13 Aug Mobile Teeth-Whitening Business Booms During Pandemic
Unlike many business owners, Yesenia Ramirez and her mobile teeth-whitening operation have done well during the pandemic.
By Michael J. Fitzgerald
In February, Richmond native Yesenia Ramirez launched a mobile teeth-whitening service called Pearly Whites.
In March, the pandemic hit.
And for most city businesses, the sudden onset of COVID-19 knocked the stuffing out of their operations, a blow from which they are recovering very slowly — if at all.
But for the 33-year-old Ramirez, the pandemic has barely been a speed bump. In fact, it even seems to have contributed to getting clients, she believes.
One reason is that people seem more comfortable in their homes than going to a medical office, she says. Another might be because Ramirez charges $150 for whitening, compared to the $500 to $800 to have the same procedure done at a dentist’s office.
Ramirez is a state-licensed dental assistant with what the state labels “extended function.”
That extended function allows her to whiten teeth using a gel product and lamp system. According to the Pearly Whites website, the gels are vegan, kosher and gluten- and cruelty-free, meaning they have not been tested on animals. She also brings a recliner-style chair that most patients find more comfortable than sitting on a couch or armchair for the procedure.
A 15-year dental industry veteran, Ramirez currently works during the week as an office manager for a local dentist. But on weekends she sees 10-15 whitening clients in their homes — and demand is growing, she says.
“It takes about an hour to do the process,” she says. “And, sometimes, when I’m doing it, other family members see and want to get their teeth done too.”
When she told her dentist-employer that she was starting her business, he was very supportive, she said. Many dental offices offer whitening services, but a higher priority is usually put on other dental procedures such as crowns and fillings.
Ramirez so far has relied on social media and referrals to get her clients, a strategy that is keeping her very busy, she says.
And the pandemic?
“I have lots of safety protocols in place when I visit,” she says. “I take client temperatures, for example. And only the client getting their teeth whitened is in the room while I do the work.”
To contact Pearly Whites to set up an appointment or to get more information, visit www.pearlywhitesmobile.com.
You can also contact Ramirez through Instagram at @pearly_whites_mobile.