do teeth whitening strips work?

Do Whitening Strips Work? What You Need to Know First.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure.

As a dental hygienist, I am often asked about teeth whitening products. Everybody wants whiter teeth. One common and inexpensive way to whiten teeth is whitening strips. So for the big question I get asked, do whitening strips work?

Do teeth whitening strips work?

In short answer, yes. I am a huge fan of white strips. Whitening strips are easy to use, inexpensive and readily available to purchase at just about any store or online. At home whitening strips also typically cause much less tooth sensitivity than in office teeth bleaching methods.

I often find that with in-office dental whitening procedures, people tend to get a lot of sensitivity. I have seen grown men cry from the severity of sensitivity due to bleaching their teeth in-office. The bleach dental offices use is very strong and many people cannot handle the “zingers” of pain they get afterwards.

I have seen excellent and equally as good results with at home whitening strips with little to no sensitivity . Whitening strips can also be done at your own pace. So if a little sensitivity does occur, you can take a day off from whitening.

In-office bleaching can also be rather costly. According to the average cost of ZOOM whitening in-office is about $500. At home whitening strips typically cost less than $40 making them a much more affordable option.

My personal favorite brand of whitening strips, the BURST Coconut Oil Whitening Strips are only $14.99. You can save $5 by using my BURST promo code FFERVX or simply click this link and the discount will apply for you. If you want to see my personal before and after pictures as well as a detailed review of the BURST white strips, you can check it out in my other article HERE.

Bonus, they work fast.

How fast do whitening strips work?

Whitening strips can begin to work immediately. We live in a world where we appreciate instant gratification. So lucky for us, white strips start to whiten teeth within the first few minutes of application.

How long do whitening strips take to work?

Many people see a noticeable difference in just one application. Teeth will continue to lighten with every application. Most at home whitening strip kits are a 7-14 day supply.

How do whitening strips work?

Whitening strips are fairly easy for anyone to use. You start with a thin, flexible plastic strip that has a layer of whitening gel already on it. The whitening gel is typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These ingredients work by breaking down stain molecules. Hydrogen peroxide penetrates tooth enamel and releases oxygen radicals. This then oxidizes large stain molecules. Once it is oxidized, it breaks down into much smaller molecules making the teeth appear whiter.

How often should you use whitening strips?

Typically whitening strips are intended to be used 30 minutes or less per day and for no longer than 2 consecutive weeks. Each whitening product will be different so always follow your manufactures directions on your package.

How long do I leave white strips on?

Most manufacturers suggest 5-30 minutes. Different whitening strips will have different ingredients and different strengths so be sure to follow the directions on your package.

Can I wear whitening strips on longer?

If you increase the amount of time you wear white strips, you run the risk of tooth sensitivity. Always follow your package directions.

Can I leave whitening strips on overnight?

No. It is not recommended to sleep in your white strips. This can cause tooth sensitivity as well as risk of swallowing and possible choking on the white strip in your sleep. Always follow your products recommended wear time instructions.

Do your brush your teeth before whitening strips?

Do not brush your teeth immediately before applying whitening strips. This can cause gum irritation due to the bleaching touching the microscopic tears in the gum tissue from recent brushing. You do however want your teeth to be clear of plaque and food debris. I suggest brushing a few hours before applying whitening strips.

Do you brush your teeth after whitening strips?

Yes. Gently brush your teeth after using whitening strips to ensure that you have removed all of the leftover whitening gel.

Are Whitening strips safe?

Most whitening strips should contain all safe ingredients. These ingredients have also went through many clinical trials which proves to be enamel safe as well.

Do teeth whitening strips expire?

Yes, teeth whitening strips can go bad and expire. The active ingredients will lose their potency over time. Typically the shelf life of whitening strips is one year. Be sure to check with your manufacturer for your products specific shelf life.

Whitening Strips Before and After Pictures

Here are my personal results from using BURST whitening strips. These were all taken in the same place, same time of day with no filters. I had zero sensitivity with these. Click the picture if you want to get some and save $5 today!

BURST white strip before and afters

Kelly Hancock, RDH

do teeth whitening strips work?

Kelly is a registered dental hygienist and oral health care provider. She is passionate about oral hygiene and encourages people to achieve optimal oral health. She has been working in the dental profession for 16 years and worked in many different roles in the dental industry. Kelly is currently a pediatric dental hygienist specializing in children’s dentistry. She is committed to helping others with their oral health care issues and helping others achieve a smile they love.

This article and all advice on this website, Toothbrush Life, is intended to help people gain knowledge about general oral health topics. No articles or advice on this website are intended to replace professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or qualified healthcare provider to help you with any questions you have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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