Teeth Whitening Review: Smile Brilliant
*This was a PR sample. Opinions, however, are my own 🙂
Now, I have to start with a story about how scared I am of the dentist. I am terrified. So terrified, in fact, that I did not go to the dentist for 10 years. That’s right. I had a bad experience and thought, “You know what? I can do this myself. I’ll floss every day and brush well and I don’t need a dentist.”
Guess what? I was wrong.
And I ended up needing around $10k worth of dental work in 2013. Fortunately, it was on my back teeth and even more fortunately, I found a sedation dentist. But now I go every six months.
You might think that as a result of that, my teeth would have yellowed; that isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, I have pretty white teeth. I had braces when I was a kid so they’re straight, and I wear my retainer religiously under death threats from my mother. But I knew my teeth could be whiter, you know? I do like my red wine and coffee ☺
I’ve tried drugstore whitening strips before, but they only worked marginally well.
They would give a lift in whiteness for a little while, but my teeth would go back to looking the same as before the strips pretty quickly. And going to a dentist for a teeth whitening seemed cost prohibitive, especially since I didn’t really feel like I needed it. Plus, if you’ve ever read the horror stories about in-office teeth whitening, you’ll never want to go, trust me.
Buying a specialty whitening kit hadn’t ever occurred to me; I thought there were only the two extremes. So when Smile Brilliant contacted me and asked if I wanted to try their home whitening kit and review it, I jumped at the opportunity.
Smile Brilliant is kind of the best of both worlds. First, they send you a kit to make a mold of your teeth, which is pretty awesome because it mimics the stuff they use in the orthodontist’s office to make their molds. Essentially, this ensures that the whitening product will get on all of your teeth, instead of the strips where it’s just kind of like, “Okay, good luck.”
The putty is so cool.
It’s like being in science class. You take two different jars of the stuff and kind of mush it together, put it in a mold, wait three minutes and poof! Teeth mold. You have to make sure that you leave them in for the full three minutes, and let them set afterwards. But the company even gives you an extra set of the putty in case you mess it up. You mail in the molds to the company with the postage-paid envelope they put in the kit, and about a week later, you get your trays. It was actually a really quick process.
As for the whitening procedure, it’s very carefully regimented. You have to brush your teeth with water only before whitening, because fluoride slows down the whitening process. And you cannot eat or drink for an hour after the whitening session. They say it’s best to do this before bed, but that’s my wine time ;), so I put the trays in in the middle of the day while I’m at my home office.
The recommended time for whitening is between 45 minutes and three hours. I knew that I experience teeth sensitivity, so to begin I stuck with the lower end of the spectrum. I aimed for 60 minutes the first day because my teeth are quite sensitive. Once you finish whitening, you rinse the stuff out, rinse out your trays, and pop in some desensitizing gel for 15 to 20 minutes. For me, the desensitizing gel is an incredibly important step, since my teeth are super sensitive.
The second day I tried to do another 60 minutes, but the sensitivity on my teeth was too much. I scaled back to every other day, but that was a little much as well. Eventually, I settled on every two days, which was fine because the product is designed to work cumulatively, so you can take what time you need if you’re experiencing the same thing.
A few tips when using Smile Brilliant:
- Make sure you only use a little bit of product, and don’t get it on your gums. It’ll make your gums sensitive. If you need to, you can put Vaseline on your gums pre-treatment to create a barrier.
- Smile Brilliant probably works best soon after you’ve been to the dentist for a cleaning, as that’s when your teeth are the most free of plaque and can really be whitened without leaving weird marks from tartar.
- Your teeth are more susceptible to sensitivity after whitening, especially for the first 24 hours. Watch what you eat and drink (nothing to hot, cold, or acidic).
- It’s great for me time! It gives you an opportunity to just sit and read or work or whatever you need to do. And if you use it at night (as suggested), it’s a great way to curb snacking.
- Smile Brilliant’s kit is vegan and cruelty free, which is a huge plus!
- It’s okay to take your time. If you’re experiencing pain or sensitivity, back off. You can still see the effects even if you’re not using it every day.
You can see, my results are pretty subtle. As I said initially, I have pretty white teeth to begin with, so I think it would take a major in-office session to get my teeth “Hollywood white.” The results also might have been different for someone who was able to use the kit once a day, every day, for three hours a day. My teeth just wouldn’t allow me to do that :/.
In sum, I would recommend Smile Brilliant for people whose teeth are a little yellowed from stains, but who don’t want to spend a ton of money having a professional whitening. It’s a better method than the drugstore strips, and more effective since you’re actual molding the gel to your teeth. And it’s a fraction of the price that the dentist would charge. Whatever you decide, you should always consult your dentist before embarking on any sort of whitening regimen.
Want to try it for yourself? I’m giving away one Smile Brilliant teeth whitening kit and I’d love to hear how it works for you! One lucky reader will get a $149 credit, which covers the cost of the T3 system (9-12 whitening and desensitizing applications). The giveaway is open for one week, the winner will be notified via email.
Not a winner? No worries! I’ve got a 15% off discount code for you if you still want to try it. Just use the code beautychaos15 at checkout!