Do whitening strips really work?

Posted Apr 19th, 2019 in Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry, General

Do whitening strips really work?

Whitening strips actually do work, however they’re not the most effective way to whiten your teeth. Here’s a bit about how they work, how to use them safely, and what you should be know before you try them out.


So what are white strips?

Teeth whitening strips are small pieces of a flexible plastic called polyethylene. Each plastic strip is coated with a whitening gel that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

Whitening strips are applied to the fronts of your teeth, and molded into shape. You use one strip on your top teeth, and one strip on your bottom teeth. Once you've applied the strips the peroxide gel seeps into your teeth in order to lighten them.

But do they really work?

Yes, to a degree whitening strips do work, however, the concentration of whitening ingredients in store bought whiten strips is relatively low. This means that they will help remove surface stains and make your teeth somewhat whiter over time, but they're not as effective as professional teeth whitening. The whitening solution used at your dentist’s office, has much higher concentrations of bleaching ingredients, which will give better results.

The problems with white strips.

Store bought white strips can also pose some problems, in addition to not being very effective.

Gum Damage

If you try out whitening strips it's important to be sure not to let the strips touch your gums when you apply them. Whitening strips can cause a chemical reaction with your gums, resulting to damage to the tissues.

Yellow Spots

You could end up with the centres of your teeth being whiter than the edges since whitening strips have only a minimal effect on the in-between spaces and the curved bottoms of teeth.

Tooth Damage

Without a dentist to monitor whitening treatment, it’s possible to overdo whitening and damage your teeth. Remember, teeth aren’t like hair and nails; once they’re damaged, they’re damaged for good.

It's possible that making mistakes with whitening strips could cause you to experience shooting pains in your teeth, or make you sensitive to certain foods. Over-whitening can also cause enamel to soften, and the teeth to turn an odd greyish colour.

If you want to try whitening strips, be sure to consult with your dentist. Contact our Surrey office today!

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