Loose Women presenter Saira Khan reveals she's taken 10 years off her appearance by transforming her smile with a "life-changing" Invisalign clear aligner treatment. Ahead of World Smile Day (October 2nd), the 50-year-old TV star opened up exclusively to HELLO! about her prior insecurities over her previously-uneven teeth, admitting she never used to smile with her mouth open in photos because she felt so self-conscious.
“From a young age, I had one tooth that protruded forwards and my dad would always tease me about it. As I got older, I became more conscious of my teeth and I thought they were ageing me. Especially because I work in the media, things like my smile would catch attention - I was so conscious of photographers that I would keep my mouth shut, or I would tilt my face at a certain angle to make sure my teeth didn’t look bad,” Saira admitted. It wasn’t until she heard about Invisalign that she considered taking the plunge to finally get the smile of her dreams, which she described as “life-changing”.
“We live in such a visible world, whether you’re on the telly or taking a selfie for Instagram or Facebook, so people want to invest in their appearance for their own self-esteem and confidence,” Saira said. “Straightening your teeth can make you look youthful – it took ten years off me! It’s given me a real sense of confidence, I’m happier with my smile now and more importantly, one of the things that has happened as an indirect result of me having treatment, is that it’s helped with some of my oral health concerns. Before I had Invisalign treatment, I never really used to floss as I didn’t see the importance of doing it. But when your teeth are straightened, they come together more,. My dentist, Dr Hanel, showed me how to look after my oral health and now my gums are the healthiest they’ve ever been.”
Saira Khan before her treatment with Invisalign.
Discussing how easy and smooth the Invisalign treatment process was from start to end, Saira said: “The last time I had been to the dentist before my Invisalign treatment was when I was a kid – so the advancement in technology was a real eye-opener for me. I was recommended to see Dr Hanel, who in my consultation did a 3D scan to demonstrate where my teeth were at the present time, and how they needed to be aligned, instead of messy putty moulds for taking impressions. I like to look into everything carefully before I commit to treatments, so I was intrigued to see the image of my teeth appearing on the screen in front of me, and that it could be moved around so both my dentist and I could examine every detail of my teeth from all angles. When he showed me what was going to happen to my smile after 18 months, I couldn’t quite believe it! To know that something I lived with that knocked my confidence could be changed was really empowering,” she added.
The 3D scan of Saira Khan's teeth pre-treatment and her simulated outcome. Credit: Dr Hanel Nathwani
Over the course of 18 months, Saira visited her dentist every six weeks to check on her progress and pick up her new Invisalign aligners, which are worn for a few weeks at a time to slowly adjust the position of the teeth. For them to work, they need to be worn for around 22 hours per day, which is something Saira found easy, even with her busy career in the spotlight.
“In my profession [as a host] on Loose Women, I have to eat, socialise, go out and appear the best that I can be. So, I needed a treatment that was suitable for TV appearances.” She opted for Invisalign, a brand that’s trusted by a large number of dentists and orthodontists in the UK. Invisalign clear aligners are made from pantened SmartTrack material that straightens teeth more predictably* and comfortably**. "It took a little bit of getting used to taking them in and out but after that I really enjoyed wearing them and they didn’t impact my speech. In fact, I wore mine throughout Loose Women and nobody even knew that I had them on!
“I felt so confident wearing my Invisalign aligners and I developed such a great relationship with my dentist [and bespoke treatment plan] that my daughter, Amara, is now going through a jaw alignment treatment with him and Invisalign aligners, too. The results she’s seen within just a couple of months are phenomenal. She’s really proud of wearing them - it’s already giving her a lot to smile about.
Saira after her Invisalign treatment
After completing her treatment course, Saira now wears a retainer to bed each night: "after eighteen months of treatment the last thing I wanted was that my teeth reverted back to their old position – which I know can happen – so I was scanned and fitted for a set of Vivera retainers which look just like my Invisalign aligners, but are made from a firmer material. They are worn at night to hold things in place."
Take a smile assessment today to see if Invisalign treatment is right for you. Head to Invisalign.co.uk for more info.
*Compared to Invisalign aligners previously made from single-layer (EX30) material.
**In a study by Miller et al, with adults measuring pain in the first week of treatment. Kevin Miller et al. “A comparison of treatment impacts between Invisalign aligner and fixed appliance therapy during the first week of treatment.” American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Volume 131, Issue 3, pp. 302. e1-302.e9, March 2007