Store bought white strips do work, but they’re certainly not the most effective way to whiten teeth. Here’s what you should be know before you give whitening strips a try.
What are white strips?
Teeth whitening strips are small pieces of flexible polyethylene plastic. Each plastic strip is coated with a whitening gel that contains either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
White strips are applied to the fronts of the teeth, and molded to fit their shape. There is one strip goes for the top teeth, and one for the bottom teeth. Once applied, the peroxide gel then seeps into the teeth to lighten them.
But do they really work?
Yes, white strips do actually work, but only to a degree. In store bought white strips the concentration of whitening ingredients is quite low. Using white strips can help remove surface stains and make your teeth somewhat whiter over time, but they are not as effective as professional teeth whitening at your dentist’s office, which has much higher concentrations of bleaching ingredients.
Problems with White Strips
In addition to not being particularly effective, white strips can also pose some problems.
You can end up with the centre of each tooth being whiter than the edges since white strips only have a minimal effect on the in-between spaces or the curved bottoms of teeth.
White strips can cause a chemical reaction with your gums. This can result in damage to the tissues. It's important not to let the white strips touch your gums when you apply them.
Teeth aren’t like hair and nails; once they’re damaged, they’re damaged for good. Without a dental professional to monitor whitening treatment, it’s possible to overdo it and damage your teeth!
Mistakes with whitening strips could cause you to experience sensitivity to certain foods, or even shooting pains in your teeth.
Over-whitening your teeth can also cause enamel to soften, and the teeth to turn an odd greyish colour.