What Are The Benefits Of Teeth Whitening Strips, Pros And Consadmin
If you want a dazzling smile, you might be interested in the easy-to-use teeth whitening strips now available over the counter at dentists, drugstores and chemists – and here on our site.
These affordable teeth whitening strips promise dental surgery results, and many people use them in pursuit of a Hollywood smile. But are they really effective and what are the pros and cons? We look below at how the treatment works.
Before you start
You should always check with your dentist before undertaking any form of teeth whitening. Note that teeth whitening strips are not effective on fillings, veneers, caps, crowns or brown teeth.
How whitening strips work
Drinks such as red wine, cola, coffee and tea can stain your teeth. Tobacco products, some medications and genetic factors can also contribute to discolouration.
Stains build up gradually in the tooth enamel’s outer layer. Whitening strips contain a fine layer of the active ingredients hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, stuck to a bendy plastic strip which fits across the teeth. The bleaching agent penetrates surface stains, tooth enamel and dentin (the bony tissue beneath the enamel) to remove stains from deep within the teeth.
Whitening strips are generally used once or twice each day for up to two weeks. Most home teeth whitening kits leave teeth one or two shades whiter according to a 16-shade bleaching chart. The final results vary depending on the individual and the level of discolouration.
Ease of use
Teeth whitening strips don’t require a prescription and are easy to use on the go. Simply press the plastic strip on top of your teeth and allow it to sit there for the required time, usually around 30 minutes.
The whitening effects are fast. You should see a change in colour within seven days. Results last from six to 18 months, depending on the individual.
Given that dental surgery bleaching treatments can cost from £150 to £1,500, the affordability of home whitening strips – Crest 3D strips cost from £6.99 to £39.99 – is a big plus. Whitening strips make sense when you can get a dazzling smile for a fraction of the cost.
Heavy stains may not disappear
As teeth whitening strips don’t have as much bleach in as dental surgery teeth whitening treatments, they’re best for people with only light staining or discolouration.
While home teeth whitening kits can tackle stains on the enamel, other kinds of discolouration are more problematic. For example, with advancing age, brown or blue dentin may become visible. Dentin may also be dark if a tooth has previously been injured.
Be warned that excessive whitening may cause weak enamel, which can make your teeth look translucent, grey or blue.
While your teeth may look good after using whitening strips, the results will usually only last for a few months, especially if you hit the coffee and cigarettes again.
Whitening strips don’t usually sit perfectly evenly over your teeth, so contact with the whitening agent can be patchy: you may get unsightly white blotches.
Teeth sensitivity is a recognised side effect of teeth whitening, with 10 to 15 per cent of users discontinuing whitening as a result of discomfort.
Other types of sensitivity include:
- gum irritation
- changes to tooth enamel, such as greater softness or roughness
- erosion of restorations, such as fillings.
Dental hygiene and safety
Whitening strips are generally safe, provided that you follow the directions. Using them too often or leaving them on too long may lead to side effects.
If your teeth are sensitive, use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth starting a week before the whitening, and carry on using it during your treatment. Consider skipping a day of treatment to combat sensitivity, and avoid very hot and cold drinks.
Try sipping colas, teas and coffees through a straw to minimise discolouration during treatment, and swill your mouth out with water after eating if you have had a meal containing strongly coloured foodstuffs.
Our whitening products
We have a range of excellent whitening products to brighten your smile. Check out our website for value-for-money Crest 3D whitening strips costing from £6.99 to £39.99. For your convenience, we stock Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips, Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White, Crest 3D White Gentle Routine and Crest 3D White Strips Classic Vivid.