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Do Teeth Whitening Strips Really Work? 2023 Full Breakdown

A bright, stain-free smile is a goal for most people – but is it really as simple as applying Crest whitening strips for a couple of weeks? In most cases, the answer is “yes”. There are some exceptions, but teeth whitening strips are developed to be effective on the majority of tooth stains. That being said, home teeth whitening kits won’t be as powerful as professional teeth whitening treatments; they’re better for people with mild staining, or for general maintenance.

How products like Crest whitening strips work

Whether you’re using 3D Whitening Crest strips or an off-brand home teeth whitening kit, the active ingredients are usually the same: either hydrogen peroxide, or carbamide peroxide. Since carbamide peroxide turns into hydrogen peroxide upon contact with water, they work in much the same way.

However, not all tooth whitening strips use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide; some of them use chlorine dioxide. It’s been claimed that this substance is more effective and safer than using peroxide to whiten your teeth, but it comes with a few potential side effects that most users will want to avoid. These include hypersensitivity, an increased chance of re-staining, and weakened tooth enamel. These types of teeth whitening strips are more likely to be used in beauty salons than to be sold at supermarkets; if you’re having teeth whitening strips applied professionally, you may want to double-check on the active ingredient.

Regardless of the active ingredient used, all teeth whitening strips pretty much work in the same way. When the whitening strips are placed on the teeth, the peroxide penetrates the outer layer (enamel), and the underlying layer (dentin). This is deep enough to reach most stains, and will turn teeth a few shades whiter when used according to the instructions on the label.

Can anyone use Crest teeth whitening products?

Absolutely! However, some stains are easier to eliminate than others. Before getting into the details, it’s helpful to know the difference between extrinsic vs. intrinsic staining.

Extrinsic staining

This type of stain affects mainly the enamel, which is the protective outer layer of the tooth; it mainly comes from environmental factors. These include:

  • Drinking coffee or red wine
  • Eating foods like tomato sauce, dark berries, or other acidic/pigmented foods
  • Exposure to metals like copper or iron
  • Antibiotics

Intrinsic staining

This type of stain goes deeper than the surface, affecting the tooth’s inner layers as well. It can be caused by things like:

  • Tooth development disorders
  • Genetics
  • Antibiotics
  • Exposure to too much fluoride
  • Enamel erosion due to aging

So which types of stains respond best to Crest whitening strips or similar products? Contrary to what you might think, it isn’t just about the depth of the stain. For example, coffee and smoking stains typically respond well to Crest strips, or other brands that use peroxide as a bleaching agent. But then, so do deeper stains related to aging or genetic factors.

If you’re trying to decide on the best way to whiten your teeth, remember that even the best teeth whitening strips are only meant for subtle touch-ups. To restore a pearly shine to noticeably discolored teeth, you may want to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening Plano if you want a more effective, customized treatment.

What are the best teeth whitening strips?

There are so many choices available, it can be hard to make a decision! In general, products with hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient are the best options. Here are a few examples:

  • Crest 3D White Strips Glamorous White (the only at-home teeth whitening product to earn the ADA’s approval)
  • Crest 3D White Strips Gentle Whitening Kit
  • Crest Sensitive White Strips
  • Spotlight Oral Care Dental Teeth Whitening Strips

Each of these products have the same active ingredient, but they all have slightly different formulations. For example, while all Crest White Strips use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth, any Crest tooth whitening product labeled “sensitive” is likely to have a lower concentration of peroxide. Regular Crest 3D Whitening Strips, on the other hand, have a stronger concentration that’s suitable for anyone who doesn’t have issues with sensitivity. At the end of the day, choosing the best Crest whitening strips is all about finding the option that works best for you.

Do Crest Whitestrips have side effects?

When used properly, teeth whitening strips won’t have any side effects for the majority of users. If they do, the solution could be as simple as switching to sensitive teeth whitening strips. This isn’t to say that you can’t overdo these products, though; far from it! Many popular teeth whitening products require daily application for a couple of weeks, meaning your results won’t show up instantly. At-home teeth whitening kits come with instructions for one to two daily applications, but some people decide that they may as well fast-track the process with added applications.

If this is done just a few times, it can result in gum irritation and/or sensitive teeth after whitening. If it’s done regularly, though, it can damage your enamel. This damage is permanent, and definitely not worth the risk to shave a few days off of your teeth whitening regimen.

Teeth whitening side effects can also occur in those who have veneers or crowns. Since these materials (either porcelain or composite resin) won’t respond to teeth whitening products, it could mean that the natural teeth become whiter, while the veneers or crowns stay the same shade. By the time the user notices the color variations from tooth to tooth, there won’t be much they can do but wait for the changes to reverse over time.

How to keep your results after using Crest teeth whitening strips

Your teeth whitening journey doesn’t stop after you’ve removed the last of your Crest 3D White Strips. For a few days after the final application, the following things should be avoided:

  • Cigarettes and chewing tobacco are notorious for causing stains, so you should definitely take a break for at least a week after your teeth whitening treatment.
  • Acidic foods can contribute to tooth sensitivity even without the help of teeth whitening treatments. The hydrogen peroxide results in slightly weaker enamel than usual, meaning foods like citrus, pickles, tomatoes, or processed meats can really set them on edge – and increase the chances of re-staining your teeth.
  • Highly pigmented foods and beverages could stain your teeth regardless, but weakened enamel will compound the problem. Coffee, black tea, red wine, pigmented fruits and vegetables, colorful spices, chocolate, and many other foods should be avoided for a few days after treatment. If it would stain a white shirt, it will stain your teeth.

Another important part of caring for your newly whitened teeth is making sure they get brushed regularly. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and possibly a sensitive toothpaste formula as well. This should help with sensitivity, while keeping encroaching stains at bay.

Should you use Crest strips, or get professional teeth whitening treatments?

If you only want your teeth to be a few shades brighter, then Crest whitening strips are a great option. However, some stains are too stubborn for at-home whitening treatments; this is when professional whitening treatments become the best choice. If you’re interested in teeth whitening Plano from a company like Perfect 10 Smile, all you have to do is book an appointment or consultation. A top-notch cosmetic teeth whitening service will have reviews that speak for themselves, so you can be sure that you’re in the best of hands. Whether you end up using Crest 3D White Strips, or advanced teeth whitening from trained professionals, just know that getting the smile of your dreams could be easier than you think!