At-Home Teeth Whitening: Does it Work?

TBH, I really feel like 2018 has been off to a great start for me. Looking back at Q1, I have a few complaints, but they completely fall to the wayside when I think about my wins. And let’s get real, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the things that are going wrong, we forget to really be thankful for the things that are going really right. So I’m going to take this opportunity to list out some of my Q1 wins. Here we go!

  • Completed a round of Whole30 (aka Mostly30-  anyone who’s been following me the last few months knows about this haha!)
  • Maintained a close + healthy friendship with my ex boyfriend (how often do you hear that happen?!)
  • Pushed myself out of my comfort zone and took pole dancing classes
  • Attended my first Blogger Brunch and met some seriously badass women
  • Traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica (I promise you, these posts will get uploaded one day.. )
  • Got a new job that came with a promoted title, which is something I’ve been working really hard on
  • Gone on lots of dates – whether they were good or bad, they continuously allow me to meet new people and improve my interpersonal skills

Dang y’all, I’ve been BUSY! One thing I’ve also been wanting to do for a while is whiten my teeth. It’s actually ridiculous now that I think about it to have that on my to-do list, but it’s important to me! I’m always mindful of my smile, because I’m self-conscious over the fact that I never had braces. I don’t have crooked teeth exactly, but they’ve never been the ultra-straight, cookie-cutter chicklets that everyone with braces has. So keeping them white has always been important to me. Something I’m complimented on a lot is my smile, but I honestly have no idea if that’s because A) guys will compliment you on anything if they think it’ll bring them a step closer to sleeping with you, B) my smile itself just happens to be nice or C) I’m just a friendly person? Regardless, I wasn’t feeling very confident in the shade of my set, so I partnered with Smile Brilliant to do something about it!

To be clear, this is certainly not the first whitening attempt I’ve made. I’ve tried a handful of other products.

  • Crest Whitening Strips: I felt like they were over-priced for flimsy bits of paper that didn’t really work well and tasted terrible. I didn’t notice a lot of change in my coloring when I used those
  • Atlanta Express Smile: I’ll admit it, I gave in to Brielle + Kim Biermann while they were hawking those kits like nobody’s business. With their codes, the LED light kit wasn’t expensive. But it showed. It was a pain in the ass to have big LED light hanging out of my mouth for an extended period of time. I legit drooled everywhere while actually using it because it leaves your mouth wide open. It was just weird, and I didn’t like it.
  • Charcoal: You’ve seen it, there’s no way you haven’t. It’s been flooding Facebook + Instagram for at least a year now. That weird black charcoal powder that you brush your teeth with and leaves you with a whiter smile. Yup, bought that too. I will tell you, it definitely makes your smile whiter, at least temporarily. But the application is ABYSMAL. I’m sure that there are plenty of medical reasons why it’s not good for you, but I don’t even care. The reason you should not get this product is because you will never, ever, ever, ever be able to apply this cleanly. First of all, you need the tiniest amount ever, and there’s no way to apply that small of an amount to your toothbrush, because when you stick a wet toothbrush into a jar of black powder, you are absolutely going to get too much product. Blame it on science, idk. But you will get this powder all of your sink, your clothes, your face, your floor… it’s a disaster. And also, it gets stuck in the crevices between your teeth and your gums, leaving a weird outline that you then have to go in and floss over several times to get it out. Just please believe me on this and save yourself from the pain.

That said, I wasn’t overly confident that using Smile Brilliant would be any different, because my expectations have been shattered in the past. But I was willing to give it a try, just to see. Here’s a step by step of my experience:

  1. I received a kit in the mail with un-molded trays, catalyst paste, base paste, whitening gels and desensitizing gels. I was instructed to use the pastes by mixing them together quickly, inserting them into the un-molded trays, and then inserting the trays into my mouth so that they would get impressions of my teeth
  2. Once I did this correctly (there’s a guide that comes with your kit that shows you what a correct impression looks like and what an incorrect one looks like), I ran the trays under cold water to set the impressions and mailed them back to the Smile Brilliant lab (free shipping!) to have my custom trays made.
  3. Once the lab received them, they took about a week to use my impressions to make my custom whitening trays, and then mailed them back to me.
  4. After that, the real fun began! In my kit, there were 3 whitening gels and 3 desensitizing gels. Each gel gives you 3-4 uses depending on how much you use (I used four applications per syringe). It’s so easy to use. You just squeeze a line from the whitening syringe directly onto the trays, and then insert them into your mouth for 1-3 hours. I usually stuck to just an hour, given time restraints with other things I had going on.
  5. Since the trays are molding specifically to your mouth, it’s like having a fitted jacket over your teeth. You can still have normal conversations with people (with a small lisp) since you don’t have a giant LED light hanging out of your mouth. And there’s minimal product involved, so there’s no mess or cleanup involved. I would leave the whitening trays in for about an hour, and then remove and wipe down my teeth. SO easy.
  6. The next step is important, especially if you have sensitive teeth. I didn’t use the desensitizing gel the first couple of times that I used the whitening gel, and my teeth started to hurt a little bit the next time I would use the gel. So the obvious fix for this was to use the desensitizing gel. This one is applied the exact same way that the whitening gel is, right after you use the whitening gel, and only needs to stay in for 15-30 minutes. I noticed an immediate difference after I used it. No more sensitivity for me! If you’re finding that you’re getting any pain, I highly recommend using this.
  7. After using both gels, I’d simply wash out the trays and put them back into my little carrying case. Insanely easy, virtually no mess or clean-up required.




So much more confident in my smile!

I have 100% noticed a difference in my tooth shade since using Smile Brilliant. I think I’ve done about 10-12 whitening sessions (I would do it 2-3 times per week), and my smile just looks cleaner. I’m super happy with the results! If I’m being honest, I’ve taken some newer pictures to update my Bumble profile since I finished my whitening sessions, and at least four guys have commented on my pearly white smile. Yaaaassss, ladies!

And guess what?! I have a discount code for you!

Click here  and use code “thelaughingblonde15” for 15% off your order!  But even better than that, I’m also doing a giveaway! From 4/12-4/18, click here and you’ll be entered to win a $149 whitening kit (the same one I used for this post). It’s open to anyone in the US, UK, Australia and Canada, so get to it!

That said, I’d say that Q1 of 2018 has definitely been a win for me. Let’s kick off spring with taking care of ourselves and our smiles. If you have any questions about Smile Brilliant, I’m having to talk more! Shoot me a message or leave me a comment below!

xo, AJ 


3 thoughts on “At-Home Teeth Whitening: Does it Work?

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