Teeth-whitening services have left salon owner Hannah Sass smiling. “Teeth whitening was one of the best things we could have brought into our spa. It’s very popular,” says Sass, co-owner of Head to Toe Spa and Nail Bar in Saint Joseph, Mich. “The whitener is easy for our clients to apply and they love it for big events, like weddings.”
Clients are set up in a secluded area of the salon and a staff member helps them to get a mouthguard in place. “We explain how to apply the bleaching gel and after they do that, we position the light so it’s pointing towards their teeth,” she says. “They sit for 15 minutes, and then they have the option to continue whitening in additional 15-minute increments. Single-sessions cost $99 and we charge around $25 for each additional 15 minutes.” The salon stores any leftover gel so the client can purchase additional sessions later on without having to buy more.
It’s the fact that the client applies the product herself that skirts any regulations about performing a dental procedure. According to Smile Labs, the supplier Sass uses, “the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved the use of peroxide for over-the-counter use. Our customers perform the teeth whitening (sometimes called teeth bleaching) procedure on themselves ... We are there to guide them and verbally assist them during the chairside procedure, but we never touch their mouths or teeth, we never give dental advice, and we never represent ourselves as dentists.” Sass says the procedure is gentle on clients’ teeth and doesn’t cause sensitivities.
Head to Toes’ teeth-whitening clients are offered simultaneous add-on services, like reflexology and leg or arm massage. “We also have clients who will get their pedicures and manicures done during that time,” she says. “The whole teeth whitening service goes with our philosophy of thinking everyone deserves to feel beautiful from the inside out.”
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