Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, but if your teeth are yellow or stained, it can make you feel self-conscious and reluctant to show off your pearly whites. Now you have two potential ways to approach this problem: going for a professional teeth whitening from a dental practitioner or using at-home teeth whitening strips. Although teeth whitening strips are known for their convenience and affordability, it is critical to explore how they work, their effectiveness in removing stubborn stains, and how to use them properly for optimal results.
What are Teeth Whitening Strips?
Teeth whitening strips are a type of at-home teeth whitening product designed to help remove surface stains and whiten your teeth. They are thin, flexible plastic strips coated with a gel containing a bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
To use teeth whitening strips, you typically apply them to your teeth for a specified amount of time, depending on the brand and strength of the strips. During this time, the bleaching agent in the gel penetrates through the enamel of your teeth to break down surface stains and whiten darker teeth, leaving you with a brighter smile.
Types of Teeth Whitening Strips
Currently, there are two popular types of teeth whitening strips available on the market:
Hydrogen Peroxide Formula
These strips contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient in the whitening gel. The strength of the hydrogen peroxide in the strips varies by brand, with some having higher concentrations than others.
These strips contain natural ingredients such as charcoal or sodium bicarbonate for teeth whitening. Charcoal-based strips use activated charcoal, a highly porous substance known for its ability to absorb impurities, while sodium bicarbonate is a mild abrasive that can help remove surface stains. Peroxide-free strips may be a good option for individuals with sensitive teeth, but they may not be as effective in removing stubborn stains as those that contain hydrogen peroxide.
Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work?
While teeth whitening strips can be effective at removing surface stains, they are not a substitute for professional teeth whitening treatments. Therefore, before considering teeth whitening strips as a way to improve the appearance of your smile, make sure that you are fully aware of their limitations. These may include:
- Teeth whitening strips typically contain a lower concentration of bleaching agents compared to professional treatments, which means they may not be as effective on heavily stained or discoloured teeth. However, these strips can be a cost-effective and easy way to whiten and brighten your teeth if you have mild to moderate surface stains or discolouration.
- Teeth whitening strips may not be able to address internal discolouration. As such, it’s best to consult a dental practitioner if your teeth are discoloured due to internal factors. Your dentist can diagnose the cause of the discolouration and recommend appropriate treatment options.
How to Use Teeth Whitening Strips
If you’ve decided to use teeth whitening strips to improve the appearance of your smile, it’s important to understand their correct usage for achieving the desired results. Proper usage of these strips can make all the difference in the effectiveness of the treatment, as well as minimise the risk of potential side effects. In this section, we’ll go through some essential tips on how to use teeth whitening strips.
Avoid excessive use of the product
Even though it’s generally safe to use teeth whitening strips daily, overuse of peroxide-containing strips can cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Be sure to follow the product instructions regarding how long to leave the strips on and how frequently to use them.
Keep the strips away from your gums
Placing the strips directly on the gums can cause irritation and discomfort. When applying the strips, make sure to place them only on the surface of your teeth and not on the gums.
Apply whitening strips evenly
Applying the strips evenly on your teeth is essential to ensure that the whitening gel is distributed uniformly on all teeth and doesn’t cause any uneven results.
Avoid certain foods and beverages for lasting results
After using teeth whitening strips, try to avoid consuming certain foods and drinks such as coffee, tea, red wine, berries and cigarettes to maintain lasting results and prevent restaining.
Smile Your Way to a Brighter Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry
Although affordable and easy to use for mild to moderate staining and discolouration, teeth whitening strips may not be as effective for heavy staining or internal discolouration. Therefore, it’s important to consult with your dental practitioner to determine the best course of action for your unique situation. Additionally, they can also monitor the progress of the treatment and ensure that it’s being done safely and effectively.
At The Dental Family Beaumaris, our capable family dentists can develop a personalised treatment plan with complete aftercare instructions to effectively address teeth discolouration and staining while ensuring your comfort throughout the procedure. If you need further insight into our professional teeth whitening procedures or other cosmetic dental services, feel free to get in touch with us.