That morning cup of coffee, that aged Cabernet, those summer berries — if you’re like us, you might live for these little indulgences. But even though they brighten your day, they’ll also leave their mark on your smile.
Luckily, you have whitening kits like Smile Brilliant on your side. This safe, simple treatment opens the pores of the teeth, oxidizes set-in stains, and lifts them out. So go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee — or two, or three.
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Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System at a Glance
When you get an at-home whitening kit from the dentist, it typically has two components — professional-grade whitening gel and a plastic tray that’s customized for your unique smile. The problem is that these kits cost hundreds of dollars plus the doctor’s fees.
Smile Brilliant was founded with the goal of removing the middleman, making customized at-home whitening more affordable and accessible to all. These aren’t boil-and-bite, mass-produced whitening trays; they’re tailor-made in a lab based on the impressions you take of your teeth. This ensures their whitening gel can reach every crevasse — even between crooked or crowded teeth — helping you achieve a bright, even smile.
Pros & Cons of Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System
Smile Brilliant is a solid choice for anyone looking to whiten their teeth. But it’s not all green flags. When evaluating any at-home teeth whitening option, it’s important to look at both the advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System
- You get custom trays that perfectly match the shape of your unique smile. This helps whiten between the teeth and brightens crooked teeth that are usually too difficult to treat.
- They offer two systems that you can customize based on the severity of your stains. This gives you a greater level of control over your experience and results than you’ll get with almost any other company.
- They offer solid guarantees that inspire confidence in their products. If you aren’t fully satisfied with your results, they will offer a full refund. And for a full two years after your purchase, they’ll provide replacement trays for $35.
- Their whitening formula is simple but effective, with no needless extras. Their ingredients list is short and easy to understand.
Cons of Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening System
- Smile Brilliant is more expensive than most other whitening tray systems — even those with custom-made trays.
- Their sensitive kit doesn’t change the formula; it just adds a desensitizing treatment. Most companies that have a sensitive whitening kit will reduce the peroxide percentage or add ingredients that strengthen the enamel.
- Their whitening sessions can last as long as three hours. You can choose to whiten for less time, but even if you cut that in half, it’s still longer than most other kits.
Is Smile Brilliant Worth It?
It’s more expensive than some other whitening kits, but if you want a customized treatment with extensive satisfaction guarantees, it could very well be worth it.
When you think about at-home teeth whitening, what do you picture? It’s probably pens and strips. However, professional kits almost always use trays because they are more effective. Even though their customized trays give Smile Brilliant an advantage, their treatment isn’t as powerful as many other whitening products.
With a 22% concentration of Carbamide Peroxide, Smile Brilliant’s whitening gel is weaker than the industry standard.
Carbamide peroxide is naturally weaker than hydrogen peroxide, but that also makes it gentler. As a result, whitening products that use carbamide peroxide always have a higher percentage than those that use hydrogen peroxide. A typical carbamide peroxide whitening gel will have about a 35% concentration, so Smile Brilliant isn’t as powerful as most of its competitors.
Still, the company claims that their trays will remove stains for the average user within 14 days.
That’s a bold claim, even if it leaves room for lesser results for some customers. However, Smile Brilliant’s effectiveness might come down to the wear schedule. The company recommends working your way up to 2-3-hour whitening sessions. That’s easily the longest we’ve seen for any at-home product, but it also means the gel has plenty of time to work its magic.
Smile Brilliant, like all whitening products, can’t eliminate every stain.
Yellow stains usually respond well, but brown and other dark stains do not. Additionally, if age has thinned your enamel, allowing the yellow dentin to show through, there are no whitening products that can correct it.
Smile Brilliant’s results typically last between 6 and 12 months. The company suggests using maintenance treatments every 4-6 months to keep your smile bright. And unlike most of their competitors, you only need one whitening session for maintenance, not several.
One of the major draws for at-home whitening kits is their prices. Overall, they are hundreds, even thousands, of dollars less than in-office treatments. But compared to other at-home whitening products, Smile Brilliant isn’t the most affordable option.
Smile Brilliant has a tiered price structure based on the type of kit you want and the severity of your stains.
Here are the prices for their non-sensitive kit.
- Heavy stains: $169
- Average stains: $159
- Light stains: $149
For their sensitive kits, which include a special gel to stop dental pain, the prices are:
- Heavy stains: $189
- Average stains: $179
- Light stains: $159
While these prices are hundreds less than comparable kits from a dental office, they are some of the most expensive prices for an at-home kit on the market.
The cost per whitening session also varies based on the kit you select.
Heavy stain kits have 27 applications, average stain kits have 18 applications, and light stain kits have nine applications, so each one has a different per-session price.
- Heavy stains = $6.25
- Average stains = $8.83
- Light stains = $16.55
- Heavy stains = $7
- Average stains = $9.94
- Light stains = $17.66
The light-stain kits represent a pretty poor value while heavy-stain kits give you the most bang for your buck.
If the cost is too much to pay up front, Smile Brilliant offers financing.
However, it’s only available on their heavy-stain kits. Keep in mind that the only difference between kits is just the number of gel syringes you get, so you can jump on a payment plan even if you have mild stains. Just purchase the heavy-stain kit and save the extra syringes for future maintenance treatments.
Smile Brilliant also helps you feel confident in your purchase by offering a satisfaction guarantee. Their website says: “We are 100% confident in our products and we know that you’ll be satisfied with the results. If not, we’ll give you a full refund.” Plus, for two years, they’ll replace your trays whenever you need them. Each replacement costs $35, but that’s still much cheaper than a whole new kit.
Quality of Ingredients
A whitening kit is only as good as its ingredients. Every formula will include an active whitening agent and supporting ingredients that help it do its job. Even though Smile Brilliant’s formula has a lower peroxide concentration, their ingredients are all safe, gentle, and effective.
Smile Brilliant uses carbamide peroxide — the second most common tooth whitening agent next to hydrogen peroxide.
Also known as urea-hydrogen peroxide, it is a gentler whitening agent. In most cases, it’s about 10% hydrogen peroxide and 90% urea. Carbamide peroxide usually can’t deliver whitening results as fast as hydrogen peroxide, but it’s also less likely to give you chemical burns or discomfort.
This is also why the concentration of carbamide peroxide is almost always much higher than you would see in hydrogen peroxide formulas. In this case, it is 22%.
Smile Brilliant only uses cruelty-free vegan ingredients in their formula.
They are accredited by the Leaping Bunny program, which verifies if products are genuinely cruelty-free or not. At the moment, they are one of the few teeth whitening products with this certification.
Besides carbamide peroxide, here are the ingredients in Smile Brilliant’s whitening gel:
- Glycerin: Thickens the whitening gel and prevents it from overflowing onto the gum tissues.
- Carbomer: A thickening agent that also acts as an emulsion stabilizer, so the gel won’t separate.
- Menthol: Flavoring that helps mask the taste of peroxide.
- EDTA: Removes surface proteins & bacteria debris, creating an ideal atmosphere for whitening.
This is a pretty short ingredients list, but it has everything you need for the gel to work. And hey, sometimes simpler is better.
Trays and gel syringes are highly effective, but they might be the least convenient at-home teeth-whitening method. And Smile Brilliant comes with extra start-up steps that can make things even more time-consuming.
You’ll begin the Smile Brilliant process by taking molds of your teeth, which you’ll send to the company.
We’ll be honest: taking your own dental impressions isn’t easy, but the learning curve isn’t that steep, either. Smile Brilliant provides extra putty so you can make a mistake and still get a usable impression.
The payoff of getting customized trays is high, though — and not just in terms of effectiveness. They can also make whitening your teeth more convenient. Custom trays are less obtrusive than mass-produced ones, so chatting on the phone or with your family while whitening your teeth isn’t hard.
That’s a good thing, given Smile Brilliant’s whitening sessions can last as long as three hours.
No, that’s not a typo. Smile Brilliant suggests you start with whitening sessions that are just 45-60 minutes, then steadily increase them until you hit the three-hour mark. That’s a serious time commitment, especially given the average person will need 7-14 treatments to achieve their desired results, and potentially up to 27.
If you have sensitive teeth, it’s an even bigger time commitment, since you need to apply the desensitizing gel for 20 minutes after each session. So, all told, you could spend upwards of 80 hours whitening your teeth in just one month, depending on how many days you need to complete your treatment and whether you purchased the sensitive kit.
The bright side is that you’re not stuck in place while you whiten. You can do things around the house and even talk with friends or family, as long as you’re okay with a slight lisp.
After each whitening session, you need to rinse your mouth and the trays.
You will also need to avoid eating and drinking for at least 30 minutes. After that, you are free to go about your life. If you need to whiten while you’re out — perhaps on vacation or during a late night at the office — the kit is pretty portable, though that depends on how many syringes you need to carry with you.
Whitening trays can always be a bit awkward — that’s just part of wearing an appliance on your teeth. Yet some kits are more comfortable than others, and Smile Brilliant’s customized trays and appealing flavor make it a fairly unobtrusive treatment.
Smile Brilliant doesn’t change its formula for its sensitive teeth whitening kit.
This means both kits can cause sensitivity. However, the sensitive whitening kits come with an equal amount of desensitizing gel, which helps to remineralize your teeth and prevent sensitivity.
Plus, you have some flexibility in your wear schedule. While the company suggests whitening for three hours, you can go for as long as you’d like, even skipping days if you start to feel some tooth sensitivity.
The gel is flavored with menthol to hide the taste of peroxide.
This is a standard flavor for teeth whitening kits, giving the gel a minty flavor. This can help make the whitening process more pleasant, which is important since you’ll be tasting it for up to three hours per day. It’s great if you like mint, and even if you don’t, it’s a lot better than the taste of peroxide.
The custom-made trays ensure great comfort compared to most other kits.
This is because they fit perfectly to your teeth and gums. They don’t feel overly thick, don’t cut the gums, and make it easier to speak. Plus, they help to keep the whitening gel in place, so it doesn’t overflow onto your gums, irritating them.
So, on the whole, Smile Brilliant offers some of the greatest comfort you can get from a teeth whitening kit.
What Are Customers Saying?
Most Smile Brilliant customers are happy with the system and the results it delivers. Multiple users noted that the custom-fit trays make it easier to whiten the crevices of the teeth and get consistent coloring, even on crooked teeth.
While Smile Brilliant is more expensive than most kits, its price was also a big draw for many reviewers. Those who previously used systems from their dentist found it much more affordable while delivering the same quality.
The biggest complaints were related to sensitivity and the length of the whitening sessions. Some people didn’t think the desensitizing gel made much of a difference, and very few people were happy to put in three hours a day to get a whiter smile.
If you are looking for a professional whitening experience for less than you’d pay at a dentist’s office, Smile Brilliant makes it possible. Their gel isn’t quite as strong as what your dentist can offer, but their customized trays ensure more consistent whitening than strips and pens, plus a more comfortable fit.
Of course, it isn’t your only option. Check out our review of the best at-home whitening kits to compare the top products available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the main reasons to choose whitening trays instead of strips and pens?
They’re better at keeping the gel in place on the teeth and off the gums, since it can burn them. Plus, they cover all the teeth, so you get a complete whitening experience; strips and pens only reach some of the teeth.
Is it better to choose pre-filled trays or reusable ones?
It depends on whether you want greater convenience or greater savings. Because you can use reusable trays to whiten your teeth for years — just buying refills — they can save you money in the long run. However, nothing beats the convenience of pre-filled trays.
Will whitening with trays dry out my lips?
This might sound strange, but yes, a lot of customers find that when they wear trays, their lips dry out. This is especially likely with longer whitening times, like Smile Brilliant’s 1-3-hour sessions. Invest in a good lip balm before you start your treatment.
How soon can I expect to see results from my whitening tray kit?
It depends on the kit and how your teeth respond. Assuming you have stains the kit can treat and you use it correctly, you will likely see changes within 1-3 sessions and full results in 7-14 days.
Is it dangerous to whiten your teeth at home?
If you go fully DIY and mix up your own formula, yes. But if you use whitening kits from reputable manufacturers and follow their instructions, you shouldn’t have any issues. Just be careful with kits where you have to measure out the gel; if you use too much, you can end up burning your gums.
What happens if I use Smile Brilliant with other whitening products, like strips or pens?
You could end up damaging your enamel and causing significant tooth sensitivity. Instead, save the pens and strips for touch-ups after treatment and use a sensitive toothpaste while whitening.
I’ve always been diligent about brushing and flossing. Why do I have stains?
Good habits can’t prevent stains entirely. Certain heavily pigmented foods and drinks will stain unless you instantly brush them away — but doing so can damage the enamel, depending on the food’s acidity. Plus, some stains are related to aging, not habits. Basically, everyone will notice their smile dulling at some point.
Is it OK to use whitening trays if I have braces?
Ask your orthodontist, but generally, no. The trays can break your appliances, and the gel can’t whiten below the brackets, so your results will look uneven once your braces come off.
Are there risks to whitening your teeth when pregnant?
There just isn’t a lot of research on this. Consult your doctor before starting treatment.
Will whitening trays improve the color of my veneers?
If your issues are with surface stains, yes. However, they won’t change the natural color of your veneers.