The Coffee Addict’s Guide to Affordable Teeth Whitening

The Coffee Addict’s Guide to Affordable Teeth Whitening



As someone who enjoys frequently staining my teeth with coffee, tea, beer, wine, etc., I definitely have to keep up on maintenance for whitening my teeth. Today I wanted to talk about all the methods I have tried throughout the years.

My first whitening experience was with one of those brush on pens that immediately wash away after you apply them- pointless. I moved on to Crest White Strips which is probably the most popular to most people. I started using them in high school and I was psycho enough about wanting white teeth as a teenager to SLEEP WITH THEM IN ALL NIGHT. My teeth were very sensitive but I thought I was invincible so that didn’t stop me.  I used them throughout the years but wasn’t crazy about spending $45+ on a box every few months so I switched to Plus White. If you haven’t tried white strips, they definitely work. They get gooey and full of drool as you wear them but it’s not a dealbreaker.  The 3D white ones are my favorites.

From there I started to use the Plus White Premier 5 Minute Whitening Gel with a sports mouth guard that I molded to my teeth. The only flaw I have found with this is that the gel gets everywhere in my mouth and it doesn’t whiten my lower teeth. It definitely works, but having a mouth guard in amounts to a lot of drooling and making me sit down and wait for it to be over with no talking or much moving around.

Another one I don’t hear about often that is really effective is mouthwash. This is one of the best ways to whiten because it fits into a routine easily. The one I like is from Crest and kind of tastes like minty soap. Used daily it is extremely brightening and I actually have it on my grocery list to pick up next week because I am reminded of how awesome it is writing this.

I was telling my friend that I missed being crazy about whitening like I was in my high school days.  I look back on photos and immediately notice how bright my smile was back then! I’m not trying to sleep with whitening products on anymore, but I want to brighten up my teeth several shades.  I drink coffee and tea multiple times daily and feel like I need to whiten up  to avoid staining.  Right after I was saying I need to get back into it, I was offered the chance to try a kit from Smile Brilliant.  (!!!!)


My first thought was OMG no I can’t be one of those people who peddle the blue teeth light so over saturated on Insta! But when I was doing research and reading emails I noticed I actually had applied to win a giveaway from them on another blogger’s page last summer, so it was almost like winning the giveaway after all!  That and the fact that this kit was NOT a blue flashlight for your mouth got me.

Smile Brilliant is cool because you get to have custom fitted trays for whitening. Instead of a huge football mouthguard, my whitening trays are clear, comfortable, and PERFECTLY CUP MY TEETH.  Here’s what they look like on:



Commonly people get these done professionally at a dental office, but for a much more expensive price. Who wants to fork out that money and make an extra trip to the dentist?

It took about two weeks for my custom trays to come back and I used them right away. I left them on for about an hour and a half because I was making dinner and forgot I was wearing them if you can believe it… my boyfriend had to remind me to take them out they were that comfortable!  These are something I could see myself doing a ton because I can put them on to take out the trash, go for a drive, or do anything pretty much because other than giving me a slight lisp they feel like air.  I’m not drooling, not aware of them, and you can’t really tell they’re on unless you’re really close.

I love them.  Like I said I didn’t get drool-y and the trays are so perfectly fitted that they keep all the gel in place where it should be.   The tube the gel comes in has a little syringe applicator that is very easy to squeeze out which I prefer over using the 5 minute gel toothpaste- style nozzle. That one over-applies and leaves me with a full mouth of foamy gooey gel.  Each syringe gives me about 3 to 4 uses.

Would I buy this with my own hard earned money if it wasn’t a gift from the brand? YES. YES. YES.  These trays are going to be something I reuse an infinite amount of times the rest of my life.  Making them was simple- they send you a play doh substance and guide to make your molds with a prepaid envelope to mail back and they create your trays for you.

I may buy the tube of 5 min gel to use with the the Smile Brilliant trays when I run out because I’m frugal with things like this.  The trays are the main seller for me- one day when I have a future dream job interview or wedding to attend I’ll be so happy to have these to prep my smile.

I’m not being paid for posting about this product. All words are my honest thoughts and opinion. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to review this whitening kit!



Giveaway: Enter here to win the same kit I have! Even if you don’t win you’ll get a coupon for 10% off 🙂 or you can go ahead and put in “kimandmakeup” to get it.  Giveaway is  open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Thanks for reading. ⚡️Fun fact: I learned from @smilebrilliant’s FAQ that you should always refrain from using toothpaste before whitening products. I always thought that was an unnecessary precaution for tooth sensitivity sake, but it’s not. Fluoride in toothpaste makes a barrier that makes whitening much less effective. It’s best to brush your teeth with just water on your toothbrush before starting.  The more you know 🌈


Leave a comment

  1. July 26, 2017 / 3:46 pm

    So happy I’ve come across this! I’m always looking on cheap products to whiten my teeth! x

    • July 28, 2017 / 8:45 am

      There are so many great options out right now! Glad it was helpful 🙂

  2. July 26, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Great read for me! I’m super weird about my teeth not turning yellow. Sometimes I go overboard and they look neon white. I’m not even sure which is worse! 😆

    • July 28, 2017 / 8:45 am

      Neon white is the ideal goal!!

  3. July 28, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    I bought a whitening kit about a year ago, but have yet to touch it. I have super sensitive teeth and am terrified that it’ll hurt! Your teeth look so good!!

    • July 28, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      Don’t be scared! This brand has a desensitizing gel so that helps. Just leave the whitening stuff on for 30 min and work your way up to longer😀

      **editing to add that sensodyne toothpaste might be a good option for you too. 🙂

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