Whitening strips are pliable plastic strips that have a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide or other active ingredients that work to whiten your teeth. Whitening strips are great if you are looking to bleach out surface stains on your teeth. They work to penetrate the enamel and dentin to remove intrinsic stains from depth within the tooth.
When using whitening strips or considering the use of whitening strips, you may have a few questions with regards to the direction of use. For instance, do you have to brush your teeth before you use whitening strips? Can you swallow saliva when using whitening strips?
You may also have other questions as to whether the product actually works. Do dentists recommend whitening strips? How long does it take for whitening strips to show results? The best whitening strips out there and so on.
We will look to answer some of your questions with regards to the use of whitening strips, hence keep reading this word to word.
Before we understand a little deeper about the effectiveness of whitening strips at whitening your teeth, let’s answer the first question in mind, do you have to brush your teeth before using whitening strips?
Should You Brush Your Teeth Before Using Whitening Strips?
It is recommended that you always brush your teeth before using whitening strips. This is because your teeth have plaque and bacteria which can become trapped between your teeth and the strip.
Hence it is important to first clean your mouth and brush away that bacteria and plaque and then move on to the whitening process. Using the whitening strips without brushing your teeth won’t really damage your teeth, however, the treatment would be less effective. You are less likely to see any noticeable results from the procedure if there are bacteria and plaque hampering the bleaching process.
In order to observe the best results from the whitening process, ensure that you brush your teeth well and rinse and clean your mouth. This is considered good oral hygiene and practice.
Do Whitening Strips Really Work?
Yes, whitening strips have been found to be rather effective in the removal of stains and discolouration from teeth. They contain active ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, which works to gently bleach the stains on your teeth, leaving behind whiter teeth.
In fact, using teeth whitening strips, you should observe noticeable results in a very short time. That being the case, though home products such as whitening strips are effective in whitening teeth, they aren’t as effective as in-office dental whitening techniques which normally produce better results.
However, if you were under the impression that whitening strips are a myth and that they don’t actually work, then obvious to state you were wrong. They are considered one of the more popular and effective means of whitening teeth.
How Long Does it Take Whitening Strips to Work?
Typically, you shouldn’t use whitening strips for more than 5 minutes a day (however directions vary on product). In your search for faster results, you may be inclined to leave the strips on for longer, however, this could result in tooth sensitivity.
There are products out there that work to produce faster results, while some products take longer. On average, it takes whitening strips about three days to show noticeable results. You can expect full results in 20 days of use.
Some types of whitening strips are actually formulated to produce faster results. For instance, you can try Crest 3D White Whitestrips Classic Vivid which is formulated to be worn for 30 minutes every day and you should be able to attain results in only 10 days.
That being the case, whitening strips are not an immediate remedy for teeth discolouration. It does take a little time for the whitening strips to work, hence we advise you to have patience.
Do Dentists Recommend Whitening Strips?
Most at-home whitening products such as whitening strips are actually dentist recommended. Much like toothpaste, these products are endorsed and recommended by many dentists with some brands being highly recommended in comparison to others.
In fact, dentists usually state that whitening strips are actually more effective at whitening teeth in comparison to bleach gels, pens or whitening toothpaste. This is because the usual concentration of hydrogen peroxide in whitening strips is usually on the lower side, which prevents any damage to the tooth enamel.
In fact, whitening strips actually contact your teeth more directly, which is why it is recommended as a better option for at-home whitening.
In an article by businessinsider, Dr Janet Stoess-Allen an orthodontist, explains if it is safe to use Crest Whitestrips. Click to read.
Can You Swallow Saliva While Using Whitening Strips?
Excess saliva production during the whitening process using strips is absolutely normal. It is not a reason to worry. You can safely swallow the excess saliva or if you prefer, you can periodically rinse out the excess saliva that you produce.
What about the gel itself, are the components of the gel harmful if swallowed? Usually, the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening strips are low to prevent any harm if ingested. Hence, if you swallow the strip by mistake or some of the gel from the strip, there is no reason to worry.
The hydrogen peroxide from the gel or the strip itself won’t have any adverse effect. However, you shouldn’t make it a practice to swallow your strips. Large amounts of hydrogen peroxide could cause nausea and stomach irritation.
However, when it comes to the saliva that you produce while using the whitening strips, it is perfectly normal to swallow.
What Not to Do After Using Whitening Strips
Do not consume food or drink that contains dark hues or are considered staining. This is because, right after the whitening process, the pores in your teeth remain open for a few hours.
The open pores are more susceptible to darkening and staining if they come in contact with staining agents. Hence be sure to stay away from dark hue food and beverages and those that are considered staining.
The particularly porous feature of teeth after whitening means they can easily absorb coloured substances from food and beverages. Hence, when it comes to eating staining food, you should work to avoid them for at least 48 hours after the procedure, to prevent staining.
For instance, when it comes to coffee, it is considered a staining beverage. Hence if you do consume coffee after whitening, make sure to rinse your mouth as soon as possible to prevent the staining of your whitened teeth. If you can, it is best to avoid drinking coffee or tea or cola for the duration of 48 hours after using whitening strips.
For more information on the types of food that cause staining, refer to our article on, ‘How to Whiten Teeth: Why Brushing Does Not Lead to Whiter Teeth‘
Should I Brush My Teeth After Using Whitening Strips?
It is considered safe to brush and floss your teeth after using whitening strips. Brushing won’t work against you to reduce the whitening effects of the treatment.
However, when you do brush, make sure to brush gently with a good brush. This prevents gum irritation and any discomfort from arising. Using a hard-bristled brush may be too abrasive, which can lead to gum irritation, hence always opt for a soft-bristled brush.
Best Whitening Strips
There are two products both brought to you by Crest 3D, that have been noted to work best at whitening teeth.
Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips stay on your teeth easily and come off cleanly. They have a great no-slip grip which is designed to help the strips stay in place on your teeth.
A box contains enough strips for 2 weeks. The strips are intended to be used once daily for 30 minutes. They work really well at removing both extrinsic and intrinsic tooth stains.
Each strip contains about 14 percent hydrogen peroxide. Please do note, that some people experience tooth sensitivity when exposed to hydrogen peroxide. You may experience overly sensitive teeth for hours or days after the use of the strips.
Another product that works really well is the Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle Whitening Kit. This product is great for those who have sensitive teeth and are looking for something that is milder. The hydrogen peroxide concentration is lower at 6 percent per strip.
One kit has enough strips to last you 2 weeks, with the strips intended to be worn once daily.
Since this product is formulated particularly for sensitive teeth, the strips aren’t as powerful. However, they do yield results and have been reported by users as effective and comfortable.
Thin Enamel Warning
As a word of warning, if you suffer from thin enamel, then home whitening strips may not be the best method to whiten your teeth. If you have thin enamel, either because of medical conditions or poor oral health, the whitening using whitening strips could actually cause your teeth to become more yellow.
This is because the bleach works against the thin enamel in your teeth, thereby causing discolouration as opposed to a whiter, polished look. If you notice this, it is best to consult your dentist for professional whitening and advice.
How to Use Whitening Strips
Most whitening strips are very simple to use and come with whitening instructions that you should follow as per directions. However, there are particular things that you should keep in mind when using whitening strips.
To place the strip, simply remove the whitening strip from the liner and place the gel side on your teeth and align it with your gum line. Press against the teeth for best contact and fold the remainder of the strip behind your teeth.
Normally, you are instructed to use the strips only once a day. Hence be sure to check the instructions on the box and use it as recommended. Some do require you to use it twice a day, hence be sure to check the instructions on the particular whitening kit.
As for the range of time that you should wear the strips for, this could range from anywhere between 5 minutes and 45 minutes. You should not leave the strips on longer in hopes of getting faster and better results. Leaving the strips longer than recommended could damage your teeth enamel. Read your teeth whitening instructions to find out the amount of time to leave the strip on and follow the directions accordingly.
Lastly, how long should you carry the treatment on? When it comes to the number of days that you should use whitening strips to notice results, the length of the regimen varies based on the produce. Some whitening regimens last a week while others last a month. Hence, once again, check your instructions for how long before you should start noticing results.
Teeth Whitening Using Whitening Strips
Whitening strips are a great way to whiten your teeth. In fact, it is one of the more popular methods opted for whitening teeth at home and is considered the more effective means.
Unless you suffer from thin enamel, you are sure to notice results from repeated use. As with everything, you have to ensure that you stick to the regimen for best results.
All in all, we worked to answer some of the basic questions that you may have with regards to using whitening strips and provided you with some important things to remember when it comes to using them.
We hope that you found this article useful and that you found the answers to some of the questions that you had in mind.