They say whiter teeth make you look younger so when I was offered the chance to review Smile Brilliant's at-home teeth whitening kit I almost spilt my coffee over the keyboard in my haste to respond. (Actually it was my other vice - red wine. Can you tell how much I needed that kit?)
Naturally anything involving your teeth needs to be treated with caution and if you are considering at-home kits rather than getting your whitening done by your dentist you need to do your homework. As someone who lost a front tooth in a teenage BMX ramp accident (yes really) - believe me you don't want to go messing up your forever teeth.
Smile Brilliant have an excellent site full of information, advice and frequently asked questions.
Once I received the very professional kit through the post I was ready to get started.
The full kit contains pastes and trays to make up your dental impressions, which you then send away to be made into final whitening trays. Also included are whitening gel and pre-treatment de-sensitising gel, should you need it.
The impressions were extremely easy to do and were popped back in the post to Smile Brilliant the next day.
Once I received the perfect fitting finished trays back I started the treatment.
The whitening gel used by Smile Brilliant is 22% Carbamide Peroxide which would be on the highest scale of strengths used here. However levels of up to 44% are in fact available (though not recommended). 22% is strong enough to see rapid changes in a short period of time without causing major sensitivity issues.
I once used the Crest Whitening Stripes which are available over the counter in the US and had to stop after two goes because of sensitivity issues. No such problem with the Smile Brilliant solution I'm pleased to report.
Here's what Smile Brilliant have to say "Professional strength teeth whitening gel by Smile Brilliant is specially formulated with the highest quality standards. To obtain the fastest and most desirable whitening results, it is important to have a high quality, dentist grade product you can count on. Our proprietary "sticky gel" formula ensures even distribution and adhesion during your teeth whitening sessions. Our teeth whitening gel is guaranteed fresh and guaranteed to work! If you're not completely satisfied with your results, we'll refund your money!"
I began cautiously with one 20 minute session, then waited 2 days before the next 30 minute session. Then I upped it to 45 minutes. There were no sensitivity issues and I began to notice improvements almost immediately.
The kit and company are extremely professional from start to finish and I really couldn't fault the entire service. Add to that the price - currently on offer at under $120 (€90 \ £70) - and it really is hard to beat.
If you are considering this option do make sure you read through all the information first and if you feel it appropriate speak to your dentist before you take the plunge.
Because one of my front teeth is an implant due to aforementioned biking accident I can only whiten the rest of them to the shade of that tooth (implants can't be bleached), so the difference may not be as pronounced as some - but it's totally up to you just how white you want to go.
For me Smile Brilliant was a great solution. Do I look years 10 younger? Well....maybe 5!
Disclosure: I was sent the Smile Brilliant kit for the purposes of this review. The images above are real and taken by me, but different lights can cause different effects and it was hard to capture an exact replica in relation to both photos. The teeth are definitely whiter though!