50 shades of white: Why gleaming pearly whites are no longer A-list territory

While it may feel like gleaming chompers are suddenly flooding your social media feeds, teeth whitening is no new thing. 

The history of keeping those pearly whites, white, can be traced back to ancient times. 

In 3000 BC, people didn't brush teeth with a brush, but they did use something called chew sticks. These were small twigs that a person chewed, which scraped off the particles on the teeth.

Growing up in the '90s, it was hammered into most of us to clean twice a day. If you had my upbringing, it's hard to finish brushing your teeth before two full rounds of 'Happy Birthday' is up - the perfect amount of time, according to my childhood dentist. 

Fast forward to 2019 and it feels like Instagram has got us all seeking that gleaming white smile that has become du jour. You can even now buy at-home tooth whitening kits, meaning you don't have to leave your couch for that perfect grin. 

Surrounded by snow-white smiles, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and accept that no longer was my Colgate Total Whitening cutting it, especially teamed with my morning coffee and evening red wine habit. 

It was time to pull out the big guns.

I headed only a 100m up the road from work to Auckland's newest whitening offering, the Whitening Co, which promised whiter teeth in just 25 minutes. I have to admit, I was slightly intimidated by their Instagram aesthetic, which made me wonder if I should be dressing like this to go: 

But Whitening Co managing director Ruby Mills put me at ease and I settled back in the space that looks more like a glamorous hair salon then something vaguely medical. 

I have to admit, the whole experience was surprising. No longer, apparently, does a dental appointment mean staring at that wildlife poster on the ceiling while someone tinkers around in your mouth. Instead, Ruby set me up with noise cancelling, Bluetooth headphones, got me cozy with a blanket and a cushion, and left me to it.

You're about as comfortable as you could possibly be, while having lip stretchers and a gum shield in. 

You also look simply fabulous - here is me feeling pretty: 

Sarah at the Whitening Co
I never felt more beautiful. Photo credit: Newshub.

Afterwards, I couldn't believe the difference. My teeth were visibly whiter - so much so I couldn't believe I had been walking around with those mucky brown tombstones in my mouth. For a couple of hundred bucks and less than hour's work, it's better value for money than I could have dreamed off. 

Just take the post-care seriously. I slightly ruined things by taking a few sips of delicious red wine that evening, before remembering, screaming and spitting it down the sink. 

Don't be like me. 

But the ease, speed and relative cheapness of the whole procedure showed that no longer do you have to be an A-lister or on The Bachelor to get that perfect, pearly white grin. One hour from woah to go, and you too, can blind your co-workers with your smile. 2019, amirite? 



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