Teeth Whitening Strips

There are several ways to whiten your teeth. You could go to your dentist for a fast, in-office treatment, or try it at home with kits, rinses, toothpastes and gels that whiten.  Another way to whiten your teeth is with teeth whitening strips.

Just what exactly ARE teeth whitening strips?

Teeth whitening strips are thin, almost invisible plastic strips that are coated on one side with a bleaching agent containing peroxide.

There are several brands, in stores or online, that you can use at home.

How are they used?

You simply apply the strip to your teeth, and gently press to secure it to your teeth. Do this twice a day and leave it on for 30 minutes. The strips have a type of tacky bleaching gel that adheres to the surface of the teeth. After the 30 minutes, you pull it off and discard it. You generally do this daily for 14 days–or for as long as instructed by the directions.

After four months or so, the treatment is repeated, to maintain the results.

There ARE dissolving teeth whitening strips that some manufacturers sell. These, however, probably aren’t as good, since the dissolving action starts breaking down the strip in 5 to 15 minutes. You therefore don’t get the full 30 minutes of bleaching time. But you can’t deny they’d be more convenient.

Advantages of teeth whitening strips

  • They’re inexpensive.
  • They’re easy to use, and not messy.
  • There’s no danger of over-application, since the whitening gel is pre-applied to the strips by the manufacturer
  • They are at least as effective, if not more so, than other teeth bleaching methods.
  • They can be used at home.

However, with any at-home whitening project, you should include your dentist in your plans. This is important because you need to be evaluated to address and document any issues that may be present, such as why the staining is even there. Also, you may have crowns, or other dental work that won’t be affected by the bleaching agent. It may mean your whitening goals aren’t realistic.

Disadvantages of teeth whitening strips

  • Only the front teeth, from eye tooth to eye tooth, are whitened. However, the back teeth aren’t usually seen much in smiling or talking.
  • You have to be careful and place the strips accurately, to make sure the teeth are completely covered.

Any side effects?

As with all teeth whitening products, there is always the possibility of gum or mouth tissue irritation.

If this occurs, cut down on the daily applications, or just take a break and try again later.

It’s a general rule that about a half of all people who undergo whitening strips will experience a certain degree of side effects. However, it’s usually mild.

In a nutshell, strips deserve a thumbs up. As with any at-home whitening system, you won’t get the results you’d get with a cosmetic dentist. But it just might be what you’re looking for.