Teeth whitening strips do work, but they’re not the most effective way to whiten teeth. Here’s a little about how they work, how to use them safely, and what you should know before you try them out.
What are teeth whitening strips?
Teeth whitening strips are small strips of polyethylene, a type of thin and flexible plastic. Each strip is coated with a gel that contains either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth.
Whitening strips are applied to the fronts of the teeth, and molded to fit their shape. The peroxide gel then seeps into the teeth to lighten them and remove stains.
But do whitening strips actually work?
Yes, whitening strips do work, but only to a degree. The concentration of whitening ingredients in them is relatively low. Which means that while they will help remove surface stains and make your teeth somewhat whiter they're not as effective as professional teeth whitening. The peroxide gel used at your dentist’s office contains higher concentrations of bleaching ingredients which work much better at whitening teeth.
Problems with White Strips
In addition to store bought whitening strips not being very effective, they can also pose some problems.
Teeth whitening strips can cause a chemical reaction with your gums which can result in damage to the tissues. To avoid gum damage, do not to let the white strips touch your gums when you apply them.
When it comes to the in-between spaces or the curved bottoms of teeth white strips have only a minimal effect. Users can end up with the centre of the tooth being whiter than the edges.
It’s very possible to overdo whitening and damage your teeth without a dentist to monitor treatment. Teeth aren’t like hair and nails; once they’re damaged, they’re damaged for good.
Over-whitening can cause enamel to soften, and the teeth to turn an odd greyish colour. It's also important to know that making mistakes with whitening strips could cause you to experience shooting pains in your teeth, or make you sensitive to certain foods.