Review: Smile Brilliant At-Home Teeth Whitening

    Today I want to write about my experiences with whitening my teeth at home!
    Europe isn't as obsessed with straight, white teeth as the USA, which I'm thankful for -- even after years with braces my teeth look nothing like a string of pearls, and fortunately it's not something I learned to feel self-conscious about. I'm more concerned about keeping them healthy. However I did want to do something about the colour -- genetics didn't give me pearls, and the coffee habit I picked up in France definitely made the situation worse. I needed something stronger than the regular whitening toothpaste. I love to smile, it's one of my favourite things in the world, and I do think that a white smile is pretty.

    I have tried at-home bleaching with the custom teeth whitening trays by Smile Brilliant . I had misgivings that I wasn't the ideal subject for this -- I have sensitive teeth, according to my dentist I produce a huge amounts of saliva, and I absolutely hate the taste of hydrogen peroxide. Still, encouraged by the great reviews on Amazon, I decided to go for it, and I'm happy I did!

    Full disclosure: Smile Brilliant provided the whitening kit for me free of cost. The opinions expressed in this post are 100% mine!
    Disclaimer: I am obviously not a dentist, so do your research! Also, if you have any teeth issues, get them fixed before you whiten them.

    The Smile Brilliant teeth whitening gel is made up of Carbamide Peroxide which is basically stabilised hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide at harmless concentrations is not toxic and can even be used as a mouthwash.

   The Smile Brilliant method works like this: you get a kit with blue putty to make impressions of your teeth. You send those back, and you get custom trays that fit your teeth perfectly. Along with that you get your whitening gel, and if your teeth are sensitive, a desensitising gel. You use this on your teeth for a couple of times and see them getting whiter!

    Making the teeth moulds was fun, and I was so surprised that I didn't mess it up. The whole kit is really easy to use and the instructions are clear. You do get an extra set of material if you do mess things up -- I didn't need it and am wondering what cool thing I could make with it.
   Sending back the impressions and getting the next package went really smoothly and quickly, considering that it was from across the Atlantic. In it were the whitening trays that were custom-made from my teeth impressions. They are made of some kind of clear plastic and fit snugly over my own teeth. I also got the desensitising gel, the whitening gel, and a box for the trays. Also in the box were my plaster teeth impressions, which have now joined the collection of Cool Things I Own. #bloggerperk

     So, onto the whitening: You pour the gels into the trays and pop them onto your teeth. Then the whitening gel for 1-3 hours. 
 For sensitive teeth, you can use the desensitising gel for 15 minutes before and / or after whitening. If you teeth are only slightly sensitive, you can use this gel only after. If they are highly sensitive, you can also use it before, however this slows down the whitening process. The desensitising gel can also be used on it's own.
  At the end the desensitising gel again. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, with good photos. Additionally there is plenty of material on the Smile Brilliant site, so you can't really go wrong.
    I was happy to see that I only needed 1/6 of a syringe, which means the product is actually inexpensive. I thought that one syringe would be for only one session. Actually each syringe gets you at least 3 sessions!

    The custom trays fit on really snugly and feel comfortable. I could speak and nap in them, and they are quite discreet so I wouldn't mind shopping for groceries or talking to the postman in them. That is a blessing, since you need to have them on for quite a bit of time.

A couple of extra tips:

   Eat something and drink a lot before the treatment. You can't eat or drink when the trays are in, although you could experiment with a straw if you are desperately thirsty.
   Drying the teeth before inserting the trays is the hardest part. A small cotton handkerchief or towel does it pretty well.
    Use the trays after your dentist has done your yearly plaque removal.
    Less gel is more, you don't want it to get to your gums. The trays are perfectly moulded to your teeth, so the gel shoots up.
    If the gel keeps on getting to your gums, one Amazon review suggested trimming the top of the trays, or protecting your gums with Vaseline.
    Because I have crowded teeth, the crevasses between the teeth didn't get bleached that easily. I found that you can paint on the gel on your teeth with a brush for more control, and then use the tray the regular way. 
   Doing the treatment before bed time makes it easy to not eat and drink afterwards, which gives you better results. 
   You can sleep with the trays, and set an alarm for when you want to take them off. This works really well if you don't have much time during the day.

Effects after three sessions

   So, what about the results? I was quite impressed with how much whiter my teeth got. Each session left my teeth less yellow, and after the third time the difference was quite noticeable. Of course the final result depends upon genetics -- some people have naturally whiter teeth than others. Hydrogen peroxide will not lighten your original tooth colour, but it will lift off discolouration from food, drinks and cigarettes.
   When I used the desensitising gel before the treatment, I did experience some sensitivity afterwards, but it was quite slight -- I could "feel" my teeth which was unusual, but it wasn't a painful sensation. Once I skipped the desensitising gel before the whitening and used it only afterwards, and that left my front teeth unpleasantly sensitive. If your teeth are quite sensitive, I strongly recommend using the desensitising gel before, and keeping the first few whitening sessions short.
   To keep the teeth white you need to avoid foods that stain the teeth -- that would be anything that would be hard to wash off a cotton Tshirt, like red wine, black coffee. A whitening toothpaste helps with the upkeep. Depending on what you eat and drink, you will have to do a couple of whitening sessions in a year or two.

What I liked about Smile Brilliant At-Home Teeth Whitening:

  • Clear and well-written instructions, with additional material on the site
  • Amazing customer service, ready to answer all your questions.
  • A little of the product goes a long way, so you get quite a bang for your money. 
  • Works really well!
  • Desensitising gel can be used any time your teeth get too sensitive, independently of bleaching
  • Worldwide shipping!

  I'm very pleased with the product, and would definitely want to re-order when I run of the whitening gel. However I would really like to have the option to pay with Paypal, as it is quite common in Europe to not have a credit card.
   And what is the difference between doing this with your dentist? For one, drying your own teeth is not as easy as the dentist's blowing instrument. Also, you are pretty much in charge of the whole thing so read the instructions carefully and don't forget to set alarms.

   Another shout out to the Smile Brilliant staff, co-operations between brands and blogs can be so frustrating sometimes, but Smile Brilliant kept everything nicely transparent and pleasant.
   Have you ever had you teeth whitened? What was the experience like?

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