On Cancer, Teeth and Insecurities – Smile Brilliant
This post was sponsored by Smile Brilliant. All opinions are my own!
I am always hesitant to write about my experiences with cancer on my blog, mainly because there are many who don’t understand why I have to keep writing/talking about something that happened to me 9 years ago. But, when something that life changing happens to you, no matter how long ago, it stays with you. It changes who you are and who you are becoming. And no matter how long ago it happened, there are still side effects that I deal with every. single. day.
It has been a constant journey for me to figure out where the line is with my cancer. I do not want cancer to define me, but I do want it to be a part of my definition. Everything that I am and everything that I believe in today is a result of my Osteosarcoma. So thank you for your patience and kindness as I continue to work on that balance here on LWR.
As I said, I deal with the side effects of cancer every day of my life, from bad knee days to insecurities from the way my body was changed from my treatment. One of the biggest things I have dealt with in the last few years is the way my chemotherapy ruined my teeth. Long story short, chemo kills fast growing cells but cannot differentiate from good cells and bad cells. I often was left no white blood cells to fight off infection, causing a lot of bacteria in my mouth to form and cause damage. My enamel was softened and my teeth turned very yellow and when I went to my dentist at the beginning of the year for my yearly cleaning, he found 13 cavities. I’ve been so self conscious about my teeth and hate how yellow they looked in pictures. And of course, I’ve never had the money to go to a dentist and get them whitened professionally, so I’ve just tried my hardest to smile with my mouth closed in any important pictures.
I was thrilled when Smile Brilliant approached me at the end of the summer and asked if I would be willing to try out their at-home teeth whitening service. I was willing to try anything to get my teeth looking just a tad bit more white! They immediately sent me a kit to get started.
Smile Brillant is a really neat system in that it allows you to create a custom-fitted tray to your teeth to apply the whitening gel! This is unique because normally you can only find this kind of tray at the dentist office. It was really easy to use; I simply mixed the paste to create the mold, placed it in the tray and bit down on it for a few minutes. Then, when the paste started to harden, I pulled the tray out and placed them in the envelope and mailed it off to Smile Brilliant. The whole process took me 20 minutes and was so easy and simple!
About a week later, Smile Brilliant sent me my custom-fitted trays! These are so beneficial because this allows the whitening gel to be applied directly to my teeth without getting all over the place. And, it’s super comfortable to wear; I would often forget that I was wearing them while I was doing chores around the house!
For those of you with sensitive teeth, fear not! Smile Brilliant has a desensitizing gel that you apply for 10 minutes before you whiten and 10 minutes after. This helps protect your gums and teeth from any pain. I have a pretty sensitive mouth, but I experienced NO sensitivity when I used the desensitizing gel!
Okay, so here’s the proof in the pudding. Below is the before picture, taken in natural sunlight and not edited at all. Yes, it’s quite scary for me to show everyone how terrible my teeth were; they were this yellow.
And here is the after photo, again taken in natural light with NO editing.
This picture was taken after completing 5 applications of the whitening gel (I had to go slow since I am prone to mouth sores and needed to take some time between whitening). What does something like this cost? I called around my local dentist offices and the lowest price I got for teeth whitening was $430.00. The Smile Brilliant tray kit (which comes with three tubes of whitening gel-good for 3-4 applications each) is $119.00. That is a HUGE price difference and something I feel is more reasonable for people like me.
I feel like I can finally smile and not be thinking about my teeth and that I can take photos feeling confident. Cancer, you may have taken many things from me, but today, I am taking my teeth back. I will no longer let them make me feel insecure.
If you want more information on Smile Brilliant, check out this video and their site!
Have you ever tried any teeth whitening products? What’s something that you are insecure about that you are wanting to take back?