I’ve graduated from grad school. I’m trying to be a functioning adult. Yet a big, lingering sign that I’ve just written a 300-page dissertation is still around: Coffee Stains! It’s no secret that coffee shop writing is the best. I just wish it hadn’t left my teeth quite so yellow. After searching the at-home teeth whitening products available I decided to partner with Smile Brilliant and the shortest review I can give you of this stuff is IT WORKS.
The longer review I can give you is I’m a pansy/following directions is hard/my dentist shamed me into this/I’m never using normal whitening strips again. Too much in a sentence? Don’t worry. We’ll get there.
So you can see my unedited before and after pictures above which I think say it all. I didn’t think my teeth were very stained but now looking at them I cannot believe how much whiter they could get. But getting used to using custom teeth whitening trays was a bit of a learning curve and I think you should know what you’re getting into. Plus I’m giving away a whitening kit at the end of this post!
1. Making the mold
Have you ever thought about how hard your orthodontist worked? I haven’t since 8th grade, probably, but dang, having to make my own teeth molds gave me a whole new level of respect for those people. Smile Brilliant starts by sending you an impressive looking package that contains your whitening gel and basically modeling clay you use to make an impression of your own teeth.
You want to use the whitening gel right away (especially if you’re me and the last time you went to the dentist he asked if you were a SMOKER because of how yellow your teeth were…embarrassing). But you can’t use it yet, ok?
First you must mix two colored clays together. If you overmix them, they’ll dry out and you won’t get a mold. If you undermix them the mold will never dry. Then you put them in your mouth and leave them for 3 minutes. If you take them out too early the impression will be bad. If you put the tray wrong the impression will be bad. If you don’t push the tray into your teeth enough the impression will be bad. This was all enough to turn me, an instruction following pro, into a stressed out mess who wanted to be able to drink wine during this process. But alas, I could not, due to the fact that I was busy being my own dentist.
For what it’s worth, Smile Brilliant, like any teacher who has ever made a syllabus, has seen it all. And the instructions are thorough so you don’t mess up like others have. Once I read them twice, I got a good first tooth impression and did not have to retake either set.
Next you feel accomplished for following all these instructions and you mail in your teeth impressions (it is very strange to mail someone you’ve never met an impression of part of your skeleton FYI) and then you wait. I waited about a week.
Next your custom trays arrive. They look like Invisalign but are more flexible (I think) and actually fairly comfy. Unlike whitening strips (which are never long enough for my giant teeth and are always slipping around) you just put some whitening goop in the tray and pop it in your mouth and off you go. Smile Brilliant even has the tag #whileIwhiten because of all the things you can do while you whiten. I did not take advantage of this, though, instead I whitened during my nightly Dateline and Pinterest routine.
Oh, and while putting the trays in is easy, you should be warned about tooth sensitivity. I’ve never really had sensitive teeth before. But the first night I put the whitening tray in I felt like the whitening goop was actually icy hot trying to enter my soul through my back molars.
This was my own fault. Smile Brilliant suggests you use their second, just as magical product (also in your initial box) of desensitizing gel one day before you commence whitening so that this doesn’t happen. But I have no impulse control and wanted results right away. Be warned.
Anyway, once I started using the desensitizing gel (which you put on for 15-20 minutes after you are done whitening) I was much much happier. Except that you can’t eat or drink anything for several hours after whitening, which, one again, curbed my wine drinking habits (#health).
I used the whitening gel 7 times. I saw results after the 2nd time but after the 6th treatment I was like WHOA HELLO ARE THESE MY TEETH. I have never seen my teeth this white before.
Smile Brilliant does clock in at more expensive than whitening strips ($129-$189). But I only used half of my gel so I plan to reapply in 6 months. Basically, for this price I will get a far more effective whitening treatment for a year than I would from the 2 boxes of whitening strips I usually go through.
Smile Brilliant has been kind enough to allow me to giveaway one custom whitening kit. If you win, please send me your #whileIwhiten selfies so we can laugh about how fancy we are, k? Enter HERE. You can also get 15% off any Smile Brilliant order with code phdinclothes15
This item was gifted. All opinions are my own.