, I'm now informed to believe, that, in contrast, the nano-hydroxy-apatite in the serum I had been using is formulated with particles to fill in damaged enamel, so as a result, both dental repair and whiter colouration are the outcomes. This paste also aided with any sensitivity I might have struggled with once the full treatment had begun.

So after the spring clean with the hygenist and a fortnight of daily serum brushing, impressions could be taken for the tray moulds and sent away to be made, fitting perfectly for my mouth. This involved simply biting down on what looked and felt like purple putty, which they set with perfect indentation marks of my teeth and gums. During my time in the chair this time around, I was fully informed about how the process works, what I'd need to do and when my final consultation would be. In simple terms Enlighten works, by increasingly the tooth's permability to oxygen, which breaks down stain molecules.

The 2 week process, involves filling the gum shield type moulds with a gel and simply sleeping with the trays in, for 14 consecutive nights. Upon my third visit back to the dental studio, I finally collected my trays that were back form the lab in around a week, and sent away with my gel syringes and instructions.  The Evolution 3 homekit prescribes 7 nights with a 10% carbamide peroxide gel dose and a further 7 nights with a 16% dose. Initially, sleeping with the sleeping in the gel filled trays does feel a bit odd, but 3 nights in and it quickly becomes routine. They were not uncomfortable, however during the second week of treatment, on the higher 16% dosage, I did start to notice increased sensitivity, particularity in my bottom teeth. The kit does come with a pack of sensitivity swabs to gently brush over areas of particular soreness, however the method I found most effective for combating the sensitivity was to simply massage some of the previous mentioned toothpaste serum onto each tooth.

After the fortnight is complete, a final longer appointment is required to finish the treatment and have a final session of intense bleaching at the dental practice. And you're done! My reservations and scepticism about teeth whitening have been truly put to bed, my teeth have gone a whole shade whiter and hand in hand with a few lifestyle tweaks, my confidence a whole lot greater. The aftercare advised to prolong the results are a further push in the self-care mission, as coffee and wine are not the greatest partners to sparkling white teeth, more sleep and more water had had to take over. Enlighten really just works to enhance,very safely and expertly, what you already have in a non intrusive way and with visible results. It's a treatment I'm fully converted to and I'm pretty damn happy about.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you go ahead with a course of treatment?


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