Good news. You can whiten and brighten your teeth in a flash. Better still, you can do so without breaking the bank.
Not so long back a million dollar smile meant exactly that – a fortune. Thankfully times have changed and today pretty pearly whites are within everyone’s grasp (and budget too). That’s good news because a not-so-lovely smile can have massive health and social implications.
The fact is health of your teeth is closely related to your general health with illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes directly linked to the state of your gums.
Gnarly teeth can also affect a first impression, be it on a date or a job interview.
That's something Dr Jeffrey Albert, of Sydney Dental Professionals, is only too aware of with many of his clients arriving at his office shy and lacking in confidence yet striding out seemingly 10-foot tall.
"There's no doubt about it - transforming someone's smile can transform their life," says Dr Albert. That was certainly the case for Rachael Gibbons, a Sydney mother of three, who was so deeply ashamed of her teeth that she hadn’t smiled broadly for more than six years.
No matter how happy she was she always kept her lips tightly pressed so that no-one would spot the glaring gaps where two of her top teeth had been removed.
"I was convinced everyone would stare at me and I felt so embarrassed," says Rachael, 50.
"It really affected me. It sounds a bit silly, but I felt dreadful."
Indeed one fateful day Rachael was feeling so very low that she decided to do something about it and sent an email to Women's Weekly Facebook page.
"I am so unhappy with my teeth," she wrote.
"I hate them and I feel so very ashamed. I would give everything to have a smile I could be proud of… a smile I’d like to share.
"I know I would feel like a million dollars if I could get my teeth fixed. Please, please help.”
We were so moved by Rachael's email that we passed it onto Dr Jeffrey Albert. A highly-sort after cosmetic dentist Dr Albert read Rachael's story and immediately agreed to help her. When we contacted her to let her know she was beyond excited.
"I have never been so excited in all my life," said Rachael. But the real excitement was yet to come. In the following weeks Dr Albert literally transformed Rachael's smile. Firstly, he whipped her teeth and gums into good shape by removing decay and filling several holes. A dental hygienist cleaned and polished also. Dr Albert then made a mould of Rachael's teeth and had a personalised tray made up so that she could whiten her teeth at home over the course of 10 days. He also reshaped her two front teeth and had a denture made to fill the gaps where she’d had teeth removed. And Rachael is thrilled.
"I cannot believe how great they look," she says.
"I’m in shock… I’m quite overwhelmed."
Not enough to stop smiling though.
"I'm constantly smiling," laughs Rachael.
"I find myself grinning at complete strangers."