See more about this Episode
Like many people, 22-year-old Shrena Nangia has long been insecure about the color of her teeth. "When I post a picture on social media, I tend to smile with my mouth closed," Nangia says. "When I do smile with my teeth, I use a little app to make them brighter."
Thanks to her admittedly "really bad caffeine addiction," they've gotten a bit yellower these past few years, she says. Nangia ultimately decided she wanted to make a change for herself, which is why she consulted Dr. Erin Cohen and Dr. Monica Madan, the founders of Beverly Hills Orthodontics in Los Angeles, California, to help whiten her teeth for the very first time for a video with Refinery29.
The whitening procedure Nangia received is called Zoom, which is a painless procedure that promises eight to 10 shades whiter teeth in less than one hour. "I'll definitely be more confident once my teeth have been whitened because I feel like I'll be able to smile more," Nangia said before the procedure. "And I won't have to rely on any apps to make myself feel better."
The process began with Dr. Cohen and Dr. Madan placing cheek retractors into Nangia's mouth, which helped protect her lips and face from the procedure. Then, they brushed Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel onto her teeth, which worked together with the Zoom light to penetrate teeth and break up stains and discoloration without harming the teeth's enamel or structure.
Though there aren't any major health risks for this kind of professional in-office whitening, according to New York-based dentist Dr. Michael Apa, D.D.S., of Apa Rosenthal Group, there is a heightened chance of sensitivity. "It often utilizes a higher percentage of peroxide called carbamide peroxide than those found in at-home treatments, which can potentially cause temporary post-operative tooth sensitivity," Apa says. "You can minimize the downtime by taking a few steps at home after the procedure is completed, including using fluoridated products (e.g. toothpaste and mouthwash)."
After three 15-minute sessions with the light, Dr. Cohen and Dr. Madan suctioned off the gel to reveal Nangia's whiter, brighter teeth. Though Nangia experienced the expected teeth sensitivity after the procedure, she was wowed by how quick the process was, and how she wasn't left with a super bright, fake-looking smile.
"As soon as I looked in the mirror, it was kind of unbelievable," Nangia says. "I don't feel the need to use a teeth whitening app anymore because my teeth look bright and natural."
Watch Nangia's entire journey to whiter teeth, above.