Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work?

Everyone wants a shiny smile. However, teeth color is influenced by the food we ingest, the drinks we consume, smoking, medication, but also depends on genetics, diseases and ageing. Today, there are many whitening products on the market promising shiny smile, one of them being teeth whitening strips.

What Are Teeth Whitening Strips?

Teeth whitening strips are a thin foil that is put on the teeth. Usually they have a no-slip grip to stay in place, but also allows them to come off easily. Different producers propose various treatment times ranging from 30 to 60 min once per day. Treatments usually last around 14 days, and then touch ups every second week.

Mechanism of Work

Normally, the strips contain a thin layer of 10-14% hydrogen peroxide adhered on a plastic strip. It is a chemical that causes bubbling to occur on the tooth so the stains can be removed from the inside. Whitening strips actually bleach off teeth stains, but also penetrate the outer layer named enamel of the teeth to remove intrinsic stains. This is why you should be careful when using them, as hydrogen peroxide can lead to over-sensitive teeth for hours or days after the treatment.

If this happens, you should use teeth whitening strips with less concentrated hydrogen peroxide. However, keep in mind that because of the lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide, these products are not as powerful as the regular ones. When shopping for teeth whitening strips, make sure you find ones that have longer shelf-life.

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Teeth Brushing When Whitening

People often ask “Should I brush my teeth before using whitening strips?” or “Should I brush my teeth after whitening strips?”. There is no easy answer to this. You should brush your teeth at least 30 min before applying the stripes so you will remove food debris and bacteria from the mouth. However, brushing your teeth with a hard toothbrush can result in additional over-sensitivity of the teeth and gum irritation. You can try using a medium or soft toothbrush instead. But if you have sensitive teeth by nature, avoid brushing your teeth right before or after the whitening. It is important to follow the instructions on the label and not leave the strips too long as you can experience some side effects like teeth sensitivity or gum irritation.

How much does teeth whitening cost

The price for teeth whitening varies from a few dollars for homemade products and different commercial products including toothpaste and whitening strips, to the more expensive options offered at the dentists’ office like laser teeth whitening. Laser teeth whitening is a process in which a 25% light-activated hydrogen peroxide is put on the teeth and activated with blue light. It works faster than the teeth whitening strips (after a single laser session) and is only available at a dentists’ office.

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Teeth whitening – before and after

Shiny pearl teeth are something that everyone wishes for. When using homemade teeth whitening products and strips with less potent hydrogen peroxide, you need to be persistent. It will take approximately 2 weeks of regular use to see some initial results. Also bear in mind that teeth whitening should only be done if the oral cavity is healthy.

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