Friday, September 29, 2017

How to Whiten Sensitive Teeth at Home (SPONSORED)

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, aka sponsored links designed to keep Haley Marie Blog alive. But don't worry - all of the opinions are still my own!

Additionally, as you will soon learn, Smile Brilliant sent me their product in exchange for an honest review of their services. I have tried to remain as impartial as possible when writing this post, and I hope it shows! If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Hello, beautiful! It's time to talk about something you probably don't think about a lot (unless you're self-conscious of it like me): your teeth!

I can personally attest to how your teeth impact the way you look and feel about yourself. I never felt confident in the way I looked as a child, when my mouth was crowded and my teeth were crooked. When I had braces, I felt hyper-aware of the painful metal wrapped around my teeth and couldn't wait to get them off. It wasn't until I got my braces off that I began to feel more confident in my smile - and then I started to think about whitening.

My family's plan had always been to have my teeth professionally whitened after I got my braces off, just like my cousin did when he got his removed. However, the dentist basically said that I was too young and my teeth were too sensitive for the ZOOM procedure. I was stuck with drugstore white strips that never worked and coffee stains galore from late nights studying at school.

That's why I was so excited wheSmile Brilliant reached out to me to show you how you can easily get whiter teeth - without going to the dentist, or even leaving your dorm room! They sent me their whitening system for sensitive teeth so I could show you my whitening routine and give you my best tips for a brighter smile.

One reason why I'm so passionate about Smile Brilliant is that the brand is 100% cruelty-free and vegan! As a vegan, I love beauty and health products, but I don't want to compromise my animal-friendly lifestyle just to look pretty. Thankfully, Smile Brilliant doesn't work with or own any factories or labs that test on animals and derives all of their ingredients - including glycerin - from vegetable sources. So, I can get whiter teeth without feeling guilty, because I know that no animals had to suffer to bring me their products!

So, here's how I whitened with Smile Brilliant's vegan and cruelty-free whitening system for sensitive teeth, what I do #whileIwhiten and all my best tips for getting the happy, healthy smile you crave - without ever leaving your dorm room (I promise!).

How to Use Smile Brilliant

The Smile Brilliant system was created by dental professionals to help busy gals like you and me access the professional whitening tools used by dentists in our everyday lives! (Which is pretty cool, if you ask me.)

The first thing I did when I received the Smile Brilliant system was to take impressions of my teeth using the kit Smile Brilliant sent me. The kit consists of two putties, a base and a catalyst, that you mix in your hands and press into the tray. Then, you use the trays to take impressions of your top and bottom teeth and send them in to the Smile Brilliant lab, where Smile Brilliant's professionals begin to craft your custom-made trays for whitening! Yay!

In about a week, Smile Brilliant sent back my custom-fitted trays - and I've gotta say, they fit perfectly. I seriously have no complaints! So, now that you have your trays, it's time to talk about the good stuff: the whitening process.

Step One: Whitening Gel Treatment

The first step in the Smile Brilliant system is the actual whitening process. Before I even began, I brushed my teeth with just water and tried to dry them as well as possible (not pictured). Then, I grabbed my custom whitening trays and began to prep for the whitening process.

The Smile Brilliant  whitening gel comes in a syringe. Each syringe contains 3-4 applications, and each Smile Brilliant kit contains three syringes. (For reference, most people must complete 7-14 whitening sessions to see optimum results!) 

After you break the removable tip off the end of the syringe, you press the plunger to squeeze a thin line of the whitening gel along the inner front surface of your trays, aka the part of the tray that comes into contact with the front surface of your teeth. Then, all I had to do was wear the trays for between 45 minutes and three hours and wait for them to work their whitening magic! 

Step Two: Desensitizing Gel Treatment

After you've worn the trays long enough (generally, you should try to wear them longer for the best results but can remove them earlier if you experience sensitivity), you can take them off and rinse them, drying them as best as you can. You should also brush your teeth with your ordinary toothpaste before completing the desensitizing gel treatment.

Once your teeth and trays are clean, you can use the desensitizing gel treatment the same way you applied the whitening gel. I simply twisted off the removable cap and pressed the plunger to squirt a thin line of gel across the front inner surface of the trays. Then, I inserted my trays and waited for the cooling gel to relieve my sensitive teeth

All in all, this part of the process only took 15-30 minutes - and then I was done!

After Whitening...

Post-whitening, your teeth might feel a little sensitive still - and that's okay! If you experience excess sensitivity between sessions, whiten your teeth every other day until you achieve 7-14 days of successive whitening. 

There are a couple things you can do after you whiten your teeth to ensure you have the best experience possible. First of all, you should not eat or drink for 30 minutes after completing the whitening treatment. Secondly, you should try to avoid coffee or tea for 24 hours after whitening. This is because whitening opens the pores in your teeth, and new stains can still enter those open pores. (For me, this is nearly impossible - I admit that I've cheated more than once so I could still have my morning latte! But it really does make a difference in lifting the stains from your teeth if you avoid staining drinks like coffee and tea.) 

Finally, don't forget to keep up this whitening treatment for 7-14 days as recommended: successful whitening requires consistency! Once you achieve your whitest possible teeth, it takes very little effort to maintain them for the rest of your life, so make sure you take the time to really do this process right to get those perfectly-pearly whites you dream of :)

The Results

Personally, I got great results using the Smile Brilliant sensitive teeth whitening system. I only experienced discomfort during one of my four or five whitening sessions, after which I decreased my whitening time to 30 or 45 minutes at a time. That pretty much solved the problem and allowed me to continue whitening as usual!

One thing I will say is that you shouldn't expect all staining to be removed by Smile Brilliant, or even by whitening through your dentist's office. Also, if you continue to eat staining foods and drinks, you might want to repeat this process once a year or so! (Since I can't go a day without my morning coffee, I'll definitely be repeating the Smile Brilliant system next September.) 

Still not convinced? Here's an "After" photo to show you just how great the Smile Brilliant system worked for me:


As I mentioned in the how-to, Smile Brilliant's whitening system takes some time to do its job. Don't get me wrong: I'm super thrilled with my results, and can totally confirm that Smile Brilliant works. However, 45 minutes to three hours is a long time to wait for a busy college student! 

That's where Smile Brilliant's hashtag #whileIwhiten comes in. Whitening your teeth doesn't have to be a single-tasking activity, people! You can easily multitask while you're wearing your trays to be as productive as possible while still taking care of your smile.

Don't believe me? I've got just the thing for you! Here are some real-life photos of what I do #whileIwhiten so you, too, can get a glowing smile without falling behind on work or school.

Beauty Rituals

Any other beauty routines you love to do before you go to sleep at night? You're in luck! In fact, Smile Brilliant even recommends whitening your teeth before you go to bed to avoid introducing any staining foods while your teeth are still sensitive.

One of my favorite beauty products lately has been the Jergens Natural Glow Fair-to-Medium Daily Moisturizer. This is an amazing self-tanning product for us pale girls because it allows you to build up color gradually without feeling like an Oompa Loompa. Wearing my whitening trays while I'm applying my self-tanner makes me feel totally put together like nothing else!

Previously, I've also used whitening my teeth as an excuse to have a spa night or self-care ritual before I wind down for sleep. I'll put my trays in, slather on a face mask and let it dry while I give myself an at-home manicure. Not only is it tons of fun, but it's also a lot cheaper than a day out at the traditional spa.

Catch Up on Reading

If you're catching up on readings for class, why not put in your trays and sneak in a whitening sesh while you're at it? Whitening is a great activity to do while you work on homework because it requires zero effort whatsoever: you simply stick your trays in and forget about them!

You could also try reading a book for fun while you whiten your teeth. Reading for pleasure is one of my favorite activities, but it's one I don't have time to do nearly often enough. Curling up with a book you can't wait to read while you whiten your teeth sounds like one of the best self-care nights ever, as far as I'm concerned!

Relax on Your Phone

Whitening your teeth should be a relaxing, beautifying ritual - it shouldn't stress you out! However, if you find yourself nervous or on edge about the results of your whitening process, you might want to pull out your phone and download a calming app or two.

Headspace and Stop, Breathe & Think are two meditation apps you could try which were recommended to me by my current therapist. Meditating while you whiten is one of the best combinations I can think of because you get to treat both your mind and body at the same time! So, grab your headphones, lay back and relax: as a busy college gal, I promise you you've earned a night off.

Best Tips for a Brighter Smile

Obviously, if you're interested in getting whiter teeth from your dorm room and learning more about Smile Brilliant, you're probably looking to achieve a brighter smile. As I can tell you from experience, whitening my teeth with Smile Brilliant changed my smile like nothing else - but that's not the only component of achieving those shimmery pearly-whites you crave.

To get a whiter smile, you've got to be committed to doing what's healthiest and happiest for your teeth (without going crazy, of course). By that, I don't mean swear off coffee forever and only brush your teeth with baking soda, but there are definitely some simple adjustments you can make to your daily routine to help your whitening process run more smoothly. Here are some of the tips I learned from my research that you might want to consider as you're working with the Smile Brilliant system:

  • Drink green tea. Bad news: your favorite morning espresso might be one of the reasons why your teeth are never quite as white as you'd like! But the good news? Swap out that coffee for green tea and you'll get health and beauty benefits as well as a whiter smile. Click to try one of my favorite blends, the Tazo Zen Green Tea.
  • Wear red lipstick. This is one of my favorite top-secret tricks for a brighter smile! While wearing red lipstick won't actually change the color of your teeth, it can make it seem like your teeth are whiter against the contrast of your bold lip. On the other hand, pink lipsticks might make your teeth seem yellower than they actually are. My Holy Grail red lipstick? The stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso.
  • Drink through a straw. Believe it or not, what you drink out of matters almost as much as what you drink when it comes to reducing enamel stains. According to Cosmopolitan, drinking through a straw reduces direct contact with the surface of your teeth, keeping your newly-whitened smile shiny and bright all year long. All the more reason to sip your water through a cute tumbler cup (like these two from Lilly Pulitzer) than an ugly steel to-go mug! 

P.S. Want to try Smile Brilliant's whitening system for yourself?

Luckily for you, I've got just the thing: Smile Brilliant has kindly agreed to give away one of their premium whitening kits to one lucky reader from Haley Marie Blog! All you need to do is visit the link below to enter the giveaway and maybe just maybe win a free Smile Brilliant whitening system kit ;)

Click here to enter to win $139 in Smile Brilliant credit!

Giveaway Rules:

  • The giveaway is for a $139 Smile Brilliant credit.
  • It's open to residents of the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.
  • You must enter your email to win. The giveaway is hosted through Smile Brilliant's internal platform, so you don't have to worry about email privacy!
  • A winner will not be chosen until we receive 25 entries, so be sure to enter today! (It's 100% free.)

Plus, even if you're not the lucky winner, you can always use my referral code haleymarieblog10 to get 10% off your order from Smile Brilliant. So, what are you waiting for? Click here to scope out Smile Brilliant’s products ASAP!

What's your best tip for a brighter smile? LMK in the comments below!