Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System Review

It's been a good long while since I've had white teeth and I admit, I had gotten a bit self-conscious about it. I consume at least two liters of tea per day and have done so for the last 25 years with no serious attempts at counteracting the staining and at nearly 40, it has added up. I do use whitening toothpaste, but I simply have not been willing to smile with my teeth showing in up close pictures. I had been kind of casually thinking I should do something about it, but I wasn't interested in going to the dentist and forking out a ton of money for a cosmetic problem. When I had the opportunity to try Smile Brilliant to review for the blog, I was really excited to see what the results might be. The downside is that I have super sensitive teeth and fragile gums so I made a great guinea pig for those of you with the same issues. I tested this system over several months and I really think it can work for those of us with habits that stain our teeth AND extreme sensitivity. Let's have a look!
*sent by Smile Brilliant for testing and review and affiliate links*
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

Smile Brilliant is an at-home whitening system that can achieve professional level results on your own schedule, which is something I find really appealing. The key to it is that they make custom trays so that the whitening gel will fit snuggly against the contours of your teeth, preventing the ugly effect of white teeth with yellow sides that can occur with strips.

I received my started kit in the mail and it included two plastic forms, pastes for making the tray impressions, a self-addressed pre-paid padded envelope to mail the tray forms in to the lab, ample instructions, and my first set of three whitening and three desensitizing gel vials. This basic kit is priced at $149 and the non-sensitive version at $139. You can buy packages with more vials up front, and you can continue to buy more gel vials at a really affordable rate once your trays are made (between $11 and $7.70 per vial depending on how many you get at once). This is a fraction of even what you would spend on store whitening strips to get marginal results.

Here is what my kit looked like when it arrived:
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

The box lid contains basic instructions and a timeline for what happens. 
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

The kit also has flyers with more detailed instructions on making your impressions, which is the most challenging part of the process. Smile Brilliant also has staff on hand to advise you if you have questions or are experiencing difficulty, and they are lightning fast at responding!
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System
Basically how it works is you mash together a couple pastes that are timed to harden into a rubbery consistency over a form to produce the impression for your custom trays. You have to work fairly quickly but it is not too rushed. 

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

You then place the tray in your mouth and hold it there for two minutes. I'm not gonna lie - this was not the fun part. The trays are fairly large and I really had to fight my gag reflex. This isn't my first rodeo with dental impressions though, since I had orthodontics and multiple sets of retainers, but it is a little more challenging to place the form yourself. In my first attempt, I didn't center the form right and bit all the way through the paste. Doh! Luckily, Smile Brilliant realized that some of us are going to need a practice run and they provide an extra set of paste in the kit. If you mess up some more, they are happy to send additional paste out, too, and can also advise you if your impression is correct. 
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

This one was a winner! Off in the mail it went and literally a week later I had my brand new, custom, whitening trays ready to go!

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

The trays come in a white carrying case that you can wash in the dishwasher. The trays themselves look a bit like the hard plastic retainers you sometimes get in orthodontics, but they are actually flexible, not hard at all. 

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System
You are ready to use your gels! They come in sealed packages that are clearly labeled.
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

The vials have a sort of syringe type plunger so you can precisely apply the gel to the front of the tray, where it will contact the outer surfaces of your teeth. It is recommended to not use a whitening toothpaste while in the process of removing stains and to not use a fluoride toothpaste immediately before using your trays. Luckily I had some Tom's of Maine toothpaste on hand that has no fluoride, so I used that while whitening. You dry off your teeth as best you can before inserting the tray.
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System

Next up, it's time to amuse yourself while waiting for your whitening to happen! How long you do this is up to you. Smile Brilliant recommends 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on your sensitivity. I love that I could read, play on the computer, and what else, paint my nails, while the gel did its magic. Way better than waiting in a dentists office! The longest I could last was about one hour, because I didn't want to overdo it, and also because usually I had to go to bed afterward and that is the time I could spend at home relaxing. If you have the desensitizing gel, you apply that for 15-20 minutes afterward, in the same trays. The desensitizing gel might be good to get even if you don't have sensitive teeth, because it helps seal and prevent stains after whitening, since your teeth become temporarily more porous.
Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System
I started off pretty enthusiastically, trying to do the whitening every day or every other day and my super sensitive teeth and gums put a stop to that pretty quickly! I had to scale back and figure out a program that would work for me. I ended up doing one session once a week or every two weeks for an hour. I think I was not using enough gel at first because I ended up getting at least 6 sessions from one vial, when you are only supposed to get three or four. I increased the quantity and the whitening became more even. After the initial vial, I have slowed down to about once a month and the sensitivity and gum soreness is not an issue with that schedule. It's okay to go slow if you are sensitive! 

Well, how did it do? These are my teeth before. I had pretty bad yellow staining, particularly on my cuspids. I admit, I don't have a dental insurance plan, and scale my own teeth with a metal tool. I haven't been to a dentist in about 15 years (._.) Like I said before, I pretty much have tea in my mouth constantly during the day, too.

These are my results after one and a half vials. I was a bad girl, I kept drinking my two liters of hot tea per day, albeit through a straw. I took my time and used the first 1.5 vials over two months. And still, my teeth are way brighter, more even, and I'm not embarrassed by their color anymore. I prefer a natural look and this is as bright as I would want to go. Seriously, I was extremely conservative with how much gel I used and how slow I went, didn't follow the rules perfectly, and still got astonishingly good results. My teeth are even much shinier than they were before.

The upshot is that I will absolutely continue using this system and will be buying more gel. It does have a bit of sticker shock in the beginning, but a little of the gel can really go a long way if you are on a budget. The cost for gel refills is really cheap, particularly if you buy a lot at once. I even used the kit while traveling and it wasn't a hassle. My conclusion is that if you are serious about getting whitening, this is your best and most cost effective option - the store stuff doesn't work well and the office visit version is not worth the extra cost if you can get the same results at home. I was amazed at how effective it was, even stretching out my whitening time longer and using less gel. Even with the most sensitive teeth and gums, it is possible to use the set, especially if you go slow like I did. The best news is that Smile Brilliant is now running a Valentine's Day sale that gives you a kit upgrade (more gels) with code UPLOVE18. If you would rather save money instead, you can use the code thepolishedhippy15 for 15% off! The system comes with a money-back guarantee if you are not happy with your results in 45 days. That seems like a pretty good deal if you are on the fence. Have you ever tried whitening before? Any thoughts?

Better yet, how about a giveaway! go to www.smilebrilliant.com/g/thepolishedhippy  to enter.
The giveaway will be open for a week and will give you a $149 credit at Smile Brilliant! That is a a whole free kit! It is open to USA, UK, Australian, and Canadian residents. Make sure you enter your e-mail so that you may be notified if you are the winner.

*sent by Smile Brilliant for testing and review and affiliate links*

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