Review: Teeth Whitening at Home with SmileBrilliant

If there's one thing that every single person experiences during their life besides birth and death, it's probably adolescent insecurity. These days I don't think about my teenage years much. I mean, they pretty much sucked for the most part, and I'm a person who lives in the tomorrow more than in the yesteryear. I spend way more time stressing about my future than reminiscing about my past. I'll let you decide which is best, but that's just the way I iz.

Tl;dr teenage insecurities. Mine were, in no particular order:

- big nose
- skinny legs
- uneven skintone (rosacea)
- zits on my back
- boyish figure
- yellow teeth
- hair everywhere

I'm probably leaving some out, but these were the most important of my 99 problems. I've grown out of some of these (boyish figure, zits), grown to love/not care about others (skinny legs, nose, some of the hair, yellow teeth) and found products to deal with the rest (uneven skin, unwanted hair). I'm feeling pretty fucking good about myself these days. In fact, I think I've never looked better.

About 14 years old, not exactly looking my best

But being confident does not mean I don't like experimenting with ALL the things that are meant to enhance beauty. Make up and I = BFFs for life, and Kim Kardashian is one of my ultimate my beauty idols. Something I'm not very experienced (but quite interested) in however, is teeth whitening. I tried those Crest strips when my brother brought them home from America after visiting his future wife there for the first time, but that didn't turn into a habit since Crest weren't actually being sold over here. 

A long winded road to get to the point, which is the following. Two months ago, I was contacted by SmileBrilliant with an offer to review their custom teeth whitening trays. SmileBrilliant is different from most other teeth whitening solutions because it's a two step process: first they send over the putty for your teeth impressions, and upon you sending your impressions back (which is free in the US and costs about 8€ from Belgium), they finally deliver your custom teeth whitening trays. The process is very easy and also kind of fun because the putty reminded me of playdo. Prepare to feel like a total toddler while you make the impressions. You'll drool a lot.

 One of the most important things that set SmileBrilliant apart from competition is that they offer both a whitening gel and a desensitizing gel, the last of which is meant to shield off sensitive spots on your teeth. I have sensitive teeth so I used it a few times, but I ditched it once I noticed the whitening gel getting tingly at worst after an hour of use. The Crest strips I used to try started hurting SO BAD after just twenty minutes, so I'd say the SmileBrilliant gel is milder than Crest strips.

The second reason SmileBrilliant is different from the competition: custom trays. These last are important for two reasons: they make sure the whitening result is more even and custom trays keep the bleaching gel from spilling over onto your gums and the rest of your mouth which can lead to serious irritation.

Over to the part you're really interested in: the result. I ended up using my custom trays + whitening gel about 6 or 7 times, one hour at a time. Be sure to wipe off any excess gel from your gums though, or they will get irritated and burned. I learned that the hard way since I did not read the instructions carefully. 

This is what my teeth looked like before and after.

For clarity, the pictures on top are pre-whitening, the ones on the bottom are post-whitening. I always hate it how before/after shots of teeth whitening are obviously edited in a way that brings out the yellow tones in the before pic, and cancels them out completely in the after pic. I tried to keep the colours in my before and after images as constant as possible to give you an honest idea of the result. I feel like the SmileBrilliant gel did remove some of the yellow from my teeth and made them brighter but as you can see, the difference is not huge.

I do think the contrast would be bigger if your teeth were clearly stained by the consumption of coffee/tea/wine or by smoking, but my teeth are pretty much the same colour they have always been. They've never been bright white, so I don't see how bleaching them could make them lighter than their base shade. Something to remember! If your teeth have always been yellow-ish, at home whitening kits will probably not make a huge difference.

That's my review for ya! I'm happy with the result, the entire process was very easy and did not get in the way of my daily fuctioning. I just popped those suckers in while watching TV and that was that.


What were your major teenage insecurities? Have you ever tried/thought of teeth whitening?


  1. I'm insecure about my teeth too. Here's what helps for me though: electric toothbrush instead of a manual one, Pearl Drops tooth paste, avoiding drinks that stain your teeth like coffee, wine, fizzy drinks or drinking them with a straw and going to the dentist from time to time to get a 'stone grind' cleanse. I've had them bleached twice but man that shit hurts! Oh and some lipstick colors are better to avoid because they can make your teeth look more yellow.

  2. I feel like my teeth have gotten whiter instead of more yellow with age! If you look at that teenage pic, they look a lot brighter now than they did back then. I'm a bit apprehensive about more thorough treatments since my teeth are quite sensitive and they used to be very problematic when I was a kid, so I'm just counting my lucky stars at not having any cavities or issues ever even if they aren't stark white. They don't bother me at all anymore. I do like the contrast of white teeth against very bright lipstick, so that's the only reason I sometimes would like whiter teeth :D

    I do love electric toothbrushes, make your teeth feel so smoooooth

  3. Heb mijn tanden ook eens laten bleken. Ben zeker van plan om het opnieuw te laten doen. Bij mij was het verschil veel groter (maar toch naturel) en ze hebben denk ik dezelfde kleur als de jouwe. Die dingetjes van thuis bleken meestal niet echt hard en het resultaat gaat snel weg. Heb bij dat van mij er twee jaar plezier van gehad! :)

  4. waren de jouwe verkleurd tov hoe ze vroeger waren of had je vroeger al witte tanden? Want dat lijkt me wel een belangrijke factor om het effect in te schatten!

  5. Nee gewoon niet-witte tanden :)

  6. en welke behandeling heb je laten uitvoeren?

  7. Goh, dat is al lang geleden. Maar ze maakten eerst met gel een bescherming voor u tandvlees en dan drie kwartier onder een lamp :)