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The Future is Bright, The Future is White Swan

White teeth in a beautiful smile

Teeth whitening is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with a huge increase in media attention and everyone wanting to achieve the Hollywood Smile. But with so many different methods and so many products, how can you work out which one is the best? Follow our simple guidelines, and you won’t go wrong.

After all, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile, so why not have something worth smiling about!

Here is a crash course in home tooth whitening to answer your questions and give you the confidence to have that perfect white smile.

Anyone Can Provide Home Tooth Whitening


The law has changed so that tooth whitening can only be carried out by a dentist, or under the prescription of a dentist. It is illegal for anyone other than a dentist to prescribe home teeth whitening where the concentration of hydrogen peroxide (the active whitening ingredient) is between 0.1- 6% (the legal limit).

This means that it is illegal for anyone who is not qualified to provide tooth whitening. White Swan is unique in that it is run by dentists who are able to carry out this treatment safely and legally in beauty salons and clinics across the country. A consultation with any of the team can answer your questions and give you an individual assessment of your smile.

Will Tooth Whitening Work On My Teeth?


Enlighten is the only home whitening system in the world to guarantee VITA Shade B1, irrespective of your starting shade or habits (including smoking, drinking red wine and consuming tomato-based foods). B1 is the lightest, natural shade on a dentist’s shade guide, and 95% of patients can achieve this shade after two weeks of home whitening.

Tooth Whitening Lasts Forever


While the results can be permanent, most patients find they need to occasionally ‘top up’ to maintain their new whiter shade. Those with lifestyle habits of smoking or consuming red wine may require a more regular top up. The advantage of home whitening is that you are in control. This means you can top up as often or as little as you like!

Tooth Whitening Won’t Work For Me Because I Smoke


Enlighten tooth whitening guarantees shade B1 without having to alter your habits. However, as a smoker, you may need to ‘top up’ your shade more regularly.

Tooth Whitening Has Lots Of Unwanted Side Effects


Tooth whitening is a safe and effective way of improving your smile. Side effects experienced through tooth whitening and minor and temporary, the main one being sensitivity and gum irritation during the procedure.

Your dentist has lots of hints and tips as to how to minimise these side effects. Often your dentist will provide you with a special tooth serum to help with sensitivity. However, some patients will experience no side effects at all.

I Can Buy Whitening Products From The Supermarket Which Are Just As Effective


Often these over the counter products contain acids and other harmful substances that can actually damage your teeth, rather than improve the aesthetics in a safe and harmless way. As it is illegal for anyone other than a dentist to use bleach (with the active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, over 0.1%), many home whitening kits contain alternative ingredients which are not as effective.

Will Tooth Whitening Change The Shade Of My Crowns And Fillings?


Tooth whitening only lightens the shade of your natural teeth and will have no effect on your current dental work.

Home whitening is a simple, effective way of improving your smile and increasing your self-confidence, without damaging or harming your teeth.

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Botox – Beautiful or Bonkers?

Are you surprised that over 1 million people each year have anti-wrinkle Botox injections in the UK?

Each of you reading this will probably know friends or family who have had facial injectables. However, you will all also have a good number of friends who have been having it for years, and you have never even realised. This is the art of well-administered aesthetic treatment.

White Swan’s qualified doctors and dentists offer anti-wrinkle injections (commonly called Botox), dermal fillers, peroxide teeth whitening and prescription eyelash lengthening in salons across London, Surrey and Hertfordshire

Will My Face Look Like A Mask?

Your face doesn’t have to look like a ‘mask’, but instead, our skilled practitioners can give you a look you desire – whether that be as smooth as a babies bottom or a subtle, preventative ‘Baby Botox’ effect, the choice is yours.

The same can be said for dermal fillers. Some White Swan clients love larger luscious lips and well-defined cheekbones whereas others are looking for a more gentle enhancement, which compliments their natural features.

Surely It Is Not Safe To Have Teeth Whitening In A Salon?

Teeth whitening in beauty salons has been a controversial topic for the past few years. It used to be the case that anyone, without even a qualification to their name, could administer peroxide whitening in a salon. As you can imagine, this leads to some really unpleasant consequences. The government stepped in to put an end to these risky, unregulated practices and so now only qualified dentists, like those working with White Swan, can perform teeth whitening.

These stringent regulations match our ethos of ‘safety above all else’. Dentists, with their extensive knowledge of the teeth and gums, can make sure the peroxide teeth bleaching treatment is carried out carefully and safely. We pride ourselves on being able to give clients beautifully white teeth, at a far lower price than the dentist, in the comfort of the luxurious salon environment.

How Can My Actual Eyelashes Get Thicker, Darker And Longer?

Latisse/Lumigan has just exploded onto the marketplace in both the UK and America. It was originally used in the NHS to treat Glaucoma, a common eye condition in older people. Over time, the doctors were surprised to find that their cohort of ageing grannies and grandpa’s had the most glamorous, desirable eyelashes in the hospital! This prescription-only solution was found to increase the length of time that eyelashes were in their growth phase. The result was long, dark, thick natural lashes without the bother of extensions. Become part of this eyelash revolution.

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Botox Or Vodka – Which Is Your Poison Of Choice?

Vodka and Botox card

My friends delight in the fact that I carry out medical aesthetics, not just because many of them choose to benefit from it personally but because they find it to be the basis of great humour. One such friend sent me the card pictured above, and it inspired me to explore why we view the consumption of Vodka and Botox so differently and prove to you how much these powerful potions have in common.

They Are Both Poisons

It is true, Botulinum Toxin A, commonly known as ‘Botox’ is classified as a poison. However, when used for medical aesthetics by a qualified practitioner, there have never been any serious incidents. Allergy is very rare, and the doses used to get rid of wrinkles or stop sweating are very small.

It was licenced to use in the NHS since 1994 for numerous conditions including migraines, spasticity disorders and overactive muscles. Therefore, we do have reasonably long-term data on its use and safely in quantities 1000’s of times larger than the dose used to achieve smooth, wrinkle-free skin.

If only the same could be said for Vodka – in 2013, there were 8416 alcohol-related deaths, over 1 million hospital admissions and the total NHS bar bill came to an astonishing 21 billion.

I use the daughter test to guide my decision making as an ethical practitioner – knowing what I know, would I carry out this procedure on my hypothetical daughter. I can honestly say that I would much rather a daughter of mine had a shot of Botox than a shot of vodka any day.

They Both Take Away Your Muscular Control

Loss of control is one of the things that I hate most about drinking alcohol, losing control of my frown muscles, however, is a dream! With Botox, there is no regret, no lapse in judgment and you look fresher the next day than the night before!

On a serious note, one of the things my clients are most nervous about is that they will lose their facial expression and appear ‘plastic.’ I always reassure them that skilfully administered anti-wrinkle injections can be as natural as you want them to be. Clients are always surprised that they are still facially expressive, simply with fewer wrinkles. It also surprises them that their friends don’t know anything out of the ordinary has occurred except that they appear ‘fresher’ and more ‘well rested’.

They Are Both Expensive

Which do you think is the more expensive habit – vodka or Botox? It may surprise you to realise that for most of my clients it would be the vodka! For one area of Botox, my standard pricing is £180 and then £50 for every additional area. Most clients have an average of 2 areas and return for treatment every 4 -6 months, which averages a £50 a month habit. The average Londoner spends more than £65 on alcohol each month. Therefore, to me it seems like a no-brainer – would you rather spend £65 and accelerate the ageing process or spend £50’s a month and look ten years younger?

They Both Make You Feel Better

As well as administering medical injectables and doing teeth whitening in salons across London and the Home Counties, I also work as an NHS hospital dentist in the oral surgery and oral medicine departments. I am lucky in that I find it hugely satisfying and getting someone out of pain is very rewarding. However, what is often more profound is the complete transformation in confidence that my aesthetic treatments can bring about. Something as seemingly minor as yellow teeth, a prominent frown line or deep nose to mouth grooves can leave someone feeling acutely self-conscious. It is the best feeling in the world when clients finally see their bugbear disappear and are a changed person – happier and more self-assured. Unfortunately, those who seek happiness from the bottom of a vodka bottle have a rude awakening.

They Are Both Delivered In Shots

Does anybody actually enjoy doing a vodka shot? The sudden fire at the back of your throat, followed by the wave of unsavoury memories from the last time you were somehow persuaded to inhale this colourless concoction – it takes your breath away. The same can very definitely not be said for anti-wrinkle injections. The needles used are tiny, and the sensation could only be described as mild discomfort at worst. I train all my dentists and doctors that work in White Swan salons in the art of near painless injections. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, can be quite uncomfortable so I always offer client’s topical numbing cream or a dental block to freeze the area completely.

You Can Get Both Of Them At Parties

‘Botox parties’ went through a wave of popularity a few years ago where you would have drinks, nibbles and all sit around having facial aesthetics. I do not to offer these as I think its important for all procedures, even though they are not invasive, to be carried out in a clean, specially designed environment. For me, aesthetic treatment in a luxury beauty salon is the perfect balance between clinical and comfort – you still have your treatment with ideal lighting and chair positioning while also sipping a glass of champagne or having a pedicure!

They Are Both Addictive

We all know that the more we drink on a night out or a dinner party, the more we want. The stop signal just isn’t there sometimes, particularly with the London culture of after work drinks extending into the early hours. People apply the same logic to anti-wrinkle injections and body enhancement – will I get addicted and want more and more until I am one big Botox balloon ready to burst? This is simply not the case. Of course, there will always be a small minority of people who take things to the extreme, but most clients will have a select couple of favoured treatments and do not find themselves on the slippery injectable slope of excess.

Ultimately, I hope I have achieved my goal of proving to you that in fact Botox and Vodka are the same in so many ways, but only one can cause serious risk, accelerated ageing and no long-term benefits. With this in mind, why is it more socially acceptable to drink alcohol than have Botox? Why would you feel comfortable telling your friends about a messy night out but yet I am the only one entrusted with the knowledge of your secret anti-wrinkle treatments? So remember, whether you want to grow old gracefully or stay smoother for longer, be open-minded about the fascinating and ever-changing world of medical aesthetics and all it has to offer.

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Anti-Wrinkle Injections – True or False?

trueAnti-wrinkle injections involve having a small amount of solution placed just beneath the skin. This is placed with the smallest possible injection to make the treatment as comfortable as possible.

They work by preventing nerves from communicating with muscles. The muscle is held still preventing wrinkles from developing and allowing existing wrinkles to fade away.

Afterwards the area may be raised and red for up to half an hour. However once this settles there is no recovery time and so you can return to your normal routine.

The effect will slowly set in so your friends and family will not know you’ve had the treatment, unless you tell them!

The treatment is not permanent and will gradually wear off after 4-6 months. You may wish to have top ups at that point or wait for wrinkles to reappear before having the treatment again.

They are great for facial aesthetics but did you know they can also be used for medical reasons such as:

  • prevent sweating (forehead/underarms/hands/feet
  • help relieve tension headaches and migraines
  • stop people grinding or clenching their teeth (also known as Bruxism)

falseThey are painful: antiwrinkle injections naturally involve some mild discomfort but the treatment takes very little time and very few people experience pain. Most practitioners are trained to help keep you relaxed during the treatment too so a fear of injections should not put you off.

Distortion: the frozen faces that you see the media are extreme examples of this treatment, you will still be able to move your face and show emotion after having the treatment.

Paralysing: the solution has no effect on muscles themselves so following treatment you will still be able to move the muscles of your face to express emotion.

Poisonous: the solution does not travel around your body or affect other parts and so you cannot be poisoned or overdose.

Addictive: Since it does not spread through your body, there is also no way it can become addictive. The results however may be moreish!

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