Saturday, January 28, 2012

DIY at Home - Teeth Whitening!

As many of you may or may not know, I used to have braces, in fact I wore them for approx four years! :/ At the time it wasn’t the most fun thing to do but you get used to them and picking the different coloured trims each month was something to look forward too, yeah, I wore red for Christmas hahahaha  :D

Anyway, when the time finally arrived to have them removed I had these wonderful visions of my teeth gleaming beautifully from my mouth and people being blinded everywhere :) but the reality was that when they came off and the orthodontist cleaned them up they were actually not very dazzling at all, colour wise that is :(

It didn’t matter how much I cleaned them they still looked quite yellow. 

About two years later I was getting annoyed with their colour, people would comment on my videos about how yellow they looked and it was starting to play on my confidence a little too which is never a good thing!

So I started looking around for ways to whiten them.

Firstly I tried Bicarbonate of Soda, an age old method of DIY teeth whitening. It tastes disgusting of course but you’re not eating the stuff and also it is a bit abrasive on your teeth, probably the best way to do this is by mixing it with your toothpaste so it’s not as harsh and powdery on your teeth. Just put your toothpaste on the brush as you normally would and then cover it with a layer of the Bi-carb and brush away. You shouldn’t do this everyday, 2-3 times a week at the most. This is the cheapest method.

I saw a little improvement doing this and would recommend it to those who have naturally whiter teeth that may have stained a little, but my teeth were still very discoloured and nowhere near as clean looking as I wanted them :/

My mum and I enquired at some local dentists and salons and found out professional teeth whitening ranged from $500 up to almost $1,000 ...... WOW that was a lot of money. There was also the option of those booths in the shopping centres where you sit in the ‘pods’ for about an hour, they cost around $200 but I would have felt silly doing that where others could see me, hahaha .... yet I’m on YouTube :/ hehehe

Ok, now we started looking online. Arrrrgh ...... there are so many different brands to choose from :/ YouTube is a great place to start and watch reviews and the one that I decided to go with was ‘Crest Whitening Strips’.

So in September, 2010 I whitened my teeth for the first time using the ‘Crest Whitening Strips’, this was a 14 day program where you applied the strips to the top and bottom of your teeth for 30 minutes twice a day being careful not to put them on your gums. This was easy enough for me to do, I was on school holidays so had plenty of spare time. I didn’t have any problems with this at all but I’ll have to say that my brother did, (not that his teeth were that discoloured, he actually has the best SMILE ever) he got some sensitivity from the strips and he also got some gum burn!!!!

When and if gum burn ever happens you need to remove the strip STRAIGHT AWAY and rinse your mouth out thoroughly with plenty of water. He had to stop using them for a few days until his gum got better and then he was extra careful not to place the strip on his gums, VERY IMPORTANT.

I found these worked really well for me, I didn’t finish the 14 days as I felt my teeth looked white enough after about 10 days and I didn’t want that ‘fake white’ look so I kept the remaining strips for ‘touch ups’ further down the track. Every couple of months I would use a set of strips for a day and it would maintain my teeth to a certain degree. They are very simple to use and attach, you just peel the strips off the backing (the larger one is for your top teeth) and carefully apply to the front of your teeth (not gums) and then fold over the teeth so it’s all flat being careful not to press too hard which could squeeze the gel out onto your gums. Leave the strips on for 30 mins (twice a day) and rinse thoroughly once removed. The easiest way to remove them is by using a tissue to take them off and dispose of properly. As this is a lower percentage of 'hydrogen peroxide' you can purchase this product within Australia.

Crest Whitestrips Supreme Professional Strength 84 strips
Photo property of Crest Whitestrips

By October, 2011 I felt I wanted to re-whiten my teeth again because my ‘Year 12 Formal’ was coming up in November and I wanted to look my best.

This time around I purchased the ‘Crest 3D Whitestrips 2 Hr Express’ kit.  Now I must say this was so much better than the 14 day course, it was quick and easy and I felt no sensitivity at all. I got 4 upper and 4 lower strips for $65.00 which should last me the year. They are applied exactly the same way as the normal whitening strips but there is only ONE application which is left on for two hours.

Remember, you should ideally be 18 years or over to use these products but if you are younger please have your parent’s permission and have them helping and watching you just in case there are any problems. I definitely wouldn’t recommend anyone under 16 using these products.

crest 3d whitestrips stain shield daily whitening program
Photo property of Crest Whitestrips

Now although my teeth are still nicely whitened, my lower  teeth can look quite yellow around the edges over  time, the whole tooth doesn’t discolour it’s just the edges so when I was approached last year by an online company to try out their ‘Whitening Pen’ I thought that this may be a great solution.

The ‘Whitening Lightning’ pen is simple to use, I can paint it on the areas that need it without covering the entire tooth. It’s quite gentle and you can just put it on before bed and leave it overnight and it works gradually so you’re not going to get a ‘bright line’ where it’s applied .

70% Discount Code, enter  ‘CASSIE70’ at checkout 

Photo property of Whitening Lightning

I was also sent the ‘Dial a Smile Professional Whitening Kit’ to try out. It is a ‘blue light’ whitening system similar to what I’ve seen on offer in the large shopping centres (the pods) but in the comfort of your own home.

Easy to follow instructions are enclosed, all you do is clean off your teeth with a special finger cloth, apply the vitamin E cream on your gums and lips to help prevent ‘bleach burns’ and then apply the gel with the brush provided. You then have to insert the special ‘light’ into your mouth for 20 minutes :D yeah this looks lovely :P hehe ... when that’s done just remove the light, rinse your mouth properly  and your done! :) I'll have a video on this shortly and will link it then.

In my opinion I found this kit to work about the same as the 3D whitening strips, it was fun and interesting to try a different method and it was quicker to do, only taking 20 minutes. I still need time to find out how long the whitening effect will last so I will post on the results when I need to re-whiten again :)

I'll have a video on teeth whitening up shortly and will link it then :)

Dial A Smile Professional Whitening Kit
Photo property of Whitening Lightning

If you have naturally white teeth you are very blessed and shouldn’t need to use anything but toothpaste etc to keep them looking good. Everyone is born with different genetics and so their teeth are going to be different too. I would only recommend teeth whitening to those who feel they really need it. My teeth definitely looked discoloured and other people were noticing so I personally wanted to do something about it.

DIY whitening products should not be used by people that have any cracks, damaged enamel, cavities or gum disease so check with your dentist first. Teeth whitening products will not whiten ‘dental caps’ either.

The Australian industry standards as of November, 2011 are LESS than 6% hydrogen peroxide or LESS than 18% carbamide peroxide so you won’t be able to purchase the last three products within Australia or from Australian online stores, they are only available from ebay or overseas sites. A few other countries have guidelines and restrictions like this as well but don’t really enforce them. 

Ultimately the decision is your’s, these products are much weaker than what your dentist will use and send you home with (they can use up to 38%) but because these products are DIY at home, the restrictions are in place in Australia.

Long term use of whitening products is never recommended.


* Results using the ‘DIAL A SMILE’ Whitening Kit

So as I mentioned in my post I was quite happy with the results from the whitening kit, they were very similar to using the crest strips. Unfortunately the results did not seem to last very long at all and within the month my teeth were looking dull again. I have to say I’m not a real coffee or tea drinker or do I eat a lot of highly pigmented foods and I don’t smoke so staining wasn’t a factor.  For a full whitening treatment, I think I will stick to the crest strips.

** I still recommend the Whitening Pen for a great way to touch up.

*** Whitening Lightning now sell a GREEN ‘all natural’ whitening pen called ‘ZERO White Whitening Pen’ for those who do not like the idea of chemicals, I would love to see the results of it myself.

**** Products from the ‘Whitening Lightning’ range will be on offer at one of the Oscars’ glamorous gifting suites this year :)

70% Discount Code, enter  ‘CASSIE70’ at checkout   -
(please note, I am not making any money from any sales, I was sent the 'Whitening Lightning' products to trial and review if I wanted and that's it :) )


Where I got my whitening products:

Bicarbonate of Soda -
Crest Strips - (3D no longer available to purchase in Aust)
Professional Whitening Kit -

My video on Teeth Whitening :)


  1. Thanks for the device that could white teeth.

    Geelong Dentists

  2. Thanks for the great review!
    Do you know any store that sells the crest-strips "offline" within Australia? Or can you only get them from online-shops?

  3. Thanks for sharing these interesting facts on bleaching teeth.

    bleaching teeth

  4. Have you had your teeth re-whitened again after this? Our teeth, no matter how much whitening we do to them, would still yellow eventually. What a bummer! But we can prevent that dreadful moment from coming too soon and keep our pearly whites lasting long. It takes commitment though. We would certainly find brushing, rinsing, and gargling after eating quite tiresome at one point. But we know only those who persevere get rewarded! :] -->Reginald

  5. I have the same question as Reginald. How often should I re-do this to maintain the whitened color of my teeth? It's really dreadful to follow the routine that comes with oral care, but it concerns proper hygiene, and we need to take care of ourselves. I've read that we should avoid drinking coffee and tea and smoking because these stain the teeth, making them yellowish.

    Elfrieda Sevigny

  6. Thanks for trying these different DIY teeth whitening methods and posting about it! I think the most common thing I read about the baking soda + peroxide mix is the gum burn that accompanies the process. But if you really can’t afford the more expensive methods, I guess that’s the way to go.

    @Elfrieda: Yup. That’s why I’m limiting my intake of coffee and have switched to e-cigs to avoid staining. At least e-cigs use vapor and has none of the tar that cigarettes have. I’m telling you, it’s hard to limit coffee intake when you have been drinking at least 2 cups before lunch rolls by.

    Latarsha Ghoston

  7. Most of the time I don’t make comments on blogs, but I want to mention that this post really forced me to do so. Really nice post! It is extremely helpful for me.
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  8. I really love the way information is presented in your post. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.
    teeth whitening fort pierce fl

  9. Yuo , somes say it can be done by your own some say dentist are good , but in my opinion is if you really have a yellowish teeth , you should definitely go see a dentist to get this done . But if your teeth wasn't that bad , DIY teeth whitening is good to go .

    teeth whitening kuala lumpur

  10. Natural remedies like lemon and strawberries didn’t do any wonders for my teeth. Works well at first but the succeeding days…. the result is not clearly visible anymore and stains are still there. Good thing my classmate recommended a cosmetic dentist in Beverly Hills. He takes good care of my teeth.

  11. Great post.. Thanks for sharing such a lovely information with us...

    Teeth Whitening in Mumbai

  12. Very nice article and really love the fact that you have to guide us a platform in which to help people get the Teeth Whitening. Good thing my aunt tried Esteem dental care and she love the dentist for helping her get her teeth whitened.


Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment, it's really appreciated :)


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