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Total Radiance Teeth Whitening Pen Review: What You Need to Know

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white radiance teeth whitener
Whitening pens are becoming more popular for their convenience.

Have you been looking for a more objective review of the Total Radiance teeth whitening pen? You may have noticed that online there isn't a whole lot of information about this product. In fact, the company is listed as out of business by the Better Business Bureau. Nonetheless, the product is still available for sale online. So, we are going to take a more in-depth look at the Total Radiance teeth whitening pen in order to answer a few important questions:

  • Is Radiance teeth whitening safe to use?
  • How does it work?
  • Is it effective?
  • How does it compare to other teeth whitening products?

So, let's take a look at exactly what the Total Radiance whitening system is, how it works, and whether or not it will be a good buy to improve your dental aesthetics.

Radiance teeth whitening kit

First though, there's something to clarify quickly before we begin. You may have noticed that there is both a site for Total Radiance whitening and Radiance whitening. Well, it seems that Total Radiance rebranded to Radiance whitening at some point but maintained the original website as well as another new one. More importantly, you may have noticed on one website that there are both pens and whitening tray kits available.

The kit contains carbamide peroxide, which is a known whitening agent and should, in theory, be effective. However, there isn't much information on that product and the price really isn't that competitive. That's why in this review we are only focusing on the pen.

If you are interested in a kit, you can check out our top picks here. Among these, one of our top recommendations is Snow.

Right off the bat, we can tell you that Snow is easily available and has lots of positive customer feedback. Snow is a bit more expensive than other whitening products, but it really does deliver professional results at home. A kit comes with a whole year of whitening serum (and a five-year warranty), plus you are able to later buy refills for the serum and continue to use the same equipment. This means that as you continue to use Snow, the total price you pay per treatment becomes fairly low compared to other kits.

If you want to know more, you can check out their website or read our full review here.

Now, because we're here to talk about Total Radiance, let's get into it.

Is it safe to use the Radiance teeth whitening pen?

Generally speaking, the ADA says similar whitening treatments can be carried out safely and effectively, both professionally and in some cases at home, but are not an option for all patients. Some people who should think twice about whitening include:

  • People with already sensitive teeth
  • Women who are pregnant
  • People with dental work on their front teeth (may not whiten evenly)
  • Children under 12 years old
total radiance teeth whitening walmart
Whitening treatment can increase tooth sensitivity.

Total Radiance is a fairly new product on the market, so there haven't been many studies on long-term use and side effects. That said, by looking at the ingredient list we can get a fairly good idea of what effects it may have. These are pretty standard ingredients for whitening products, so there's no reason to believe that this one is inherently dangerous.

However, as we will soon see, it's a strong formula and users should be careful not to use it too frequently. Really this can be said of many whitening products. Whitening has drawbacks. It can often make your teeth more sensitive and even more vulnerable to damage for a short time after treatment. Overuse of whitening products may also damage your tooth enamel.

Despite these potential negative effects, the ADA does in fact endorse some (not many) at-home whitening products. The Total Radiance teeth whitener is not among those products, but neither are many popular whitening kits.

For a closer look at the risks and effectiveness of teeth whitening, watch this video from popular Youtube periodontist Dr. Joe Nemeth.

Total Radiance whitening review

Total Radiance is a teeth whitening pen used to apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth. We'll get into all the ingredients a bit later, but the gel's main active ingredient is carbamide peroxide, common among teeth whitening products. This compound is used to dissolve stains on the surface of the teeth (extrinsic discoloration), which are often the result of drinking tea and coffee or smoking.

Contents ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars)

The Total Radiance teeth whitening pen.

The Total Radiance pen includes just that: the whitening pen. One pen is meant to contain 30 days worth of gel, though it is recommended to use both as a full treatment and for touching up specific spots. Therefore, how long a pen lasts will of course depend on the frequency of its use.

Without any trays, lights, or other gadgets, maybe it's not the most exciting teeth whitening kit you'll receive in the mail. However, there is something to be said for a simple and straightforward product, so the contents get four stars from us.

Ingredients ★★★☆☆ (3/5 stars)

The ingredients for the whitening gel include:

  • Propylene glycol
  • Glycerine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Urea peroxide
  • Carbomer
  • Triethanolamine
  • Flavoring
  • Menthol
  • Disodium EDTA
  • Carbamide peroxide (36%)

These ingredients are pretty standard in whitening products, but the concentration of carbamide peroxide does stand out as fairly high. Many other whitening kits have somewhere between a 5% and 20% concentration.

It makes sense that Total Radiance would have a greater amount of carbamide peroxide because it is meant to be a very fast-acting gel. However, that high concentration combined with hydrogen peroxide also in the gel means that you might want to be careful with how often you use this product. Especially if you have sensitive teeth, overuse of this gel could lead to some serious discomfort.

Ease of use ★★★★★ (5/5 stars)

Treatment is very simple. First, twist the base of the applicator until the gel begins to appear on the tip. Then use the pen to paint whitening gel on the surface of your teeth. After application, the gel needs to dry, so they recommend smiling for a full 60 seconds to keep your mouth and tongue from touching the gel while it's still wet. After about five minutes you should rinse your mouth out and avoid eating or drinking anything but water for another hour.

In comparison with other treatments that require you to keep a tray in your mouth for 10 or 20 minutes, this is a lot easier to incorporate into your routine. As teeth lovers, we also like the fact that part of the treatment is to smile for a whole minute!

Results ★★☆☆☆ (2/5 stars)

Does Total Radiance really make your teeth more white?

The Total Radiance teeth whitening pen promises a brighter white smile after a single treatment. On their website you can see some before and after pictures that clearly show improvement from yellow, stained teeth to pearly whites. Of course, you should always take photos like these with a grain of salt. Lots of brands will use creative lighting techniques or directly digitally edit images in order to sell their product.

In this case, many of the images on their website are actually stock photos: a bit suspicious. So to know if it does work it's probably best to judge Total Radiance teeth whitener based on user reviews…and they are mixed. Amazon reviews have an average of 3.5.

You may think that 3.5 isn't bad, but in this case the distribution of reviews gives us pause. That's because the majority of these reviews give it either one star or five stars. So it seems that plenty of people really do like the product, but you could just as easily be one of the many who regret their purchase. Considering satisfaction is essentially a coin toss, we'll give it two stars.

Price ★★☆☆☆ (2/5 stars)

A Radiance whitening pen costs just under $70 for 30 days of treatment—not amazing. It's certainly cheaper than a visit to the dentist for a professional whitening, but you probably won't see the same results. Of course, if you continue to use the pens for several months, the price does add up.

What's more, before it was listed as out of business, the company had several complaints on the Better Business Bureau's website of double-charging customers. Radiance has claims to have resolved this issue and some of these people have gotten refunds—and some say they have not. Whether or not these problems have occurred with vendors since Radiance went out of business is not clear.

All these things considered, we wouldn't have much confidence saying it's a good buy at that price.

Conclusion

A quick overview of our ratings:

Star Rating

Comments

Kit

4 stars

Simple and straightforward

Ingredients

3 stars

Standard ingredients; high level of carbamide peroxide

Ease of Use

5 stars

3-step application in 60 seconds

Results

2 stars

Very mixed reviews

Price

2 stars

Some buyers double-charged

Total

2 stars

"Out of business" status inspires little confidence

In the end, the Total Radiance teeth whitening pen isn't groundbreaking but is rather yet another at-home whitening pen. It offers convenience and simplicity instead of gadgets that look like they are from a sci-fi film, and in truth, it seems to deliver. The gel's ingredients have a whitening effect on teeth and there are plenty of real, positive reviews from users.

On the other hand, some aspects of this product might make you think twice about buying. There are also lots of very negative reviews, along with instances of people being double charged and later having a less-than-satisfactory customer service experience.

Here's an example of one such complaint from the Better Business Bureau's website:

I requested a trial size of TOTAL RADIANCE teeth whitening pen and received the pen. I did not intend that request to give them authorization to bill my checking account for $90.00 twice—I have asked for return of monies to no resolve.

All things considered, it's probably going to do something for your teeth, but there are other options that inspire a little more confidence.

Alternatives to Radiance

If you also aren't that excited about Total Radiance, there are certainly lots of different whitening pens to choose from which you can read more about in our guide.

Apart from whitening pens, there are a variety of larger kits that have a good reputation among users, including Zimba whitening strips.

One such product which we highly recommend is Snow. Though it's more expensive, Snow promises professional results, and lots of people have reported that they aren't disappointed. In other words, you get what you pay for.

What's more, whitening from a single kit lasts a whole year, making it more cost-effective compared to the competition despite the higher price up front. Even users who haven't been fully satisfied with Snow often mention positive interactions with customer service in their reviews.

FAQs

Where can you buy the Total Radiance teeth whitening pen?

Though the Better Business Bureau lists them as “out of business,” Total Radiance is available for purchase on Amazon.com, as well as through an independent website. Currently there is no brick-and-mortar store where you can purchase this product, though similar ones are available at major retailers throughout the US.

Was the Total Radiance whitening pen really featured on Shark Tank?

Though several websites claim that it had unprecedented success on the popular show Shark Tank, we have not been able to find any evidence that it was ever featured. This is another element of why some of Radiance's marketing seems a bit dubious, though it's not clear that the company itself contributed to these rumors.

Is Total Radiance the same as Nu Radiance teeth whitening?

No, even though you may see the names used interchangeably. They are both teeth whitening products, but Nu Radiance Classic is an at-home tray kits with different strength gels to choose from. Radiance also sells tray kits, but they only have a single gel formula and are generally better known for their whitening pen.

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Contributors:
Bob Porter is from St. Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from Cornell College in 2014 with bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Spanish. Bob has worked in many settings, and currently dedicates his time to writing content in the field of dentistry. With a mind that is curious and restless by nature, he seeks a deep understanding of the topics on which he writes. When he isn’t writing about teeth, Bob can be found cycling, hiking, or tending to his garden.
Sources

ADA: Whitening. Consulted September 23rd, 2020