Teeth are a crucial part of self-image. They make you look good and boost your confidence. However, they begin to yellow with age, but the best part is, some techniques can slow the process. One of these is the use of whitening strips.
But, do whitening strips work, and how do you use them? In this post, we seek to answer these and more questions. Let’s discuss.
What are whitening strips, and how do they work?
These are dental products that help whiten teeth and remove stains. They are made of polythene or plastic and cut into small strips. And coated with chemicals such as carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide.
Besides the whitening agent, there are other chemicals used. These include Sodium hydroxide, which helps maintain the strip’s PH balance, Pyrophosphate, which shields against stains, Sodium saccharin for pleasant taste, and Pyrophosphate for eliminating stains.
Teeth whitening strips effectively remove external and internal stains on teeth. And are said to work better than whitening toothpaste. Depending on the chemical’s strength and how long you keep them in your teeth, results vary.
The whitening strips get placed on the bottom and top rows of your teeth. That allows for the chemicals and products to transfer to the tooth’s surface.
Once the peroxide begins penetrating the surface layer of your teeth’ enamel, the yellowing gets broken down and dissolved, oxidizing the particles that cause discoloration. These strips make the teeth appear whiter.
The amount of time you need to use these strips depends on the brand. But you need to understand that leaving them for extra long does not yield more results. You need to read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow them to the letter to get the best results.
You might be asking yourself how long it will take before you start seeing results. The truth is, it all depends on the brand. Some take a few days to a week, while others claim to give results within a few hours. Even so, avoid those that show instant results since they have a higher concentration of chemicals. They risk damaging your teeth and may cause long-term effects.
What to consider when shopping for whitening strips
When choosing your whitening strips, you need to consider several factors. Some of these include:
- Customer reviews
Checking what varying customers say concerning certain brands is crucial. Check the before and after pictures to get more insights on the best whitening strips to consider. Choose those with positive reviews and has many people vouching for them.
Steer away from negative remarks to avoid harming your teeth and overall dental health.
When shopping for your whitening strips, you want to check the ingredients. Always go for those with proven effective ones such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide. You want to avoid those with funny ingredients, meaning that you should take time to read the contents.
- Dentist approval
Are the whitening strips of your choice approved by dental organizations? Always choose those with a seal of acceptance. You also want your orthodontist for advice before you commit to a brand.
The perks of teeth whitening strips
There are so many benefits of using whitening strips. These include:
- Ease of use
With whitening strips, no special training is needed. Read the instructions manual and ensure that you understand all the steps. Remember, varying brands come with different instructions. Before applying the strips, you need to clean your teeth as you normally would to keep bacteria from inhibiting their effectiveness.
Wipe your teeth using a clean dry napkin and adjust the strip accordingly, ensuring that the gel is in contact with the surface of the teeth.
Compared to dental visits, whitening strips are way affordable. You can get them over the counter. Also, they are significantly more affordable than bleaching gels purchased in dental offices. And are effortless to obtain since you do not need to have a prescription to buy these. You can get them from supermarkets, convenience stores, and pharmacies.
Even though bleaching gels are more effective than whitening strips, the latter still gives noticeable results than regular toothpaste or at-home DIY whitening products. They also show results within a considerable time and these last for several months.
The downside of using whitening strips
Just like most teeth whitening products, whitening strips come with their share of side effects. These could include:
- Enamel changes
Strips that contain chemicals such as chlorine dioxide wear down your tooth enamel fast. And this may cause tooth decay. Even though some of the chemicals used, such as hydrogen peroxide, are safe, using them for an extended period can harm your enamel over time. It can also disrupt your oral microbiome, resulting in more dental problems.
- Tooth sensitivity
Tooth sensitivity is uncomfortable and very unpleasant. If you have it, it means that you experience pain when sipping hot or cold drinks. These may affect the chemicals on the strips and not give favorable results.
- Uneven results
Teeth are three-dimensional, but whitening strips have a two-dimensional approach. That means that they don’t give full coverage. Also, if your teeth are misaligned or crooked, it means that the strips will coat unevenly.
- Gum irritation
When parts of the whitening strip get pressed on the gums, this may result in irritation. Yet, this happens even with bleaching in a dental facility when chemicals seep through the teeth tissues. To avoid this, apply the strips gently, ensuring they don’t get stuck to your gum.
Still wondering, do whitening strips work? The answer is yes! However, the perks you derive from these are cosmetic and do not contribute to your general teeth health.
Take time before eating and avoid foods that can stain teeth, including tobacco and coffee, for the next two days. Your teeth are sensitive during this time and can stain easily.
Also, brush your teeth when you remove the strips. That helps to eliminate any chemicals that may have remained on your tooth surface. You can rinse with warm water or mouthwash.
Finally, if you’re looking for an affordable way to whiten your teeth, whitening strips come in handy. Even though they have potential side effects, following the manufacturer’s instructions can go a long way to curb some. Even so, visit a professional orthodontist for teeth cleaning to ensure your dentition is healthy.