Lifestyle habits can cause stains to build up up on the outside of the teeth and make them look darker than they once were.
This product may make your teeth appear whiter, by removing surface stains.
It will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching can.
Do you want to lift stains from the teeth or cosmetically alter your natural tooth colour?
- It can potentially improve the colour of your teeth by removing stains
- Contains no peroxides
- Low RDA score
- 6 months supply
- Everyone will get different results
- Additional brushing time
Does it actually work?
We understand you want whiter teeth, but this might not be the right product for you.
Tooth whitening is a complex process and every person’s circumstances and results are different (although the adverts and claims from many manufacturers don't make this clear).
This product may work to remove surface stains from your teeth, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth in the same way that professional whitening / bleaching will.
Teeth whitening - a quick explainer
There is a general misunderstanding of how whitening products work, which is why we've covered the topic in detail.
Some products, such as the one being reviewed here, remove stains. This is not the same as professional bleaching carried out by a dentist, and this is where much of the confusion stems from.
Before choosing a product or procedure, it’s important to understand the basics. This small investment of time will save you money and improve your oral health.
Whether opting for a stain removal product or professional bleaching, there are cost-effective options available, which we cover throughout our content.
We encourage you to learn more about teeth whitening, and the following articles (created by our in-house dentist) are a great place to start:
If you're interested in whitening, our overall advice is to visit the dentist before using a whitening product, but you can find a more detailed explanation of this by reading the links shared above.
We've also created this short video, which further explains how stain removal products may not work the way you think:Watch Our Teeth Whitening Video Course
Before & after results
Everyone’s teeth are different.
Our lifestyles, genetics and medical conditions all have an influence on our teeth.
Some people have heavily stained teeth, whilst others do not.
Smirk teeth whitening powder works by removing surface stains and may make your teeth appear whiter, but it will not change the natural colour of your teeth.
The results you achieve by using Smirk will be different to mine.
I have tried many different products and have little to no staining on my teeth.
Because of these circumstances, it would therefore be inaccurate to show before and after images to suggest what results you might get, because simply put, your before and after results may be very different.
However, to give you an idea, visit our teeth whitening before and after page, and you can see the kind of results you can expect from a stain removal product such as this, and the results you can expect from professional bleaching.
Smirk is one of the most expensive whitening powders I have come across.
The suggested sale price is £32.99 but it tends to sell for £24.99 per tub.
Where To Buy
Smirk products, including the teeth brightening powder are primarily sold direct, meaning you need to head to www.getsmirk.com to buy your tub.
It is sometimes possible to purchase it from other marketplaces like Amazon.
I am not aware of any high street stores like the major supermarkets or chemists stocking this product.
Taste, Packaging etc
Smirk name this product on their website, teeth whitening powder.
However, in the product images and when you receive it, the name on the container is brightening powder. It is the same thing, no need to be concerned..
The powder comes packaged in a plastic tub, which itself is then within a small cardboard box.
The packaging has an eye-catching logo and is centred around a purple and white colour scheme.
You might be seeing the hands-on images of Smirk product and thinking it looks familiar.
In case you are, and for a little extra insight, Smirk is sold by a company called Smiles Powder UK Ltd.
Previously, Smirk was known as Smiles tooth whitening powder, but in April 2018 the company undertook a rebranding exercise in preparation for launching an extended range of products that they now offer under the Smirk brand.
The actual ingredients of the powder and its performance have not altered as part of the rebranding. So, if you previously bought and have used Smiles teeth brightening powder, the new Smirk labelled product is identical.
Each tub of Smirk weighs in at 40g.
The white plastic tub has a grey flip up lid that is held in place by a small plastic clip. Release the clip to release the lid.
Once opened, on first use, you will be presented with a foil seal. This keeps the powder in the tub during shipping as well as keeping it safe and free from moisture.
Remove the foil seal to access the pale blue coloured powder.
There is no use-by date on the product, but there is a 24m icon, which suggests this should last 24 months from the date it is opened.
Unlike a toothpaste, this powder has a dry consistency. The intention is that you wet the head of your toothbrush and dip it into the powder, so the tips of the bristles are lightly coated in it.
Where with a toothpaste you use a pea-sized amount, you just need a light coating on the bristle tips with this powder.
Once the brush head is coated, close the lid on the tub and begin brushing.
A point to note is that you want to be careful not to get your toothbrush too wet before dipping in the powder. Excess water can drip into the powder and cause it to clump.
Whilst there is little risk of this, being a powder, if you don’t close the lid or handle the tub properly there is a chance it will come out, making a bit of a mess.
Personally I am more a fan of pastes. Powders can taste a bit gritty or dry.
Smirk was not gritty but a little dry for the first few seconds of brushing, until it had properly mixed with saliva.
It has a mild mint flavour when you brush. It does not leave quite as zingy and fresh a feeling as some other products do.
During brushing the powder foamed a bit, but it was not excessive and I certainly felt like my teeth were clean after use.
I experienced no sensitivity or reactions to the powder either. Should you do so, stop using and consult a dentist.
Smirk recommend that to achieve optimal results, you should brush for 2-4 minutes with an electric toothbrush once or twice a week.
Be aware that this is in addition to your normal twice daily brushing routine.
So where you should normally brush for 4 minutes in total per day (2 x 2 minute sessions) on 1 or 2 days of the week, you will brush for at least another 2 minutes, possibly 4 minutes extra.
It is suggested to use Smirk before using your regular toothpaste.
Whitening toothpastes or powders rarely contain any product that will bleach or stain the teeth a lighter/brighter shade of white than they are naturally.
The makeup of the powder is such that the ingredients are designed to be slightly abrasive and effective at cleaning away the stains that exist on the outside surface of the teeth.
By removing the stains that were dulling or discolouring your natural teeth, they become/appear whiter because they are in essence cleaner.
You should know that the actual natural tooth colour has not changed.
On a few occasions the waste mix that I spat out was discoloured and looked as if it was really removing those elements that would otherwise leave stains on the teeth. I do get this with my regular toothpaste also, though, so I am not sure if Smirk was any better.
A full list of ingredients are included in the ingredients section of this review, but it is the Pentasodium Triphosphate that is one of the key inclusions here, as it is clinically proven to help remove surface stains and can help this powder achieve good results for some people.
There is no fluoride, which is often a recommendation from dentists and health professionals and this might be in part why the suggestion is made to use Smirk as an additional product within your brushing routine.
If you then use a fluoride based paste you get the protection that Smirk does not offer.
Whilst Smirk is a powder rather than a paste, it is worth noting that a recent test conducted by the team of the TV programme Supershoppers found that there is little difference between the amount of stains removed by a whitening toothpaste compared to a regular toothpaste.
When you consider that Smirk is about 10 times the cost of a regular tube of toothpaste and there is the potential it will be no more effective, that is a lot of extra money to spend.
There is 6 month’s supply in the tub, so you could argue that you get more value that way, but I believe there are more cost-effective options out there that might deliver equivalent results.
If you follow the recommendation of Smirk, you do also end up brushing your teeth for an extra 2-8 minutes per week, depending on how often you use the powder and how long you brush for.
I can’t help but wonder, spend the same additional time brushing with your normal toothpaste and might you get similar stain removal results?
In our article on the best whitening toothpastes, our own in-house dentist Dr Chhaya Chauhan explains that a regular toothpaste is essentially just as effective for most people as specialist whitening toothpastes and powders.
As a result, if you want to remove stains from your teeth, you may want to ensure you are using a good toothpaste and brushing correctly before buying more premium cleaning (or whitening) products like Smirk.
By using a good brushing technique, you can ensure you are achieving the best results without needing to spend more on tooth whitening (stain removal) products.
The ingredients within the Smirk teeth brightening powder are:
Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate, Strontium Chloride Hexahydrate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract & Aqua & Glycerine (Green Tea), Mentha Piperita (Peppermint), Saccharin, Pentasodium, Triphosphate & Allantoin.
Smirk’s teeth whitening powder causes little in the way of safety concerns.
Toothpastes and powders can be tested and ranked on a scale to show how abrasive they are.
This scale is called the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA). Many brands will have conducted tests or know how abrasive their product is.
Smirk does not actively market this rating (few brands do), and whilst this might not be essential to your decision it is interesting to understand it, as many of your standard off-the-shelf products are more abrasive than you might think.
So where does Smirk sit?
It is a ‘mild abrasive’ according to the packaging.
On the scale it is rated at 70. This puts it at the lower and essentially safer end, which is a good thing.
Follow their guidelines of using it just 1 or 2 times a week to avoid doing any unnecessary long term damage to your teeth.
You should always have regular dental checkups to ensure your teeth are healthy. You should stop using and speak to your dentist should you have any sensitivity or concerns as a result of using the product.
There is a physical address and website address on the packaging. On the website there is a contact form, email address and telephone number, which is good to see also. This is better than many, so you can contact Smiles, the company behind Smirk, if required.
Is it eco-friendly?
Smirk is not sold as or suggested to be an eco-friendly product.
The powder is placed within a plastic tub, which is shipped inside a small cardboard box.
Whilst the box can be recycled, it is unlikely that the plastic tub can be.
There are limited applications for reusing the tub.
The plastic tub is somewhat understandable as it stops the powder inside getting damp, which is a risk given the environments it is used within.
Potentially a glass jar or container could be used as an alternative in the future — at least this can be recycled with more ease if required.
Other whitening products from Smirk
The full product range available from Smirk at the time of review is:
- Teeth whitening/brightening powder (being reviewed here)
- Teeth whitening collection
- Includes the teeth whitening box, whitening strips and brightening powder
- Teeth whitening box
- Includes 3 x 3ml syringes of whitening gel, LED light, silicon mouth tray
- Smirk refills
- 3 x 3ml syringes of whitening gel
- Teeth whitening strips
- Teeth whitening system
- Includes teeth brightening powder and whitening strips
Aside from the powder being reviewed here, I have not completed hands-on testing with any of their other products.
My research suggests that these are just stain removal products also and will not change the natural tooth colour.
The teeth whitening box, which is very similar to the HiSmile teeth whitening kit, might be the only exception.
The gels provided contain sodium chlorite, a product often used in industrial processes such as food processing and paper whitening. When mixed with the other acidic ingredients the chlorite creates a bleaching agent that in theory helps whiten the teeth, rather than just remove stains.
US Pharmacist specifically calls out sodium chlorite as ‘troublesome’.
Whilst short term use should do little damage, continued/long term use can have negative effects on the tooth enamel, like any acidic product can.
Significant whitening effects are still unlikely, when compared to dentist provided peroxides.
What we would like to see improved
For the most part, the improvements we would like to see Smirk make are the same improvements we desire of all brands selling teeth whitening products.
We wish for them to be clearer about the differences between stain removal and tooth bleaching, for the benefit of their customers.
Smirk does quite frequently mention that their products remove stains, which is good to see and better than most other companies that are not so clear.
However, it is the potential buyers who are not always aware of the differences and don’t know if they have staining or not.
If your teeth are stain free before using any of these ‘whitening’ products then you won’t achieve a whitening effect as there are no stains to remove.
Smirk suggest that their teeth whitening box can achieve a smile that is 5 shades whiter in just 5 days. Whilst this might be true in some instances, it will certainly not apply to all. Stain free teeth or those that have already been professionally whitened or have crowns, veneers or dentures, will never achieve such results. Therefore, adding some sort of caveat would be helpful.
Ratings / Conclusion
As we’ve mentioned in the results section, it’s difficult for us (or anybody else) to systematically test numerous whitening products.
For this reason, we have chosen to omit star ratings.
However, below you can find a summary of our closing thoughts.
Smirk teeth whitening and brightening powder is a stain removal product and a fairly expensive one at that.
When you consider that a tube of regular toothpaste is about 10 times cheaper than Smirk, I know where I would rather spend my cash.
Our in-house dentist Dr Chhaya Chauhan has explained that a normal toothpaste used in conjunction with a good toothbrush and brushing routine will likely achieve similar results to specialist whitening pastes and powders.
Last year the TV show Supershoppers also published findings that regular toothpastes achieve similar results to specialist whitening toothpastes.
- Does it contain peroxides?
- Will it whiten my crowns, veneers, fillings or dentures?
- No. It can only whiten (by removing external stains) the natural teeth.
- What does it taste like?
- It has a very mild mint flavour, quite subtle.
- How does it work?
- The ingredients, loosen and remove the bacteria and toxins that cause the tooth staining to leave your teeth whiter and brighter.
- How much should I use?
- Just enough to coat the tips of the brush bristles. Do this no more than 1-2 times per week.
- How long should I brush for?
- It is advised to brush for 2-4 minutes and to use an electric toothbrush for best results.
- Does it hurt?
- I had no sensitivity, pain or side effects from using Smirk. Should you should gain additional sensitivity or side effects as a result of using it, stop doing so and consult a dentist.
- How long does it last?
- It lasts for approximately 6 months, based on 1 user using once or twice a week.
- Is it safe? / Does it damage the enamel on my teeth?
- Smirk would suggest so. They do state it is abrasive and should not be used daily, hence the advice to use just 1-2 times per week. It has an RDA score of 70, which is low.
Do you own or have you used the Smirk teeth brightening powder?
Are there certain things that you really like or dislike?
Let me and other readers of this article know what you think, by commenting below. Your feedback and opinions are incredibly valuable.
Last updated: 2019-09-19 at 00:53 // Source: Amazon Associates