At Home Teeth Whitening: Does it Work?

I remember the first time I considered whitening my teeth. It was the summer before my wedding and I had a routine dentist appointment. I thought, “well I’m at the dentist, this is a no-brainer” and got a quote for whitening in the office. It can’t be THAT expensive, right? Wrong. So wrong. I was clueless to how much they can charge for whitening. It starts around $500 but often is at least twice that. So my 25-year-old self decided the wise path would be to grab some Crest White Strips from the drugstore and call it a day. And I still stand by that decision! (Wedding photos were great, btw.)

Fast forward more than a decade to today. I’ve dabbled in whitening strips a few more times, but my teeth are 1) small and 2) sensitive, so the fit was never great and my teeth usually hurt too much to finish the pack. But I simply refuse to give up my daily chai tea lattes or love for Meomi pinot noir, so what’s a gal to do?

Enter: Smile Brilliant. They reached out to see if wanted to review their teeth whitening kit. I looked on the website (I do the research so you don’t have to!) and liked what I saw. They use the same custom-tray technology that the dentist office uses, so the fit for whitening is personalized to your own teeth, but without paying the fee for the dentist. Genius. So how does it work? I’ll walk you through my experience.

I received a box in the mail. In it are my whitening syringes (and de-sensitizing gel for my sensitive teeth) along with impression trays and material. You literally make a play-doh like substance that goes onto your teeth to make an exact mold. I felt like my kids, playing with that! It’s easy and takes about 10 min. Those impressions then get sent away to the lab in a mailer with prepaid postage, and your final trays are made and quickly sent back to you. So easy. And it comes with very detailed instructions and photos, in case you’re like, ummm, it’s been a minute since I brushed up on my teeth-mold-making skills.

Once you receive your personalized trays, you can start! Smile Brilliant recommends whitening for anywhere from 45 min to three hours. Given my history with sensitivity, I started with the 45 min and eventually worked my way up to about 75 min per session. The gel is in a syringe and you just add a thin layer to both your top and bottom trays and stick them on. Mine fit perfectly, so A+ in impression making for me! When the time is up, you brush your teeth as you would normally. And those of you with regular teeth would be done there. For those like me with sensitive teeth, you take a second syringe of the de-sensitizing gel and repeat the process, but only for 15-20 min. Then the trays come out and you can leave on any leftover gel on your teeth.

Smile Brilliant recommends whitening at night so you go to sleep and don’t interfere with the process by adding foods and whatnot. So this is what I did and it worked out great. Except for that night I was really tired and accidentally put the de-sensitizing gel on first for an hour. ((Palm to face)) So pro-tip: don’t do that. Bonus is that this definitely cut down on my bad habit of pre-bedtime snacking. Win-win!

So the big question: did it work? Absolutely. I noticed it right away when watching back my talk-to-the-camera Instagram stories. Sad, but true. #bloggerlife And now I notice it in the mirror and in photos. A friend even asked if I had whitened my teeth, totally unprompted. I was happy to report that indeed I was! And told her to stay tuned for the full review to come. (Here you go! 😘)

So are there any drawbacks? I’d say the only challenge was the required consistency. I had some weeks where I was busy traveling or had lots of events in the evening, which made fitting in those 90-ish minutes more challenging. I did my best and occasionally whitened in the middle of the day or just skipped that day if it didn’t work out. Smile Brilliant recommends being as consistent as possible, but missing a day here and there didn’t seem to matter when my end results were in.

Have I convinced you yet? Well the generous team at Smile Brilliant is giving one of my followers a $149 credit, the value of their T3 sensitive system. Yay! To enter: CLICK HERE. Open to residents of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. And if you are not the winner, do not despair! You can use code momminginmanolos15 to get 15% off your purchase store-wide.

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions! And a big thank you to Smile Brilliant for sending me the whitening kit. The product was gifted but the reviews are absolutely my own!

Happy whitening!

Tooth Whitening Gel


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