Disclaimer: I was contacted by Smile Brilliant to use and review their product at no cost to me. All opinions below are my own as a consumer and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your dentist before using any products on your teeth.
For the past year or so I’ve been really bothered by how yellow my teeth have gotten and it really bothered me when I wore lipstick. I guess when you come to med school and depend on caffeine throughout a lot of it, that happens. I honestly feel like my teeth just haven’t been the same since having braces in high school.
I have tried whitening strips, around the time of our wedding, and toothpastes in the past but it just doesn’t work well enough for where my teeth are at now. So I was looking into local dentists for professional whitening services at a reasonable price when I was contacted by Smile Brilliant about using and reviewing their product.
As with any company that contacts me, I was initially really skeptical because it sounded too good to be true. Jessica, the employee who contacted me, was so great. She answered all of my questions, even the ones that could have easily been answered by reading the FAQ page. Any time I had any issues with the process, she was really responsive and gave wonderful suggestions (which I’ve included below!) to make sure I has happy with my teeth whitening journey.
Smile Brilliant uses the exact same process that’s done in a dentist’s office but costs a fraction of the price and you can do it all from home, so it’s perfect for students or professionals who find it difficult to make time for appointments – or really, just anyone who likes saving money and wants a beautiful smile.
The process to get started was really simple:
In the mail I received a complete kit with all the materials necessary to get started, including: trays and pastes necessary to make molds for my custom fit trays, three whitening syringes and three desensitizing syringes.
I looked through the instructions on how to make my molds and followed them carefully. Essentially, you start off by taking one catalyst paste and one base paste and mixing them together until they’re one even color. Then you put the mixture into the trays and insert them into your mouth, one for the bottom teeth and the other for the top. They include an extra base and catalyst paste in case you mess one up and need to repeat.
Make sure to push the tray towards your teeth but do not bite down on the tray. You leave each one in your mouth for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. And yes, at the end of that time your mouth will likely be full of spit so just make sure you remove the trays from your mouth over the sink.
Then you just leave the trays out to dry for around half an hour and fill out the consent form. I put the two trays with the impressions and the form into the prepaid envelope they provided and sent it out the next day.
About five days later I received my trays and started the whitening process soon after!
I received my trays in a black container that reminded me of the retainers I should’ve been using for the past couple years but aside from the associated guilt, they were in great condition! I ended up trimming a bit off the back of the bottom tray (the part that would’ve covered the back molar) because it was causing the bottom tray to pop up during my whitening sessions. I contacted Smile Brilliant regarding this concern and they suggested putting vaseline on my gums with a q-tip before putting the trays on and that completely resolved the issue of irritating my gums!
There’s a tube with whitening gel (green tube) and then another with desensitizing gel (purple tube). I used the whitening gel for about an hour and then the desensitizing gel for another fifteen minutes for each session. I usually did these sessions at night because you’re not supposed to eat for at least a half hour afterwards and that was much easier to do if I was asleep right after heh.
- Before using the whitening gel, you should brush your teeth without toothpaste just to get rid of any extra particles on your teeth and rinse out your mouth.
- Do your best to dry off your teeth.
- Put a sliver of the whitening gel at the front of each tray and then insert each one by inserting in your mouth completely and then pushing up (similarly to how you made the molds) so that the gel spreads evenly over your teeth.
- Leave the trays on for about an hour the first time you use this product to determine how sensitive your teeth are to the product. If you find there’s no sensitivity, you can use it for sessions up to three hours.
- After whitening, you may get white splotches on your teeth and have a major freak out like I did, but worry not. Those are just just the spots on your teeth that are early signs of a carious lesion, indicating enamel decalcified. The carbamide peroxide in the whitening gel temporarily makes them more prominent. As long as you use the desensitization gel afterwards, they’ll disappear overnight. And even without it, they’ll go away but may take a bit longer. I’ve included a photo of these ‘white spots’ on my teeth below so you know what to expect.
- After you’ve completed your whitening session, remove the trays from your mouth and rinse them out. Brush your teeth with toothpaste and drink water if you’re feeling thirsty.
- Dry off your teeth and the trays.
- Apply a similar sliver of desensitizing gel onto the trays and insert them into your mouth. Keep them in for about 15 minutes.
- Once you remove the trays, do not rinse your mouth or drink any water for at least thirty minutes!
Because I was traveling so much over the past couple months, I was not able to keep a regular schedule for whitening. I essentially used the product in two separate time periods: when I first received it in August and then again when I returned home in October for about a total of seven sessions. All photos below are unedited!
AFTER 3 ONE-HOUR WHITENING SESSIONS (in August):
AFTER 4 ONE – HOUR SESSIONS (in October):
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this product. I was planning on going to the dentist for teeth whitening and this method is much more convenient than repeatedly returning to the office for sessions, especially as a busy medical student. The cost of this is also much more feasible for a student. I am going to continue using this product every month to maintain the results from my previous sessions. I like that even with whitening my teeth, it doesn’t give it that unnatural ‘blue’ look to it (think Ross from that episode of friends when he left the whitening strips on overnight). Again, everything in this post is simply my opinion & experience from using this product and should not be considered medical advice.
The kind people at Smile Brilliant have agreed to giveaway their product to one of YOU! All you have to do is click this link and enter your first name and email address so they can contact you if you win.