Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System

First things first – I received the Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System free, courtesy of BzzAgent, for testing purposes; so you may consider this post sponsored. More info at the bottom of this post.


Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System - Packaging

I drink coffee. At least two cups per weekday. And I drink tea. Needless to say, my teeth aren’t as white as they could be, so in addition to my regular whitening toothpaste (Crest Whitening Expressions Extreme Herbal Mint) I resort to whitening treatments (I love Plus White gel) from time to time. I had used a couple of products from the 3D White line before; although I liked them, I preferred my Extreme Herbal Mint, so back to it I went.

The newest addition to the 3D White line, Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System, is sold together in some fairly snazzy, eye-catching packaging that is as fabulous as your teeth should hope to be when done with the regimen. Claiming to keep your teeth up to 99% as white as a professional polish/teeth whitening treatment, this product makes some tall claims.

Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System - Products

How To:

The Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System is intended to replace your normal toothpaste and is suggested to be used day and night as a part of your normal oral hygiene routine. First, you brush for one minute with the blue tube of Deep Cleansing toothpaste, clearly-labeled Step 1…

Then, after spitting (I’ll take, “Words you never thought you’d write on your beauty blog,” for $1000, Trebek.), do not rinse, and brush again with the contents of the white tube, Step 2. This is a peroxide-based gel to bump up your whitening.

Pretty simple process, not too many steps, not too complicated.

My Experience:

I haven’t come across a toothpaste I truly disliked – sure, I am not a fan of spearmint or wintergreen-type mint toothpastes, but they didn’t make me see red. This, however? This did.

SUCRALOSE. For the love of cats why did you use sucralose, Crest?! It not only tastes horrible but is a migraine trigger for some people (myself included). Now, granted, you don’t intentionally ingest toothpaste…but let’s not pretend a tiny bit isn’t accidentally swallowed from time-to-time. The way it tastes bothers me…a lot! Every toothpaste I know of uses artificial sweeteners to make the brushing experience more pleasant, but sucralose is not the answer for me. Imagine my delight when I started scrubbing away at my teeth with my Oral B 3000 with that on it… ew.

Beyond the sweetener, I noticed that the paste had a particularly odd texture. More abrasive than a regular toothpaste, it had a strange grit to it that I did not enjoy. The abrasion does help lift stains, but at what cost? Gradually worn-away enamel, sensitivity, etc. Classic problems!

Continuing? The fluoride. No, I am not a fluoride conspiracy theorist, so don’t click away. Fluoride is present in, oh, every anti-cavity toothpaste on the market. Rather than the fluoride we’re used to seeing (sodium fluoride) the Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System uses Stannous Fluoride (yes, that is pronounced like Stannis Baratheon). Why is that a point of concern? The packaging tells you:

Other Information:

  • Products containing stannous fluoride may produce surface staining of the teeth…

While staining is not unique to stannous fluoride, the fact that it is prevalent enough that Crest felt the need to make a disclaimer about it on the packaging is kind of, well, hilarious. Here’s a whitening product…that is going to noticeably stain your teeth, maybe *cough*. If you’re someone who has some basically-irreversible discoloration from dental fluorosis as-is, this kind of thing leaves a bad taste in your mouth (you know, along with the sucralose).

To top that all off, the gel is a fairly standard peroxide-based whitening gel, not unlike my beloved Plus White gel. The suggested use for Step 2 is to apply it to your regular toothbrush and brush for one minute. I followed the instructions (like a fool) and was uncomfortable. Gels of this nature are often used with trays to isolate the gel to the surface of the teeth because peroxide isn’t the kindest to gums. The packaging warns that this might happen, but brushes it off as acceptable, calling them, “signals.”

You may experience temporary signals with the use of this breakthrough system, such as: white spots on gums or other soft tissue, and/or oral discomfort.

Signals? If your gums are turning white after peroxide exposure it is not just a, “signal,” or something to ignore. Whitened gums are an indicator of tissue damage and if you experience it you should discontinue using the product in question immediately, not keep using it! In addition to whitening, peroxide can also kill bacteria/germs…but peroxide isn’t, “smart;” it cannot tell gums from contaminants. Unfortunately, this gel turned my upper gums white in the single minute I used to brush.

The Bottom Line:

I won’t be using it again, and I definitely would not buy it. The second step of the Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System might be useful as a whitening gel in a tray that can help keep it only on the teeth, so I will try that so the whole kit doesn’t go to waste.

I’d say it is probably fine to use if you:

  • Do not have an aversion to sucralose
  • Do not have any degree of deep-set staining due to dental fluorosis
  • Already have generally healthy, strong teeth with no sensitivity issues
  • Only wish to lift everyday stains (coffee, tea, red wine, whatever)

Unfortunately, given the bad experience I had with the product I was unable to use it long enough to say whether or not it would have a huge impact on lifting the superficial staining my teeth have. I imagine it would, yes, but the cost of doing so is simply not worth it for me. I would also say that it is unlikely that the Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System, an OTC product, is going to have the same results as in-office whitening done by a dental professional…but that’s marketing for you.


Although I received the Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System free from BzzAgent I was neither compensated nor otherwise coerced into sharing. The other Crest/Oral-B products mentioned have nothing to do with the BzzAgent Campaign; I’ve used those products before this blog existed.

1 thought on “Crest 3D White Brilliance 2-Step System

  1. I completely agree I am a migraine sufferer n it totally sucks that so many products i used to use I can not now because they contain sucralose…I was unaware of the sucralose in this product n couldn’t figure out why I had a migraine all day every day I was so sick wat the heck do you need fake sugar in tooth paste it cost me my health n money out if my wallet

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