On New York City’s tony Upper East Side, celebrity dentist Dr. Emanuel Layliev exfoliates his patient’s teeth with real diamond dust in an exclusive pre-treatment that makes his whitening services more effective.
“The diamond powder exfoliates very gently to remove the surface stains right before the whitening,” Dr. Layliev told New York Magazine. “It opens up the enamel pores in order to allow better penetration of the peroxide so that it can break down the stain molecules that are deeper.”
Dr. Layliev, who is the director of the New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry (NYCCD), explained that the diamond powder is applied with an electronic toothbrush and feels very similar to a standard dental cleaning. Among the clients served by NYCCD are A-listers Hugh Jackman, Kim Cattrall, Usher and Tom Brady.
The Diamond Dust Polishing Paste treatment is the precursor to several of the doctor’s in-office whitening services, including the one-hour Zoom! whitening system, the two-visit Deep Bleaching Ultra-Whitening System and the 15-minute QuickWhite Maintenance Whitening. The QuickWhite service, which includes the diamond dust treatment, costs $250, according to nydailynews.com.
Beyond dentistry, the beauty and cosmetic fields have already incorporated diamonds (usually in microscopic form) into a number of high-profile, luxury products, including serums, masks, creams, nail polishes and shampoos. Some cosmetics companies promote diamond powder as a brightener and optical diffuser. Apparently, the diamonds are credited with disguising (or blurring) fine lines and imperfections by reflecting light.
How well these products work is certainly open for debate, but the science behind using diamonds as a mild abrasive has validity, according to medical professionals interviewed by New York Magazine.
New York dermatologist Dr. Amy Weschler told the magazine that finely ground diamonds definitely exfoliate, adding that it’s become an industry standard to use a diamond-encrusted wand for microdermabrasion procedures.
So, if it’s OK to use diamonds to clean teeth, it is OK to use toothpaste to clean diamonds?
According to the Gemological Institute of America, the answer is “Absolutely not.” Although the toothpaste could not harm the diamond (it’s the hardest substance known to man), it can erode the precious-metal setting and prongs.
A better solution, says the GIA, is to soak each diamond in an ammonia-based household cleaner (such as window cleaner) overnight, once a week. The next morning, remove the diamond from the cleaner and brush it with a soft, clean toothbrush (a new brush reserved exclusively for cleaning your diamond) to remove any leftover dirt. Take extra care to brush the back of the diamond, because this area tends to collect a lot of oil and dirt.
Another option is to have the diamond cleaned by your favorite jeweler, who will use a professional-grade steam cleaner or ultrasonic cleaner to remove dirt and build-up — and deliver the best possible results.