- HiSmile is an at-home, DIY teeth whitening kit that claims to brighten smiles in as little as ten minutes. According to the manufacturer, users should expect to achieve maximum results in six whitening applications.
- HiSmile kits are growing in popularity due to Instagram marketing and endorsements from celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Conor McGregor.
- While this online tooth whitening product is trending with millennials, cosmetic dentists say it may or may not provide you with your desired results.
At-home smile and teeth brightening products are among the many aesthetic treatments currently fueled by celebrity endorsements and social media. The HiSmile at-home teeth whitening kit is near the top of the list of the most buzzworthy tools, claiming to brighten all shades of tooth enamel safely, quickly, and effectively.
Marketed as a safe, convenient, effective, and vegan-friendly tooth whitening option, HiSmile has undeniably been making waves.
However, when patients look past the celebrity gossip and trending hashtags, do they find the product useful? What do dentists think about its effectiveness — and are there better whitening options available?
In this article, we highlight the advantages and disadvantages of HiSmile to help you determine whether a starter kit may be right for you.
What is HiSmile?
HiSmile is a DIY tooth whitening kit sold online. The product is designed to allow patients to brighten their smile in the comfort of their homes. According to the manufacturer’s website, your enamel will begin to look whiter during the first 10-minute application, with more noticeable results by the second day.
The process is formulated for a total of six daily 10-minute applications. Each syringe of whitening gel contains a mixture of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and sodium chlorite, but is free of hydrogen peroxide. The ingredients also include pomegranate, aloe vera, and chamomile — all components said to act as natural light activators.
Once you treat your teeth with the kit, the company claims your smile could be up to eight shades whiter.
How much does it cost?
The basic HiSmile whitening kit costs about $60 and provides the necessary tools and gel whitening treatments to get patients started. While HiSmile claims that the results are fast and long-lasting, they also recommend that you regularly apply weekly gel refills to maintain your desired level of brightness.
These refills cost around $24 for a pack of three, but you may be able to save some money by purchasing a monthly subscription at just over $16 per month.
The HiSmile online store also offers whitening pens, coconut mouthwash, and a minty whitening toothpaste to help prolong your results. You can buy these additional products individually or in a bundle along with the whitening kits.
How does HiSmile work?
Once you order your kit, it will arrive at your door through the mail. Each starter box of HiSmile contains:
- Three syringes of whitening gel (enough for six to nine complete whitening applications, with two to three applications per syringe)
- A patented rubber mouth tray
- An LED light attachment
- A brief set of instructions and a visual results guide
HiSmile recommends that you start by using ¼ of the syringe on the top tray and ¼ on the bottom tray, for a total of half a syringe used for each application. You may want to reduce the amount of gel slightly during subsequent applications if you feel there is too much on the mouthpiece.
Once you’ve applied the whitening gel to the patented mouth guard, place the tray into the LED light attachment. Hold the light attachment in your mouth for 10 minutes, and the process is complete. Follow these steps daily for five consecutive days for best results.
What are the benefits?
Since there is no hydrogen peroxide in the HiSmile formula, the manufacturer claims there is no pain or sensitivity while using their product. For this reason, it may be a viable solution for patients who want a whiter smile but find their teeth too sensitive for hydrogen peroxide.
One of the key qualities of HiSmile is that it is vegan-friendly. It also claims to be a safe, convenient, easy, and natural formula.
The manufacturer offers a 30-day money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied, which is something that you rarely get with other teeth whitening tools.
What are the downsides?
While every patient is different, the combination of sodium bicarbonate and sodium chlorite in HiSmile whitening gel is thought to be relatively harmless.
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Duncan of Aesthetic Dentistry of Georgetown in Georgetown, TX, says that, in general, patients with a healthy mouth can consider giving a home whitening kit like HiSmile a try. “The materials in [HiSmile] are relatively safe, so it is unlikely to do much, if any, damage.”
However, you should always use caution with LED lights around the mouth. Any light around your sensitive oral cavity has the potential to cause burning. Avoid overexposure by using the product only as directed.
Ask your dentist about using HiSmile if you have gum disease or sores in your oral cavity. Minimal research on the internet is not sufficient to conclude with certainty that you will or will not experience side effects, or discomfort as a result of sensitivity, while using the product.
Consult with a cosmetic dentist if you are susceptible to gum or tooth irritation.
How does it compare to other teeth whitening options?
In making your decision of whether to try HiSmile products, it is important to know how the formula and process compares to other teeth whitening products on the market.
While Dr. Donald Wilcox of Desert Smiles in Glendale, AZ, has not used the product, he does maintain that whitening products that do not include hydrogen peroxide do not have the same long-term, proven track record. “Hydrogen peroxide is produced naturally by our bodies. Products using hydrogen peroxide for bleaching have been proven over several decades to be effective and safe.”
If you are wary about HiSmile’s effectiveness and prefer something proven to give you whiter teeth, the dentist recommends a few other products.
“Opalescence Go is a product sold in dental offices consisting of stock trays that mold to the patient’s teeth,” says Wilcox. “It is less costly than custom tray bleaching. Crest Whitestrips are effective for many patients, but not as easy to use as the stock or custom tray techniques.”
Should you try HiSmile?
Since there are so many new and different products on the market, the jury is still out on most DIY whitening kits.
Dr. Craig Carlson of 5 Star Dental Group in San Antonio, does not personally recommend HiSmile to his patients. “Only about half of the people who use HiSmile see results. I expect much better than 50% from the teeth whitening options I offer my patients, so I generally wouldn’t recommend it.”
While some doctors think at-home whitening products are merely knocked-down versions of in-office whitening, Wilcox is one of the providers who thinks that products like HiSmile do have merit. “All teeth relapse color-wise over time. The beauty of having custom trays or home whitening alternatives is [that it is easy] to do touch ups whenever you want.”
On the other hand, Wilcox cautions that HiSmile does not include the same materials that are used in professional whitening protocols, meaning that you may not be happy with its effectiveness.
“In the end, it depends on why the teeth are not the pearly white color in the first place,” says Wilcox. “Some teeth are internally stained, [so using teeth whitening products will] amount to a waste of time and money. Some have failing restorations, and [teeth whitening products] may allow it to get worse. [Others] are likely to respond and get brighter, too.”
Talking to your dentist
If you are concerned about effectiveness or expect to see a dramatic difference in the shade of your teeth, consider your mouth health as well as your budget.
You can also make an appointment to see what your dentist thinks of treatments like HiSmile and what type of in-office options are available.
If your mouth is healthy, Duncan says, your doctor will likely provide you with a list of in-office options or recommend a home whitening kit. “Your teeth will probably brighten more if we were to take the time to use a professional whitening system, but this [home whitening] is not a bad option if you do not want to invest the time or money in a professional system.”