[Interview] We Speak To Ina Hammer – A Woman Responsible For Hundreds Of Beautiful Smiles
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a Norwegian who’s been living overseas literally all my adult life; London, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and back to Singapore in 2008 which is where my heart is – I don’t just like it, I love it here! Having now married a Singapore citizen, I’m staying indefinitely. In 2015 we lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the year due to my husband’s work. I’m very entrepreneurial which is why having my own business suits me so perfectly. In my first time round of living in Singapore, I set up a successful talent agency where all the 350 talents on the books were expats of all ages – giving them a chance to star in commercials, print ads, corporate videos, films and doing voice overs for all kinds of well known brand names. Great fun and I met a lot of fabulous people which suits my very sociable nature! I have also been a property agent here in Singapore for a few years. I have 3 grown up kids, all out of the nest. I enjoy going to social events meeting new people as well as being with friends. I travel as and when and continue to be amazed at all that’s out there in “real” Asia. But always relieved to be coming home to my clean and orderly Singapore! We live in a cute and quaint black & white house on Newton Circus which is where I do my SmileLABS treatments from. Whilst living in The British Virgin Islands I took up painting and our house is filled with my art. I do sell a piece here and there, but I paint mainly for my own pleasure. I find it so therapeutic and satisfying to create a piece of art, my heart and soul goes into it and the hours just fly by when I paint.
How did you get into the teeth whitening business?
My father is a dentist so I grew up learning the importance of caring for my teeth and of course have them looking good. I was a very sugar deprived child! I looked into and ended up investing in a teeth whitening business back in 2009. Unfortunately, the products I was sold did not work, so after having tried it out on a few friends I gave up on the idea at the time, very deflated. I obviously cannot be selling a product that doesn’t work, so I didn’t even get started and went on to become a property agent. When I was coming back from Chiang Mai last year, now having PR and free to do what I wanted, I got thinking about teeth whitening again. I did extensive research and found the American company SmileLABS. Their products have an impeccable reputation, their whitening really works. I was adamant about one thing; the teeth whitening absolutely had to come from and be made in the US, I was not be prepared to trust anything else. I know that the SmileLABS teeth whitening undergoes proper testing and is safe. So I decided to try again and I am absolutely delighted with the results my clients are getting. I love seeing what a difference it makes to their smiles, seeing them leave so happy.
Why should someone consider getting their teeth whitened?
SmileLABS Cosmetic Teeth Whitening system doesn’t just whiten the teeth, but it also really brightens them up, takes off life-long stains and cleans the teeth beautifully. On average people go 6-10 shades whiter. It makes such a difference! Tea, coffee, red wine, curry, soya sauce and just every day living takes its toll on our teeth, SmileLABS can get the teeth back to more or less their original shade. A lot of people with veneers think they can’t have it done – well, whilst the teeth whitening obviously cannot change the colour on veneers or caps, it does take off stains and brightens! As well as whitening the other teeth around. I have treated several people with veneers who’s been thrilled with the result. Often people have a mix of real and fake teeth where the real teeth have yellowed to a shade darker than the fake ones – here the whitening treatment will even it out. I had one lady who’s one real front tooth were many, many shades darker than her other fake ones – the difference it made to her smile was drastic. It gave her a huge confidence boost. Being able to smile knowing your smile is white and bright really is a massive thing for the self esteem. I have had clients walking in being so embarrassed about the shade of their teeth only to have them bouncing out the door with a huge smile on their face!
Is it safe? How do you guys do it?
It’s very safe indeed. In fact, people who get their teeth whitened have less gum disease!
SmileLABS Cosmetic Teeth Whitening is performed with light technology. Light technology is referred to as photo-polymerization and was first approved by the FDA for teeth whitening in 1996. The Infinity™ Pro SL is a LED lamp that uses a cold blue light tuned to a wavelength of 480-500 nanometers. The light technology system works by accelerating the chemical reaction, rapidly speeding up the treatment time. During a treatment the accelerator light is placed directly in front of the customer’s open mouth. I give my customers the optimal treatment which is two 15 minutes back-to-back treatment because I want them to achieve the optimal results. On each client I use a new kit which contains things needed for the treatment and a new teeth whitening pen, nothing is re-used.
The procedure is very simple. The customer sits in a super comfortable reclining chair. First, a cheek retractor is placed in the mouth. Then together, the customer and I, using a standard American teeth shade guide will determine the current teeth shade. Then, using a patented Applia-Brush™ gel applicator, I will paint the whitening on each individual tooth. This means the gel is only applied to the teeth and not to the gums, which avoids teeth sensitivity and gum irritation. Our teeth whitening gel utilizes peroxide-based chemistry, specifically called hydrogen peroxide. The teeth whitening gel is in a viscous water-based food-grade gel. This means that the whitening gel hydrates the teeth throughout the whitening procedure. Hydration of the teeth is important because that is what prevents sensitivity. I believe that dehydration of the teeth is why the dental treatments are often so brutally painful, sometimes for days after. When the gel has been applied, safety glasses are put on and the Infinity™ Pro SL is LED lamp is switched on for 15 minutes. I then put on an interesting TED Talk for the client to listen to whilst sitting there – they all love that! When the lamp goes off, client will rinse off. The improvement is already very visible. Then we repeat the procedure for another 15 minutes and that’s it – it’s done! Client and I then use the teeth shade guide to determine how many shades lighter the client has gone. The client fills in a form where the before and after result is recorded as well as personal details which they take a copy of with them. They also get given the remainder of their kit and teeth whitening gel to take home. The teeth whitening gel must be kept in the fridge.
How long will my white teeth last after the procedure?
This varies from person to person and depends on your diet, but the effects should usually last for 6 months to a year. A SmileLABS treatment is $250 and we offer a follow-up treatment for $75, which most people do every 6 months. For those who want to get, keep, and maintain the brightest, whitest smile they may want to come more often which is absolutely fine – SmileLABS Cosmetic Teeth Whitening is enamel safe and pain free. I always tell my clients that the first 24 hours after the treatment is crucial, that’s when they need to be very careful with what they eat and drink. There should be no coffee, red wine or strong coloured foods. (if coffee can’t be avoided, it can be taken through a straw) Basically avoiding anything that puts a stubborn stain on white fabric. This is because the pores in the teeth have been opened and need that time to close.
SmileLABS treatment is fantastic for teenagers after they’ve had braces. 2 years of gunk and food stains gone in 30 minutes!
Can you tell us a little about your teeth whitening parties?
SmileLABS is able to be mobile! I can come to offices and I can come to parties. When someone hosts a teeth whitening party with a minimum of 6 guests doing the whitening, the host receives a free treatment. No red wine after the treatment, of course, but white wine is fine! The same with office whitening; the person organising it, will receive a free treatment. I only need a small space for the treatment.
What’s in store for the future?
Well, I’m very excited to be able to change people’s smile! It really makes me happy. I am of course hoping that many more people will come and discover SmileLABS Cosmetic Teeth Whitening system as it is such a simple, very affordable and not least pain free and enamel safe way to get teeth looking whiter, brighter and sparkly. SmileLABS is 100% USA made, it was of utmost importance to me to work with a trusted brand with a solid track record from the US where I know that the whitening gel has gone through vigorous testing and not using something nameless from somewhere like you-know-where which is worryingly used in some spas here that can cause burns and blisters and performed by untrained staff. I am trained and certified by SmileLABS USA. I frequently see how the whitening works so well at cleaning up that going to dentist for a clean & polish is no longer necessary, saving a few hundred dollars – with SmileLABS they get clean AND whitened! Many people who ask me about the SmileLABS treatment seem to be quite fearful; they worry about pain and safety. It’s pain free and enamel safe! Nothing is stronger than word of mouth, hopefully my clients will continue to recommend me and I’ll be able to provide many more people with happy, shiny and whiter teeth!