I have quite big teeth. It's one of the first things a lot of people notice about me. So when I got married I spent a small fortune on getting them whitened by my dentist. You have your own set of gum shields made and this scary stuff that you squeeze into them every night from what looks like a giant syringe and then the occasional shooting pain of hyper-sensitivity during the day after you've been whitening for a while. But the effects are amazing so I was pleased that I'd done it.
Now although my teeth looked incredibly white and I can just go an buy top ups of the whitening paste for £15 from most dentists I wanted to know if you could get similar results from drug store teeth whitening kits and my husband was the perfect person to try it out on. I cruelly refer to his teeth as brown stumps - they aren't actually very bad but he never goes to the dentist and spent most of his time between the ages of 16 and 30 smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and red wine so they are stained and being a boy, it's never really bothered him that much.
I ordered some gum shields for a couple of pounds from Amazon and decided that I would walk out of my front door and go to the first chemist I found (except the Campbells right at the end of my road... that place is expensive!) and get the most reasonably priced teeth whitening kit I could find. I ended up in Superdrug and for £5.99 I bought a Brilliant 1 Week Tooth Whitening Kit.
If I had my time over I would probably skip buying the gum shields first. Yes you can hold them in hot water and then mold them to your teeth so you feel like every tooth is getting it's very own whitening attention but they aren't actually that easy to mold and in fact the bottom set hardly worked at all. Most teeth whitening kits come with a shield/tray of some sort and I would say that that is good enough to use. You can always dab the whitening paste onto your teeth with your finger before them applying the shield as instructed to make sure every tooth is getting some whitening action.
Now we were supposed to use this for five minutes twice a day but because we were both using it we've just been doing it once for five mins at bath time. I did not expect to see anything impressive and because the gum shields are so unwieldy we spent a lot of those five minutes sniggering and trying not to dribble everywhere but honestly after three days I could see Joe's teeth were at least 1 shade whiter. And so far there hasn't been any of the hyper-senstivity that I got when I was using the overnight whitening process.
I'm a complete convert to at-home whitening. I am pleased that for my wedding I got the full works because now I can just top that up with the drug-store kit when I need to and my teeth look super-white within a couple of days but Joe was never going to spend the time or the money getting his teeth whitened (and I have to say I think men with whitened teeth look a little bit odd) but just to get them a few shades whiter with minimal effort and input from him this kit has been fantastic. If you don't have the budget, or you don't want the hassle of doing this through your dentist or if you are lucky enough to just not need extreme whitening I would really recommend trying one from your local chemist.