Do Whitening Strips Work?
Whitening strips are very popular in the modern beauty industry, and you might have noticed several different companies advertising across platforms. Everyone wants to have a dazzling, white smile and whitening strips seem like the perfect solution to the perfect teeth. However, do whitening strips work and have good results?
We'll explore everything you need to know when it comes to whitening strips so you can make the best, safest decision for your smile.
What Exactly Are Whitening Strips?
Whitening strips are thin, plastic sheets that contain a bleaching agent, like carbamide and hydrogen peroxide. You place the strips over your teeth for the specified amount of time (usually 30 minutes to an hour). Regular treatments over two weeks are generally the recommended course of action for white teeth. Whitening strips are not designed to be used habitually.
Yes, They Work
In short, yes, whitening strips work. The chemicals remove stains from your teeth with relatively quick results. However, most users with surface or standard stains will see the best results.
For highly stained teeth from poor diet, tobacco products, or medication, whitening strips may not have a strong enough bleaching solution to yield desired results. If you have extreme stains, consult your dentist for a whitening treatment. Professional whitenings use more robust solutions and usually have better results, as the treatment is catered perfectly to your needs.
Whitening strips do not work on artificial teeth.
Are There Any Risks?
While whitening strips work, it doesn't mean everyone should necessarily use them, especially as they pose some risks:
Whitening strips can cause tooth sensitivity, especially in those with sensitive-prone teeth. If you have particularly sensitive teeth, consult your dentist before use to prevent irreversible damage.
Overuse can damage the enamel on your teeth, having the opposite effect you want. Damaged enamel turns your teeth a gray or yellow color.
Whitening can also cause gum sensitivity, so use caution when applying the strips to ensure they do not cover your gums. If you feel overwhelming discomfort when using whitening strips, discontinue use immediately and consult your dentist.
Are There Other Options?
Whitening strips should not be used to mask poor dental hygiene practices. To maintain a white, healthy smile, brush and floss your teeth regularly and drink plenty of water.
You can also use whitening toothpaste at home with or without strips when you want a quick boost to remove surface stains.
Contact your dentist if you have stubborn stains that over-the-counter whitening strips cannot remove. Whitening procedures conducted by your dentist are catered to your needs and are more effective than store-bought options.
Tips for Keeping Your Teeth White Long Term
You can take additional steps to ensure your whitening lasts longer and avoid surface stains.
Brush your teeth regularly and practice good hygiene.
Avoid staining from drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine.
Avoid smoking and tobacco products.
Use a straw when drinking beverages that can stain your teeth.
Avoid sugar, as it breaks down your enamel and causes tooth decay.