Updated: Jun 26
This isn't your typical ClosettCandyy blog post. Today I want share a story about the complicated relationship I have with my teeth. After a recent visit to Studio Pineo - Microblading and Cosmetics for my very first teeth whitening appointment, I felt it was important to talk about my insecurities and how I've managed to overcome them with a little bit of help.
Teeth are a touchy subject for me and have been since a young age. Once all my baby teeth fell out, I was left with a jumbled set of teeth that were forced to grow inside a little tiny mouth. My eye teeth were poking out of my gums, my two front teeth were inverted, and the bottom row looked like drunk pile of dominos. It seemed that all my friends and family had a straight set of pearly whites and to put it lightly - I was jealous and insecure.
It also didn't help that my dad, uncle, and brother made fun of me at every opportunity. I can't tell you how many times I've cried or the amount of nightmares I've had surrounding my teeth. Have you ever had a dream where you're casually brushing your teeth and they all fall out? I've lost count of mine...
But I wasn't always this way! In the two photos below you'll see a young Jesse around the ages of seven and nine, proudly flashing her teeth for a photo (even the one I pulled out). This was a few years before insecurities would replace my fearlessness; a feeling I think we're all quite familiar with.
Public school was hard for me, as it is for a lot of kids. As I was pulling photos for this post I noticed I didn't have as many in my keepsake box as I remember taking, and I know that's because I've thrown them out. I've gone through phases of such deep insecurity where I don't want to be reminded of when I was "ugly" ... which leads to an impulse decision to throw out memories and keepsakes. I thought I was doing myself a favour, but it's my only regret in life. I love photos now and I'm sad to think at one time in my life they were a pain point for me.
Of the few photos I do have, my smile is small, my lips are closed, and I remember really not wanting to have my photo taken in the first place.
I'm getting a little emotional as I reach the part in my story where I talk about my Grade 8 graduation. I can distinctly remember how insecure I felt (about everything) and how badly I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin. I hated the way I looked. I didn't like my body, and I certainly didn't like my teeth. My face in the photo below says it all.
After graduation I soon had a dentist appointment where we made plans for braces. At fourteen years old and about to enter high school, I was more than ready for a "new Jesse". To prep for the procedure, I had eight teeth pulled and wore a spacer for six months in attempt to stretch out the roof of my mouth; both really fond memories I might add. But nothing would prepare me for the next year and a half of braces - the most in pain and unhappy I think I've ever been. I was in pain because of how tight my braces were and how much my teeth had to move. I couldn't eat with normal cutlery for a year because just the sound of the metal hurt my teeth. I lost weight because I couldn't eat properly without pain, and soon I reached a whole new low in my insecurities.
Fast forward one year, six months - the braces are removed and it's like a switch went off in my head; I was a brand new person. I couldn't believe there were beautiful teeth staring back at me and that they were mine. I had a newfound confidence. I was someone who loved their teeth, was confident in her smile, and didn't mind having her photo taken. In fact, I was now the one taking selfies and smiling bigger than ever in group photos.
Everyone has their own hangups, and mine were my teeth until the braces came off. I was finally happy. I finally loved to smile big and not cover my mouth. I would constantly run my tongue along the front and back of my teeth just to feel how straight they were. But then one day my retainers broke. And I couldn't get an appointment with the dentist for 3 weeks. And you know what happened? My fucking teeth MOVED. My teeth were no longer perfectly straight, and I was back to being insecure.
Disclaimer: I didn't love myself, which is why I based my worth so heavily on my appearance. As soon as I felt that was being taken away from me, my confidence would fall and I didn't think I was worthy of anything anymore. I craved attention and I craved being pretty.
When I'd look at photos of myself the first thing I would do is check my teeth - and I often didn't like what I saw... so I started editing them. I would whiten them using a tool in PicMonkey before posting them on Facebook because it took the attention away from if they were straight or not. I would save up my money to buy crest white strips but was discouraged when I couldn't get them to stay on my crooked teeth, and I certainly didn't have the money for professional teeth whitening.
Since launching ClosettCandyy in 2011, I've been honest with my photographers about the feelings I have about my teeth and have often encouraged them to whiten or "fix" them if they felt the need to. I'm happy to share that after a lot of internal work and self growth, I'm not as hard on myself as I used to be. I don't make a point to bring up my teeth and I don't edit them anymore - but do still think they could be a little less yellow, which is why I'm thrilled we have an affordable and safe Teeth Whitening Studio here in Kingston.
Emma Pineo of Studio Pineo reached out to me for a collaboration and I couldn't say yes fast enough! As a new business, she needed help with brand exposure and generating buzz - something I love to help small businesses with through my social influence and reach. However, this collaboration was different. I've wanted to have my teeth whitened for so long that I felt like I'd hit the jackpot. I'm so excited to tell you more about this small family run business and my highly positive experience.
ABOUT STUDIO PINEO - LASER TEETH WHITENING & MICROBLADING
Previously known as "Say Cheese YGK" and "Brows on Fleek," Studio Pineo offers some of the latest cosmetic procedures; microblading, lash lifting and laser teeth whitening. Emma and Joey are the business owners behind the brand, and are quite possibly the sweetest humans I've ever met. As someone who dreads the "dentist" - this visit couldn't have felt further from that! You instantly feel at home as soon as you walk through their doors at 7 Princess Street.
For their Teeth Whitening process, Studio Pineo uses a water-based formula that doesn't compromise or harm the enamel on your teeth. I've documented my experience in a series of photos and captions below, and want to give a special thank-you to the talented and super fun Allison of Fresh Voice Media for the awesome photos!
Meet the lovely and talented Emma Pineo. Isn't she cute?!
Here are a few glimpses of gorgeous and welcoming Studio Pineo. Emma has spruced the place up even more since these photos were taken! That girl has a serious eye for interior design.
Emma had to show me how to *properly* insert the retractor. If you're wondering, yes this is basically the same piece from the game "Speak Out" and yes it was just as hilarious to try and talk to Emma when I had it in! It took me a while to figure it out and Allison had a hayday with the photos... my cheeks hurt from laughing so much!
Once the retractor was in, it was time to sit down and get to work. I love the old leather chair Emma chose for her studio! It's so comfortable and makes the entire process seem super casual. In the photo below I'm applying Vitamin E to my lips and gums to give them a bit of added moisture so they don't dry out while my mouth is open for 15 minutes. Emma has a set of Q-tips that already have the Vitamin E Oil inside them which I thought was pretty handy!
This is how the magic happens! First, Emma applies the water-based gel to each of my teeth.
Second, I put on a pair of sunnies to block my eyes from the bright red light.
And third, Emma centers the LED light with my teeth while the timer starts to count down from 15 minutes. This light isn't harmful to your teeth or eyes but rather works in combination with the gel to bleach out the stains on your teeth!
Gearing up for session number two! I completed three sessions in total, with the limit being four.
After session number three, Emma checked how many shades whiter my teeth were so we could benchmark and see if I wanted to do a fourth. I was really happy with how my teeth looked, so I decided to save my fourth session for a later date - perhaps the day of a photoshoot when I want a little extra boost.
Emma takes both a before and after photo (shown at the end of this post!) so you can see just how much whiter they really are. It's honestly hard to tell when you look in the mirror but the proof is in the comparison!
BEFORE & AFTER
I am oh so happy with the results! This entire process was really eye-opening and helped me see my teeth in a whole new positive light. I talked to Emma about my insecurities and she shared hers with me too. I've found that the more I voice my insecurities and get honest with myself about where they stems from, the more I seem to heal and replace those worries with self love.
After my sessions were finished, Emma sent me home with the gel that she used and instructed I keep it in the freezer until my next appointment. I thought it was really smart of her to send clients home with their own gel so she wasn't wasting any! She also recommended I take home a tin of activated charcoal to keep any surface stays at bay until my next session. One important tip for using activated charcoal is to NOT use your toothbrush because it will end up under your gums. It's best to mix it with a bit of water (or coconut oil) in a dish, dab it on your teeth using your finger, leave for two minutes, rinse thoroughly, and finish with brushing your teeth.
Most people will experience a 3-4 shades whiter difference with a 15-minute treatment, and 7-8 shades difference with a double (two back-to-back 15-minute regimens) treatment session.
One 15 Minute Session: $99
Two 15 Minute Sessions: $149
One Hour Session: $199
Activated Charcoal: $15
Click HERE to schedule an appointment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Still have a few lingering questions or concerns? Take a peek at Studio Pineo's FAQs below.
Do a lot of people get their teeth whitened? Cosmetic Teeth Whitening is the #1 requested treatment procedure in a dental office, and is second only to hair treatments in the beauty world. More people than you might imagine have their teeth whitened. A nice bright white smile can make a big difference in the way a person feels about themselves, and can help boost confidence in almost any social setting.
How long does your process take from start to finish? For the chairside treatment process, it takes a minimum of about a half hour from start to finish to do a single treatment, and about 50 minutes total time to do a double. That includes initial paperwork, pre-treatment prep, and post-treatment finishing and instruction. So, in less than an hour maximum, one can have a whiter smile. With the take home products, daily treatments are either a half-hour or one hour, depending on which kit is purchased. Then, the time to complete the whitening regimen is from 5-10 days total, depending on the starting shade of the teeth and on the ending level of whiteness that the client desires.
What will I experience during this procedure? You may feel a slight tingling, bubbling or effervescence against your teeth for the first few minutes. This is normal and is the sign that the gel is producing the oxygen that does the work of bleaching.
Does your process cause damage to teeth enamel? No, research has shown that bleaching with peroxide-based gels does not harm the enamel on people's’ teeth. This type of bleaching has been done for over twenty years, even with stronger whitening gels than what we use, and no damage to enamel has occurred.
Does your whitening process or gels do any damage to the nerves in teeth? No, the scientific literature shows that neither the gel nor the light that we use will cause any nerve damage.
Does the whitening gels that you use cause harm to any dental restoration, such as fillings, bonding, crowns, bridges, partials, dentures, veneers, or implants? Professional dental research has shown that this process will not harm currently used dental restorative materials.
How long will my teeth stay white? One to two years is possible and depends greatly on the client’s lifestyle and habits. If one drinks a lot of coffee, tea, dark soda, or red wine, or especially if one smokes, the results will not last as long. These individuals may have to repeat the process more often.
Is the procedure safe? Yes. Extensive clinical research and trials have shown that Cosmetic Teeth Whitening is safe.[vii] Many dentists consider this process to be the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. We do recommend that no one under the age of 18 years, nor any women that are pregnant or breastfeeding, have this procedure done.
Who may benefit from this process? Almost everyone can benefit from having his or her teeth whitened. Treatment results can vary and we can help clients determine if they are viable candidates for our processes. One should remember that one’s teeth cannot be bleached whiter than their genetically determined base shade. Certain types of staining from antibiotics or excess fluoride may not whiten as much as those without these discolorations.
Who shouldn’t do this process? We recommend seeing a dentist first before bleaching to those clients that haven’t seen a dentist in 2 or more years, have open unfilled holes in their teeth, or who have untreated gum disease. Also, as with most elective procedures, we do not recommend Cosmetic Teeth Whitening for any woman that is pregnant or nursing.
Which starting teeth shades respond best to teeth whitening? In general, if your teeth are stained yellow it will be easier to whiten them. Gray teeth are harder to whiten and don’t respond as well as yellow-stained teeth. If one’s genetically determined base teeth color is yellow (that is, not stained yellow), then those teeth will be considerably harder to bleach white.
I haven’t seen a dentist in 2 (or more) years. Is it OK for me to proceed today with teeth whitening? No, we recommend seeing a dentist first before bleaching. After that amount of time of not seeing a dentist, many unfavorable conditions could exist in one’s mouth, and they might not even be aware of those problems. When in doubt, always see a dentist first.
I have crowns (caps) or veneers (bonding) on my front teeth. What will this process do to them? The bleaching will not change any of these restorations intrinsic (inside) color, however, it may remove some extrinsic (outside) stains. The procedure will not harm dental restorations. If one’s natural teeth are yellower than the restored teeth, then whitening may bring the natural teeth closer in shade to the restored teeth. If the restored teeth are yellower in color, then bleaching will only make the difference in shade greater between them and their naturally colored counterparts. In this case, one may want to bleach first, then have the restorations redone by their dentist to match the newly bleached color. This, however, can lead to expensive and extensive dental work, so again, consult a dentist first.
I have a temporary crown (or temporary cap, bridge, or veneer) on my teeth. Can I do this process? No, our process involves the use of a custom InstaPression™ tray that may inadvertently remove a temporary restoration, resulting in an unexpected premature return to the dentist. Wait until after the permanent restoration is placed before using our system. Our tray system will not remove sound and intact permanently bonded or cemented dental restorations.
I have oral piercings or I have braces on my teeth (or a fixed wire retainer). Can I do this process? If you are in active orthodontic treatment and have bands and/or brackets bonded or cemented to your teeth, please wait until after completion of treatment and all appliances have been removed before commencing any bleaching treatment. A lower tightly bonded lingual (tongue-side) wire retainer that was placed by an orthodontist after regular orthodontic treatment is fine to have in your mouth while bleaching is done. All oral piercings (tongue, cheeks, lips, or nose) must be removed prior to having any teeth whiting treatments done.
Can I do this process if I have open holes (cavities) in my mouth that haven’t yet been filled by my dentist? Again, the answer to this question is that these individuals need to be seen by their dentist first and have the condition permanently resolved prior to any form of teeth whitening.
My dentist told me I have gum disease that he hasn’t treated yet. Can I do this? The condition needs to be treated and under control by a dentist before any bleaching is considered; once under control and with the approval of one’s dentist, teeth whitening could then be done.
Is the process I get from you today being performed by a dentist? No, the Lab Owner/Dealer is not a dentist or dental professional. He or she has been trained and certified and can assist you in the self-administration of our products and services, but will not render dental opinions, give dental advice, or otherwise pose as a dentist or practice dentistry.
Is this the same type of bleaching gel that is used by my family dentist? Yes, we use the same type of peroxide-based bleaching gels as a dentist, but our gels are of a lower strength than what a dentist typically uses. We do get the same or better results as a dentist in less time, however, depending on the type of treatment the dentist chooses to use.
What causes teeth to discolor or become yellower? The causes are many. The most common are natural aging and the prolonged consumption of staining agents such as tobacco, coffee, tea, red wine, dark-colored soda, and staining foods like mustard, tomato sauce, or blueberries. A good rule to go by is that if it will stain a white handkerchief or white t-shirt, then it may similarly stain your teeth. Other people may have a different type of staining that occurs when the permanent adult teeth are forming, typically at age 5 through 12. When children of this age group are exposed to excessive fluoride, tetracycline or other antibiotics, certain embedded and permanent stains or discolored tooth formations may occur. These types of “tooth-formation” stains do not respond well to any form of bleaching. These individuals should consult their dentist for other options, such as bonding, veneers, or crowns.
Are there any side effects to having the process done? Some people may feel a slight tingling sensation or have minor discomfort during or after a teeth-whitening session. A few may have white spots on their gums as well. These effects are transient and quickly dissipate with a few minutes or so. Most people report no discomfort or sensitivity at all during or after their treatment. Different people react in different ways to chemicals and treatments, and this holds true for Cosmetic Teeth Whitening procedures as well as bleaching products. We recommend that if a client is experiencing pain or discomfort during the bleaching process, they should discontinue the treatment immediately and consult their dentist as soon as possible as this may indicate an undiscovered or unknown problem that might be occurring in their mouths.
How long before I can eat or drink anything after completing this process? We recommend that one should avoid eating or drinking any stain-causing foods or beverages for at least 24 hours. If you need to drink these beverages during this time, use a straw to avoid a lengthy contact time with your teeth.
How does your light differ from the smaller hand-held ones I’ve seen that come with some of the take home kits sold at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, or CVS stores? For the most part, the light’s wavelength is approximately the same as ours, but the intensity of these small hand-held lights is much lower and therefore will not work as well or as fast. These lights also come with kits using carbamide peroxide, which does not react as well or as fast as hydrogen peroxide gels do with the addition of a light. The light in this case is more of a gimmick than an actual aid to bleaching, and can help cause the price of these take home kits to be higher than need be.
I have dental insurance. Is your Cosmetic Teeth Whitening procedure covered by dental insurance? No. We are not aware of any dental insurance that has a covered benefit for Cosmetic Teeth Whitening.
Is there any alcohol in your bleaching gels? No, there is no alcohol in our bleaching gels!
What if I get sensitivity after using your process or products? It is our experience that even though it is unlikely that you will have any discomfort from our teeth whitening, if it does occur, we would recommend the use of Sensodyne™-type toothpaste be used after bleaching. You could also use over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, if you can take those products safely.
What kind of results can I expect from your process? Everyone’s teeth are different. We all have different body chemistry, dental health, genetics, etc. Most people will experience a 3-4 shades whiter difference with a 15-minute treatment, and 7-8 shades difference with a double (two back-to-back 15-minute regimens) treatment session. Overall, 98% of our clients are absolutely thrilled and ecstatic about their treatment results. The “WOW!” factor is huge.
What makes your procedures and products superior to all other types of teeth whitening that is available today? We use only the finest Made-in-the-USA bleaching gels manufactured to our proprietary formula. We use a high intensity, cold blue visible spectrum light that puts off no heat to cause tooth nerve inflammation. Our InstaPression™ tray is designed to be optically transparent to the accelerator light while keeping the teeth hydrated during bleaching. This hydration also prevents tooth nerve inflammation, which can lead to strong teeth sensitivity. Ours is the only system on the market that combines these three factors to give our clients the best, fastest, and whitest results with virtually no unpleasant side effects.
Is your gel better than over-the-counter strips or whitening toothpastes? If one considers speed of action as a primary desirable feature of a teeth whitening system, then the results obtained with our system are better than strips or so-called whitening toothpastes. The toothpastes available today have a very minor whitening potential as compared to our system. They only slightly lessen extrinsic, not intrinsic, stains. Strips will whiten teeth, but they take a month or more to complete treatment and have a known high occurrence of teeth sensitivity.
What is the shelf life of your bleaching gels? Our chairside gel has a 6-12 month shelf life if refrigerated. Our take home gels’ shelf life is 1-2 years, also refrigerated.
What do the different percentages of bleaching gels mean? For example, a 36% carbamide peroxide gel eventually breaks down into a 10-12% hydrogen peroxide in the mouth. It is the eventual hydrogen peroxide concentration that matters because only in this form can it release the oxygen necessary to perform the actual chemical process of bleaching.
Which bleaching gel works the best? We feel that for fast and safe light-assisted chairside power bleaching, hydrogen peroxide works best. Chairside bleaching is fast because the light accelerates the process and hydrogen peroxide doesn’t need extra time to break down from a buffered form, like carbamide peroxide must do before it can release the oxygen to bleach the teeth. Carbamide peroxide is best for take home kits because it is more stable and has a longer shelf life. At home use is generally not a speedy process to begin with, so the extra time needed to break down in the mouth to a usable form is not as important as in chairside bleaching. Also, with take home kits, there will be more contact time of the gel to the teeth, so there will be plenty of time for carbamide to do its job.
The part of my teeth near the gums isn’t as white as the rest of the teeth even after bleaching. Why is this? The teeth usually have a seamless whitening transition zone from whiter near the biting surface of the tooth to less white near the gum line. This is normal and is an expected result because the tooth enamel is thinner near the gum line and will show through some of the tooth’s naturally yellower inner dentin layer. It is this slight transition that makes the tooth appear to be more natural and not just a monochrome “Chiclet” of a tooth, which looks very unnatural.
I have small white spots on some of my front teeth. How will bleaching affect these spots? It is normal that certain areas of a tooth that are decalcified will respond and whiten more rapidly than the surrounding tooth structure. The rest of the tooth eventually catches up with the spots and will become more uniform in color as one continues to bleach.
Will your treatment fix my tetracycline stained teeth? Tetracycline stained teeth are caused by the uptake of this antibiotic into the enamel while the tooth is newly forming at the ages of 5-12 years. The staining looks like there are grey to tan “banding” layers in the tooth. This type of staining is very difficult to correct with Cosmetic Teeth Whitening. We recommend that the customer see his or her dentist to have this staining treated by more extensive, aggressive bleaching or by covering the staining with the placement of veneers or crowns.
I have splotchy teeth with mottled tan, brown, and white spots on them, especially the front ones. Will your processes repair this? No, this type of staining is known as fluorosis. It was caused by the uptake into the enamel of excessive amounts of fluoride while the customer’s permanent teeth were forming, again between 5-12 years of age. We recommend that the client seek the advice of their dentist to correct this problem. Cosmetic Teeth Whitening will not help excessively fluorosed teeth.
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Thanks for reading!