With everything going on in our lives right now, making a good first impression is rather high on my list of things I’m worrying about right now. Between meeting new people in our new home (when I’m down there), meeting my husband’s new coworkers, and starting to think about job interviews, I’m strongly considering what I can do to make sure that people see me in the best light possible right from the start. My smile–something I’ve always been rather happy with–wasn’t something I was too concerned with. When Smile Brilliant reached out to me I realized that perhaps whiter teeth would give me a little extra confidence boost when I was face-to-face with all kinds of new people and situations.
About Smile Brilliant
Smile Brilliant offers lab-created, custom-fit teeth whitening trays and professional-strength whitening gel for a fraction of the cost of what it would cost if you went through your dentist for the same thing. The cost of teeth whitening can be rather high if you want to go the professional route, and prior to Smile Brilliant, a custom fitted tray was only available through your dentist’s office for $500 or more! You can order your own teeth whitening kit for as low as $179.95 (though it’s on sale now for just $119.95), and once you have your trays, you can order additional gels (a kit of three is $57.95, on sale now for just $34.95) as you need it.
And when you get your teeth whitening kit, it comes packaged beautifully. As you know, I love a good unboxing experience, and Smile Brilliant delivers. Everything is packaged in black, even the return envelope is black, which makes everything feel very high-end.
When you open the box, you have a tray that holds your molding materials (two putty-like substances that you mix together, which harden as they react to each other), the trays you use to take your impressions, and your whitening and desensitizing gels (which you’ll use once you get your whitening trays back from the lab). Underneath that tray is a return envelope and then instructions for taking your impressions and then using both gels to brighten your smile up later on. There is also a card you fill out that you send back with your impressions, which helps track your trays’ progress as they get your stuff ready.
Your impression trays have barcodes on them, which the lab uses to track your progress. What was neat was that I got an email notifying me that my impressions had been received, another when my molds were made, and a third letting me know my items had shipped. It was neat being informed of the process, and I was actually pretty excited to have my whitening trays on their way to me so I could start the process.
The Impression Process
Before I tell you about the whitening process, let’s talk about taking your own impressions. Having had braces as a teenager, I was pretty familiar with this process, and I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. I brushed well and flossed double-well before starting taking my impressions, per the instructions, because I wanted to make sure I got the best set of impressions I could. Well, let me tell you, there’s a reason Smile Brilliant sends you more than two sets of putty to mix together, because it turns out, it’s not that easy! It sounds simple enough, right? Well, I had some challenges.
For one, the putty is really fun to play with, but it hardens pretty quick. So when you are mixing, and it tells you that when the two colors are blended, you’re to get it into the tray and get your impressions quickly, they aren’t joking! I had one ball of stuff harden to the point of not being able to take an impression at all on my first try. Whoops! The craft-lover in me had to be restrained while mixing so I could get my impressions quickly without everything hardening up prematurely.
The other thing I had a problem with was, uh, not gagging. I discovered that the best way to do it was to take a few deep breaths, carefully pop the tray into my mouth on an inhale, and then breathe in and out slowly through my nose (think yoga breathing). A distraction (like Instagramming the process) helped as well. Only then was I able to keep the tray in my mouth long enough to get a good impression. But the good news is, once I got a hang of it on the top, the bottom was pretty easy, and I was able to get two great impressions.
Look at those! Aren’t they cool?! Alright, they’re pretty weird looking, but that’s ok… I wanted to make sure they were perfect so that there were no issues making my molds and my whitening trays.
The Whitening Process
When my trays were done being created and sent out, I was ready to start whitening. While I waited for my trays, I asked my Smile Brilliant contact about the process, specifically inquiring about what to avoid while I was whitening, as well as any tips she had for whitening. She told me that it was best to avoid anything that would stain a white shirt (like coffee, tea, red wine, soda, and mustard), because it will probably stain your teeth as well. In fact, the chances of staining actually goes up during the whitening process because the pores of your teeth are being opened.
Being an avid coffee drinker, though one who drinks it with quite a bit of creamer in it, I asked if I could use a straw to drink my coffee in the mornings. I was told that if I absolutely needed coffee in the morning (which I do) that I could go ahead and drink it with a straw but that I should rinse my mouth out with water when I was done. I was also warned that whitening can make your teeth a little more sensitive to hot and cold drinks and foods.
Another tip I got was that if you do the whitening before going to bed you can apply the desensitizing gel for 15 minutes afterwards, and then just go to sleep. This gives your teeth a bit of time to re-hydrate so the the pores can close, lowering the chances of re-staining. Shortly after, I received my whitening trays in their own little carrying and storage case.
The Smile Brilliant whitening process was pretty easy, overall. The gels are both really easy to use, and the instructions that come with your kit area clear and easy to follow. The trays, being custom-molded to your teeth and clear, are virtually impossible to detect once they’re on. They are a little thicker than just your teeth, obviously, so talking (while totally doable) does end up sounding a little funny. It wasn’t so bad, though, that an hour long phone conversation with my husband was out of the question. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw some of my whitening process pictures, and you really can’t tell that I have trays in!
What was harder for me was getting into a routine with whitening. I tried fitting it into my routine in two places: before bed, and while I was getting ready in the morning. Before bed turned out to be the easiest for me, for the most part. After using the desensitizing gel, you’re not supposed to eat or drink for quite some time, so if I remembered to have some water and take my vitamins before I started the process, I was better off just doing it before bed. Plus, the longer time the desensitizing gel had to work, the lesser my chances of developing increased sensitivity. So for me, that’s what I ended up doing.
My results weren’t nearly as dramatic as others have experienced. But I ended up whitening every other day for a couple weeks, instead of every day. I did develop a little bit of sensitivity, which affected how often I wanted to whiten. I also wasn’t able to give up coffee during my whitening process, largely because it’s my only source of caffeine (I have been soda free for nearly a year) and because I like the warmth in my cold office. I did what I could to ensure I was using a straw and rinsing, and actually increased my water intake while whitening.
While Smile Brilliant has a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, I’m pretty satisfied with my results. In fact, while I thought I was seeing results, I wasn’t quite sure until I put the before and after pictures side by side. I dropped off my whitening after Thanksgiving a little, and I know that if I were to pick it back up I’d see even more results.
Results From Others
If you want to see some fantastic results, check out a super dramatic before and after from YouTuber Danielle Mansutti. Her results are incredible, and have inspired me to pick my whitening regimen back up to get better results. After all, with lots of good impressions to start making, I might as well have brilliant white teeth, right? Right!
Are You Intrigued?
If you have more questions, check out Smile Brilliant’s FAQs. They do a great job answering all kinds of questions, from going through the lab process to specific information about their whitening gel (which they are the manufacturer of, by the way, so you know it’s always fresh). There’s also an ingredient list, information about the Smile Brilliant guarantee, and details about their two year tray replacement policy. It’s a great list if you have questions or want more information about whitening your teeth.
Feel free to follow Smile Brilliant on social media–they have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, and can also be found on Pinterest, You can also check out the slider below for some great before and after shots. You buy your kit direct from Smile Brilliant, right on their website, and you can also get there clicking the slider below.
Disclaimer: I received a free whitening kit from Smile Brilliant as compensation for writing this post. Compensation did not affect my review and all opinions are my own. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.