Your spa has an opportunity to increase profit margins by offering teeth whitening to clients either as an add-on spa service or by retailing teeth-whitening products. Spa-goers have become savvier regarding the link between wellness and overall health. They realize that a whiter smile is a symbol of prosperity and general well-being. In fact, it is consistently listed as one of the most requested cosmetic improvements when spa-goers are surveyed. Here are seven considerations to keep in mind when you’re thinking about introducing teeth-whitening services to your spa.
1. It is important to realize that not all teeth-whitening options are created equally and can cause sensitivity, or in the worst case scenario, lead to irreparable damage to the teeth if not chosen carefully.
2. The two main whitening ingredients are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Without either ingredient, it is not possible to whiten teeth. Hydrogen peroxide used in high concentrations for prolonged periods of time will cause dehydration of the enamel and cause teeth to look chalky. Carbamide peroxide is a safer whitening ingredient and is gentler on the teeth than hydrogen peroxide. It is the preferred ingredient in at-home over-the-counter whitening products and can be used long term without harmful side effects, like tooth sensitivity.
3. When selecting a teeth-whitening service for your spa, consider partnering with a dentist or licensed dental health professional who has expertise when diagnosing the cause of tooth discoloration and is knowledgeable about safe whitening ingredients and proper sanitary conditions.
4. For retail, at-home whitening products are a wonderful option to increase sales. Teeth whitening has become a $15 billion industry, ranging in variety from professional in-office whitening treatments and at-home whitening kits to express whitening kiosks found in malls.
5. Whether it’s an in-spa whitening treatment or an at-home kit, whitening results depend on a multitude of factors, including how stained the teeth were before the whitening, whether teeth were stained from darkly colored food or beverages or deeper staining beneath the enamel. Stains from antibiotics, like tetracycline, are the most difficult to remove and generally do not respond favorably to whitening treatments. How thick a person’s tooth enamel is will also affect how the peroxide reacts and the whitening result. The number of treatments performed and whether teeth have been over-bleached are also important factors, because they can lead to sensitivity and other dental issues. It also depends on the kind of whitening gel (carbamide versus hydrogen peroxide), the concentration of the teeth whitening gel, and the kind of application system that is used.
6. As with any great spa treatment, maintenance is key for a long-lasting result. The issue post whitening is that clients usually return to their tooth-staining habits of drinking darkly colored food and beverages or smoking, which will cause the whitening results to regress. Clients then become unhappy because their whiter smiles have become once again discolored, and additional money is needed for repeat treatments. At-home whitening products won’t cannibalize a professional whitening service offered in your spa, such as lasers, because they are priced differently and have different results. An at-home whitening system or whitening toothpaste can be used to maintain and enhance your clients’ whiter smiles while increasing your retail sales.
7. Look for products that represent your spa’s point of view, such as those that are cruelty-free or vegan. For the more health-conscious spa-goer, make sure to choose whitening products that are free of silica and sodium lauryl sulfate. If you have a largely Jewish population, look for whitening toothpastes that are kosher and glycerin-free. If your consumers are skewed slightly older, look for toothpastes that can whiten bonding, veneers, laminates, and other dental restorations.—Irwin Smigel, DDS
@bio: Irwin Smigel, DDS, president of The American Society for Dental Aesthetics, created Supersmile Intelligent Smile Care, a line of teeth-whitening products. Today, Supersmile is sold in dental offices, spas, and specialty retailers around the world. It has become a multi-million-dollar company with revenue reaching an estimate of $20 million in sales each year. For more information, log on to www.supersmile.com.
Give your clients’ teeth something worth smiling about with these whitening products.
Beaming White Professional Teeth Whitening Package: Including the Futura 2400, a powerful and attractive teeth whitening light, and the Advanced Whitening Kit, this package features everything needed to whiten the teeth. It also comes with free training, as well as a money-back guarantee. (866) 944-8315; www.beamingwhite.com
BEYOND WhiteSpa Polus Whitening Accelerator: This advanced whitening system combines proven halogen output with LED technology. It features adjustable light intensity, 360-degree range of motion for perfect positioning, touch user interface, a single-tooth whitening option, a remote control, and motorized height adjustment. (866) 695-6452; www.whitespa.com
Extreme Pearly Whites Complete Teeth Whitening System: This fast and effective kit whitens teeth with a 35 percent carbamide peroxide gel. It gives your clients everything they need to brighten their pearly whites in the privacy of their own homes. (866) 203-2330; www.a1afacial.com
Supersmile Professional Whitening System: Simple, safe, and effective, this whitening system is clinically proven to maintain the vibrancy of professionally bleached teeth while brightening natural teeth, as well as restoring bondings, veneers, caps, crowns, braces, and dentures to their original whiteness. (800) 784-7645; www.supersmile.com
Whiter Image Teeth Whitening System: Boosting revenue with teeth whitening as an a la carte menu item or part of a package, this advanced teeth whitening system is safe, fast, and offers profit margins of up to $100 per hour. Sales of only 24 pre-filled whitening trays a month at an average price of $99 can yield an annual revenue of more than $28,000. (800) 558-5571; www.universalcompanies.com