Whitening strips actually 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 be know before you try them.
What are whitening strips?
Teeth whitening strips are small pieces of polyethylene, a type of flexible plastic. Each whitening strip is coated with a gel that contains either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
Whitening strips are applied to the fronts of the teeth, and molded to fit their shape. You use one strip on the top, and one on the bottom. The peroxide gel then seeps into the teeth in order to lighten them.
Do they actually work?
Whitening strips do work, but only to a degree. The concentration of whitening ingredients in them is relatively low. So, while they do help to remove surface stains, they're not as effective as professional teeth whitening. Professional whitening solutions use higher concentrations of bleaching ingredients which give better whitening results.
Problems with Whitening Strips
Besides to not being very effective, whiten strips can also pose some problems.
Damage to gum tissue can result from a chemical reaction between the whitening solution and your gums. It's important to be sure not to let the whitening strips touch your gums when you apply them to your teeth.
Whitening strips have only a minimal effect on the curved bottoms of teeth or on the in-between spaces. This means that users often end up with the centre of the tooth being whiter than the edges.
It’s possible to damage your teeth when whitening without being monitored by a dental professional. Teeth aren’t like hair and nails; once they’re damaged, they’re damaged for good.
Making mistakes with whitening strips could cause you to experience increased sensitivity to certain foods or even shooting pains in your teeth. Over-whitening can also cause enamel to soften and turn teeth an odd greyish colour.