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Teeth can make or break a smile, and I for one am constantly searching for products that can whiten my smile a little bit and make it look brighter. The one thing about living in Malaysia is the limited types of teeth-whitening products carried here. Mostly it’s due to health regulations – bleaching agents cannot be more than a certain percentage, or it can’t be sold over-the-counter. Then again, even products with small amounts of bleaching agents are still not sold here. I remember purchasing a Colgate toothpaste mix of baking powder and peroxide from Australia for about AUD4.00 and I just got it from the local supermarket.

I had tried almost every whitening product but they rarely worked. Then again, I don’t have smokers’ teeth, although I do drink a lot of tea. So I thought I’d just stick with regular brushing until I walked into Shins at Midvalley and bought this:

RapidWhite 1 Week System. Picture: Google

Oh boy – before I continue, I must apologize for the lack of actual photos in my post. My camera is busted and the one I received from my boyfriend didn’t come with the correct charger, so I’m stuck both ways. I’m still waiting to get a nice camera but can’t seem to make up my mind on what to get. Any suggestions?

OK – back to the post. This is RapidWhite’s 1 week Tooth Whitening System. It comes with a 3-step system and teeth molds. I’ll go through them one-by-one:

Step 1: Accelerator. A liquid which you spread on your teeth to help accelerate the whitening process.

Step 2: Whitening Gel. It’s a gel that you squeeze out and spread in the teeth mold. You should put this on the ‘front’ part – by that I mean where your teeth would be whitened. The mold fits around your teeth like mouthguards, so just place the gel where you need your teeth whitened.

Step 3: Whitening Toothpaste. Comes right after Step 2. It’s got little blue granules and contains a blend of PVP, polyphospahtes, whitening silicas for gentle abrasion, flouride and mint flavor. It’s safe to use every day.

Now, a step-by-step process:

  1. The molds look like mouth guards. What you need to do is mold them around your teeth shape. To do that, the molds come with convenient tabs which allow you to hold onto them and dip into hot (not boiling) water. The hot water softens the mold and turns it transparent, allowing you to put them in your mouth around your teeth, and mold it around your teeth. Be careful not to shake the mold dry – just lift it out of the cup of hot water, wait for a few seconds to cool, and pop it in your mouth around your teeth. Suck it against your teeth as closely as possible – you want a good, snug mold that fits on your teeth well. A well-molded mold stays in place and keeps the accelerator and gel on the teeth.
  2. You’ll need to wait for a minute or to before the mold hardens again. It becomes translucent, and if you’re unhappy with the molding, just repeat step 1. If you’re OK, cut off the tabs. I didn’t – in fact, I found the tabs useful to help place the molds in my mouth.
  3. Place the whitening gel in the molds. I spread it out and placed it in ‘front’, where my teeth surface would touch and get whitened.
  4. Brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.
  5. Then, use the accelerator. It’s in a lipstick-looking tube with a cotton applicator. Depress the cotton applicator tip to get the liquid running and rub all over the teeth surface. Be careful not to get too much on your gums in case you’re sensitive.
  6. Now, be careful not to close your mouth or you’ll end up washing away the accelerator. Carefully place both the upper and lower molds in your mouth. They should have the whitening gel in them by then.
  7. The instructions tell you to wait for 5-10 minutes. After that, rinse out your mouth and brush with only your toothbrush and water. Then, use the whitening toothpaste provided to brush your teeth again.

Now, the important thing is – does it work?

Before I continue, let me remind again that my teeth isn’t that yellow. However, my canines could use a bit more brightening. This system promises up to 4 shades lighter if you use this consistently 2x a day, for a week. I did this exactly to a T, and even for 10 minutes (in the morning! I really want my teeth white!). You can chart your progress with the whitening chart provided inside.

I must say that I’m pretty impressed. I saw a noticeable brightening of my teeth, especially my canines and overall my teeth became slightly whiter. I didn’t move up the 4 shades but it worked gently and my teeth became more even in terms of tone. Last time I remembered being able to see 2 very different colors on my teeth (the front being whiter than the sides), and after a week, I barely saw the difference unless I looked at it up close.

That being said, my teeth returned to being a bit yellower once I stopped. As with any whitening products and beauty product, you do need to be consistent with this. The advice on the box says not to use it for more than 14 days, which makes sense in case you get too sensitive to the product. I think to use it once in a while to brighten up the teeth is fine, and believe you me, it does work and I think you’ll see the results more drastically if your teeth are quite yellowed. Those with OK teeth, don’t expect Hollywood smiles but expect brighter teeth.

The great thing about this is that it’s completely peroxide-free. Bleach can kill enamel and cause increased sensitivity. My gums were a bit sore but I think it was due to the extra brushing and sometimes the product got on my gums a little. Overall my teeth were fine and brighter.

Shins is selling this and the 2-week set as well. This set is RM89.00, and the 2-week set is RM100+. Looking at online reviews of the 2-week set, which comes with a blue light to ‘accelerate’ the whitening, I’m glad I bought the 1 week set because most people complained that the 2-week set didn’t work to their expectations compared to the 1 week.

When I first bought it, Shins was having a sale and I received a 100ml RapidWhite toothpaste (same as the one in the kit) for free. The 3-step in the box is quite small – around 15 mls? I can’t remember now, but it’s enough for 2 uses.

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