the pros and cons of at-home teeth whitening.

i wouldn’t consider myself too concerned with vanity. i have been known not to look in the mirror before i leave the house – resulting in later realizing my bun is an absolute mess, or i may have smudged my eye makeup (left over from the night before). oops! i’m not super gross, i promise. i will occasionally do my hair, makeup and put on unwrinkled clothing.

though, when it comes to appearance, one thing i’m constantly concerned about is my teeth. are they straight? are they white? could they be even brighter? what’s the best product to use to enhance them?

i’ve used whitening strips in the past. the results were very temporary and i found that more than anything i was left with sensitivity.

lately, the thought of using photoshop to whiten my teeth in photos has crossed my mind. instead of fakery, i decided to look into fixing the actual root of the problem.

there are so many at-home teeth whitening products on the market. what are the pros and cons of each?

that’s where the research started.


pros: widely available, many are ADA approved, noticeable results after many uses

cons: strips do not stay in place long enough for results, one size fits all, creates significant sensitivity


pros: inexpensive, widely available, noticeable whitening of teeth surface

cons: results impermanent, abrasive and can erode enamel, harmful to both teeth and gums, not ADA approved


pros: inexpensive, widely available, does not create tooth sensitivity

cons: at-home light is not the same frequency as a dentist; therefore, it is insufficient to speed up active ingredients in whitening gel.


pros:  custom-fitted to your teeth for complete coverage, safe for both enamel and gums, same method provided by dentists, can be used with those with sensitive teeth, noticeable whitening of teeth

cons: longer process, more likely to cause sensitivity due to deep stain removal, more expensive

recently i had the opportunity to try Smile Brilliant – basically, professional teeth whitening at home.

knowing my past experience left me with pain, i was delighted to find out that Smile Brilliant has a specific desensitizing gel as the second step of their regular whitening routine.

the process is simple:

  1. order the complete package and make your dental impressions in less than 15 minutes. mail your impressions back to the company.
  2. the lab receives your dental impressions, crafts an exact model of your teeth, and hand finishes your custom-fitted tray.
  3. simply add professional teeth whitening gel to your trays, wear them, and relax! let Smile Brilliant do the work.

each step includes detailed instructions – both in writing and diagram since everyone learns differently – as well as contact information in case you have more questions.

once my custom-fitted trays arrived, i started with a few days of just the desensitizing gel to prep myself for whitening. i continued this every few days while whitening to make sure i wouldn’t experience any pain.

the process of whitening my teeth also created a nighttime routine. around 8 p.m. i would put in my trays with whitening gel and let them work their magic for an hour or two. during this time i would cleanse, tone and moisturize my face, dry brush my skin, sometimes paint my nails or just relax on the couch. at 10 p.m. i would remove the trays, brush my teeth, and use the desensitizing gel in the trays for another half an hour. during this time, i would apply a face oil, get in my pjs, fill up my humidifier and take my medication. the trays would come out and i’d hop into bed, letting the residual gel left on my teeth do its work overnight.

my results? well, look for yourself.

as you can see, my teeth were a bit yellowed to begin with. there is definitely a noticeable improvement. i’m getting compliments on my bright smile, and my confidence to laugh with my mouth wide open and smile my toothy grin has jumped through the roof. if you’re with me, i’m showing off my teeth any chance i get.


want to try it yourself? i’ve partnered with Smile Brilliant to give one s&s reader a complete, customized at-home teeth whitening package. open to readers in Canada, US, UK, & Australia.

*enter here*

if you want to buy right away, use my code: scribblesandsass15  to receive 15% off any tray system.

post in partnership with Smile Brilliant. white teeth courtesy of them, all teeth whitening opinions are my own.
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