Whitening Sensitive Teeth at Home for Your Best Smile

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Enter now to win an at-home teeth whitening kit from Smile Brilliant!

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In Which I Discover a New Product: Smile Brilliant

So far in life, I’ve avoided the embarrassment of a student saying, “Teacher, your teeth are yellow.” But, I have wondered about teeth whitening systems—especially since I enjoy a cup of coffee (or two) on a daily basis, and drink herb teas. When Ashley, from Smile Brilliant, reached out to me to ask if I’d like to do a blog collaboration with her company, I thought, “Why not?”

In exchange for an at-home teeth whitening kit, I agreed to write a blog post about my experience and to post about it on social media. So, here’s my story. First of all, I’m a bad student—Ashley has graciously put up with all of my other deadlines and teacher-related things that prevented me from holding up my end of the bargain in a timely manner.

Second, Smile Brilliant has a cracker-jack customer service (including Ashley) program. The brochures and emails explained exactly how to go through the teeth-whitening process, from creating the molds to using the product.

The first step involves a quick survey to determine what kind of teeth you have—I classified mine as sensitive, so Ashley suggested that I use their product for sensitive teeth. A box comes in the mail with everything necessary for creating the molds and whitening one’s teeth. They even include an extra tray in case you mess up (which I did on the first mold).

One advantage to the at-home system involves drool. Yes, drool. For some reason, the casting process made me drool copious amounts—something that would have embarrassed me a lot in the dentist’s office just made me laugh at home.

The Whitening Process

Once I’d completed the molds, I popped them in the mail in the pre-paid mailer. I love it when companies give attention to detail like this—our small-town post office has limited hours. Smile Brilliant offers discounts to customers who might want to order two sets of trays—I didn’t see the point in this until after I’d started the whitening process. It’s a great offer, so you might want to consider it. They also have a discount on additional whitening product if purchased at the time of sending in the tray molds.

Two weeks later, I received the trays in the mail—they come in a nice plastic carrying case. I confess that it took me awhile to get started with the process, but once I did, it worked like a charm. Whitening involves a two-step process that’s repeated daily (more or less) over a period of several weeks.

I found that using a Q-tip to apply petroleum jelly to my gums kept me from tasting the product. Not that is has a bad taste, it’s just not chocolate! The instructions directed me to start for 30 minutes, and to work my way up to several hours.

After wearing the trays with the whitening gel, you’ll need to rinse and dry the trays before applying the desensitizing gel. This is where having two sets of trays would come in handy.

Enter TODAY to win a FREE at-home teeth whitening kit from Smile Brilliant! #smilefearlessly #smilebrilliant Click To Tweet

The Custom Fit

Because Smile Brilliant customizes the trays to fit your mouth, they fit like a glove (ok, a weird analogy for one’s teeth, but you get the picture). Sometimes, conversations sounded a little funky, but I could easily converse with others.

Smile Brilliant claims that you can carry on with your normal life whilst wearing the trays. Although I wouldn’t advocate wearing them when speaking in front of a large audience, I had no problems wearing them during my aerobics class, walking, hiking, running, and birding.

The trays keep the whitening gel and desensitizing gel where they belong, and comfortably on your teeth.

Does it Work?

YES! It does! Smile Brilliant suggests that during the whitening process, customers should forego things like coffee, tea, and berries. Did I mention that I’m a bad student? I read that piece of advice after I had finished whitening my teeth.

Despite my failure to read all the suggestions, my teeth looked noticeably whiter by the end of the process. I had just had my teeth cleaned three months prior to using Smile Brilliant’s whitening system, so I wondered if my teeth would actually get whiter. They did!

Here are the before and after photos:My whiter, brighter smile after using at at-home teeth whitening kit from Smile Brilliant.

So, if you’ve thought about whitening your teeth, and wondered whether to invest in whitening strips or a procedure at the dentist’s office, Smile Brilliant has a great alternative. You’ll get custom-fitting trays, a great product, superior customer service, and above all, a brighter smile!

ENTER TO WIN Your Own Teeth-Whitening Kit!
COUPON & GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
15% off coupon code: blessedbutstressed15
Giveaway link: www.smilebrilliant.com/g/blessedbutstressed

The giveaway is for a $149 Smile Brilliant credit. It is open for 1 week (closes on June 12) and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents.

Self-care for Caregivers is NOT an Oxymoron

Caregiver Connections: Self-Care Link up

self-careCaregiver Self-Care is NOT an Oxymoron

If you’re deep in the throes of caregiving, you probably hear the, ‘Take time to care for yourself,’ advice from multiple people. It sounds like an oxymoron. Who’s got time for that?

Join the 5-Day Self-Care Challenge for Caregivers. Learn how to take care of yourself so you can take care of your loved one. #caregiver #selfcareYou shake your head and let the suggestion roll off your already drooping shoulders. Who has time for ONE MORE THING when a loved one’s life hangs in the balance?

Maybe you care for someone whose disease moves in agonizing increments, one stolen memory at a time. Your caregiving tasks might seem so light that you don’t notice the build-up of burden. And so you don’t think you NEED to give yourself any special attention.

Trust me, you STILL need to practice healthy self-care. Caregivers risk endangering both their physical and mental health when they fail to take care of themselves. I know. It happened to me. During my husband’s cancer journey, I failed to take care of myself.

Sure, I cashed in on a massage gift certificate that some kind soul gave me. One visit to the massage therapist in a year-long caregiving stint does not equal self-care. I quit exercising and started drowning my sorrows in eBay therapy (if anyone ever comments on the number of Longaberger baskets in my house, I might shrug and say that I like baskets. Now you know the real reason). When eBay therapy wouldn’t suffice, I’d try Häagan Dazs® therapy.

I should have joined a support group. That would have provided a much-needed self-care element to my life. And I never should have given up on exercise (although stress seemed like the perfect excuse for giving up something I didn’t like very much to begin with).

The third Wednesday of each month we’ll share our stories and advice about caregiver self-care. Don’t let anyone convince you that the term ‘caregiver self-care’ is an oxymoron. It’s something that we need to systematically build into our caregiver journeys in order to avoid things like caregiver PTSD and compassion fatigue.

I Challenge YOU!

I challenge you to take care of yourself! It’s so important to really take care of ourselves, even when a loved one is in crisis. If you’re interested in finding out more, join the 5-day Self-Care Challenge for Caregivers. It’s free, it’s easy, and in just 25 minutes a day (NOT all at the same time), you can take proactive steps to caring for yourself.

Sign up to the take the 5-day Self-Care Challenge for #caregivers. YOU need to stay healthy in order to care for others! Click To Tweet

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Join the 5-Day Self-Care Challenge for Caregivers and start taking care of YOU!

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Guidelines

In order to make this link up user friendly AND pertinent to caregivers and their needs, please make sure that what you link up follows the guidelines for the week. This week is for SELF-CARE FOR CAREGIVERS. If you aren’t sure if your link is appropriate, feel free to email me at anita at blessedbutstressed dot com and ask!

We will delete links that aren’t on topic in order to keep the link up a true community resource. We WILL contact you first and let you know that we will remove your link. For non-caregiving related links, we invite you to participate in the Inspire Me Monday link up over at www.anitaojeda.com.

By linking up, you agree to receive weekly reminders about the link up.

Do look for the caregiver boards on Pinterest.

Do link up more than one post!

Join our Facebook community, too! It’s easy, just click that button over on the right! —->

Community Spotlight

This week’s spotlight shines on Dr. Michelle Bengtson, a neuropsychologist, writer, and caregiver. She interviewed a dementia caregiver, and in this post, the caregiver shares resources for dementia caregivers. Make sure you check out both the article and Dr. Bengtson’s blog!

Link up Schedule:

1st Wednesday of the month: Caregiver Stories

2nd Wednesday of the month: Resources

3rd Wednesday of the month: Caregiver Self-care

4th Wednesday of the month: Caregiver Encouragement

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The Dangers of Neglecting Self-Care for Caregivers

Taking Care of Yourself isn't Selfish or Indulgent

self-careNeglecting Yourself Can Lead to Weight Gain

I learned the lesson the hard way. When my husband had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma with central nervous system involvement, I didn’t take care of myself. I spent all of my energies taking care of him, trying to keep up with my job, and parent our two young children. As a result, I gained 50 pounds. Those extra 50 pounds hung around and made other aspects of my life more difficult.

self-careWhen Pedro first received his diagnosis, I had just started an exercise program after moving to a new home, new job, and a new state. For the first few months, I kept on exercising. But as his cancer progressed, I used my busyness as an excuse to avoid exercising. Instead, I should have made a firm commitment to exercise vigorously for at least thirty minutes a day. The exercise would have helped regulate my emotions as well as provided a boost to my immune system and metabolism.

During my second caregiver journey (when our college-age daughter had to move home to deal with an undiagnosed mental illness), I made a point to exercise regularly. I managed to not gain weight NOR to turn to overeating as a way to cope with the angst of caregiving.

Overeating often acts as a corrollary to not exercising. During Pedro’s illness I convinced myself (an easy task), that I deserved to eat whatever I wanted to. After all, I had put my life on hold to take care of my husband. I had earned the right to indulge.

This attitude did nothing for my health. It added to my stress as I rapidly went through my wardrobe and had to continue purchasing larger and larger sizes.

Your Attitude about Self-care Makes all the Difference

I discovered during my second caregiving journey the difference making a commitment to self-care could make in my experince. Instead of indulging myself with “I deserve to eat this” statements, I nourised myself with “I only want to feed my body good things” statements.

When I wanted to curl up in a ball of frustration over another argument with my daughter, I chose to go for a run or a long walk instead. I discovered that walking and running (without music or headphones) helped me process my angry, bewildered, frustrated, and unproductive emotions.

These two attitudes—eating to nourish myself and exercising to process emotions—kept me from gaining weight or suffering from caregiver PTSD.

Caregivers who don't take care of themselves soon run out of fuel. #caregiverptsd #caregiver #self-care Click To Tweet

Guidelines

In order to make this link up user friendly AND pertinent to caregivers and their needs, please make sure that what you link up follows the guidelines for the week. This week is for SELF-CARE ADAVICE FOR CAREGIVERS (if your self-care advice has a story wrapped around it, that’s fine). If you aren’t sure if your link is appropriate, feel free to email me at anita at blessedbutstressed dot com and ask!

We will delete links that aren’t on topic in order to keep the link up a true community resource. We WILL contact you first and let you know that we will remove your link. For non-caregiving related links, we invite you to participate in the Inspire Me Monday link up over at www.anitaojeda.com.

By linking up, you agree to receive weekly reminders about the link up.

Do look for the caregiver boards on Pinterest

Do link up more than one post!

Join our Facebook community, too! It’s easy, just click that button over on the right! —->

Community Spotlight

This week’s community spotlight shines on Martha Grimm Brady. She cares for her husband, who suffers from stroke symptoms. This past October she wrote a series on self-care for caregivers on her blog, Gritty Grace. Take a few minutes to visit Martha and read the great advice she has to share.

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