As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’m a caffeine fiend, which means that keeping my teeth whiter-than-white is probably always going to be an uphill struggle for me. I’ve had them whitened by the dentist, and I’ve tried a couple of the DIY kits that are available, but of course, all of that coffee (and, OK, red wine) takes its toll, and sooner or later I’ll find myself needing a bit of a top-up on the teeth front.
With Christmas and my forthcoming holiday not far away, that time was now, so when Rapid White offered to let me try out their Brightkit Tooth Whitening System, I was happy to give it a go.
This kit works in basically the same way as most of the other teeth whitening kits out there: you get two mouth trays (which you can mold to fit your teeth using boiling water), a tube of the whitening gel, an ‘accelerator’ fluid, and a tube of Rapid White toothpaste. After applying the accelerator directly to your teeth (it’s in a tube with a sponge applicator), you pop the gel-filled trays into your mouth and leave them for 5-10 minutes before brushing your teeth with the toothpaste. Rapid White claim that if you do this twice a day for fourteen days, it can lighten your teeth up to eight shades – they even provide a little colour chart so you can see for yourself.
So, does it work?
Well, I’ve been using this for about three weeks now, and although I haven’t used it every single day, I have had at least fourteen days use out of it so far, albeit with a couple of deviations from the instructions. The first, and most important of these is that I use my own tooth trays with this: they’re ones my dentist made for me, and because of that, I suspect they’re probably a better fit than the ones that come with this pack. Secondly, after the first couple of sessions, I’ve tended to leave the trays in for longer than the 5-10 minutes on the instructions – probably about 20 minutes per session. That’s not what the instructions tell you to do, so please try it with caution, but so far it hasn’t seemed to do me any harm, and actually, for me this is the biggest advantage the Rapid White system has over all of the other systems I’ve tried: it’s completely pain-free.
Every single other tooth-whitening kit I’ve tried, even treatments from my dentist, have made my teeth really, really sensitive after use, and that’s a very common side-effect of these kind of treatments. It’s not a deal-breaker for me, but obviously I’d prefer for it NOT to happen, and with this kit, it hasn’t – even with me using it for slightly longer than instructed.
The fact that you do only need to wear the trays for a short period of time each day is also good: I absolutely hate using these things, and always want to gag while they’re in, so the shorter the period of use, the better as far as I’m concerned. (When I first had my teeth whitened, I had to wear the trays overnight, and although the results were excellent, it’s something I never want to repeat!)
But enough of all of this: what about THE RESULTS, I hear you cry? Well, I’ve used this for the suggested 14 days (although over a period of three weeks), and yes, I do notice a difference in the colour of my teeth. They haven’t lightened by as much as 8 shades, but they didn’t really need to – they were already whiter than the palest colour on the chart supplied with the kit, and I’d say they’re about one or two shades lighter than when I started: enough for me to have had a couple of comments about how white they look, but not a drastic change. I suspect you’d notice a bigger difference if your teeth were darker to start out with. The stains I’d been noticing from my coffee-drinking have gone, though, and if you want to try this for yourself, my tip here is to apply the whitening gel directly onto any noticeable stains, as well as putting it into the trays, so that you know they’ll be treated.
This kit retails for £19.75, and having used it on-and-off for three weeks now there’s still plenty of solution left in the tube. They say there’s enough for an extra week of treatments, but I think it will last longer than that – or maybe I just have very small teeth!
If you want to try it out for yourself, it’s available exclusively at Boots.