Is your whitening toothpaste working okay? Maybe you’re ready to take things to the next level and bleach your teeth a few shades lighter. Teeth whitening strips are an inexpensive alternative to having a bleaching procedure done in your dentist’s office. Keep these plastic strips on your teeth for up to an hour a day, and lasting results can be seen in about a week. Let’s have a look at some of the best and most reliable white strips on the market.
- Best Overall: Crest 3D Whitestrips: The most popular choice in teeth whitening, this brand fully delivers a whiter smile.
- Best Vegan Strips: Zimba Teeth Whitening Strips: They whiten with coconut oil and hydrogen peroxide.
- Best For Sensitive Teeth: Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips: These work without triggering tooth sensitivity.
Before You Buy
Here are some tips to help you make the right choice when buying white strips:
Look for a trustworthy brand
Hair grows back. Skin rejuvenates. Teeth do neither on their own. Using unknown plastic strips might risk the health of your teeth, as they might contain higher percentages of active ingredients as compared to known brands.
And, although most kits contain various dilutions of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and are safe to use, others might contain another teeth whitener, chlorine dioxide, which can erode the enamel surface and weaken the teeth.
Understand how the strips work
A good teeth whitening strip kit will come with strips that cover the front and back of your teeth. The backs of the teeth are important because all teeth are transparent to some degree. So it’s best to have the double action of one strip that folds over the teeth to cover both surfaces.
The key ingredient in teeth whitening strips is usually hydrogen peroxide, which is trapped in a gummy substance on the strips. Unless the instructions indicate otherwise, dry your teeth first with a towel before applying the whitening strips. Once they have adhered, the strips keep the active ingredient next to the surface of your teeth for more effective cleaning than a whitening toothpaste can provide.
What the chemicals do in whitening strips
Whitening strips make your teeth whiter by bleaching away surface stains. The process involves breaking down the stain molecules and oxidizing them. This causes the color of the tooth to fade. Strips work best on external stains from coffee, tea, wine and smoking. The chemicals also penetrate the enamel of your teeth to remove intrinsic stains, but because the concentration is low in these over-the-counter products, they won’t remove intrinsic stains as well as a dentist’s whitening treatment.
Following manufacturers’ suggestions and instructions
Active ingredients in the strips can cause teeth and gum irritation, so it’s essential to follow the instructions that come with over-the-counter whitening products. Only a percentage of users experience tooth sensitivity while using them, but there are kits made especially for sensitive teeth if you need to downgrade the active ingredients.
What’s trending in peel whitestrips and why
Natural-substance based products that lower the risk of tooth and gum sensitivities are popular at the moment. Natural product types sometimes contain the same active ingredients as the chemical-based varieties from say, Crest, but it might use coconut oil as a buffer to help avoid irritation. Coconut oil helps you get whiter teeth and preserves the results of the at-home procedure.
Best Overall: Crest 3D Whitestrips
Two extra sets of 1-Hour Express Whitestrips are included to whiten your teeth quickly, in case you would like to use them for an important event the next day. When the regular Crest 3D Whitestrips are used for a half-hour a day, look for visible results within three days. The teeth whitening gel adheres well and allows you to talk and drink water while they’re in. Crest recommends using their 3D White Toothpaste in conjunction with the whitening kit for even better results.
Crest 3DWhitestrips can’t be used on loose teeth, cracked teeth, braces or other dental work, as they adhere very tightly. For ultra-sensitive teeth, use a toothpaste-like Sensodyne instead of 3D White Toothpaste to brush your teeth. Tooth and gum sensitivity issues might be experienced with this product. It contains sodium hydroxide (lye), which is sometimes added to these kids to contribute to the whitening effects of the hydrogen peroxide.
Best Vegan Strips: Zimba Teeth Whitening Strips
You’ll receive twenty-eight flexible strips that are meant to be used over fourteen days. The treatment time is between thirty minutes to an hour, as you prefer.
Zimba Teeth Whitening Strips have a naturally minty taste, without a chemical after-flavor. Zimba uses two active ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and coconut oil. The coconut oil is also a buffer so these strips carry minimal sensitivity. They are barely noticeable when worn.
The coconut oil buffer will keep these strips from performing on the same level as Crest. Even though coconut oil contains whitening agents, it is still an oil and stops the hydrogen peroxide from reaching the inner core of your teeth. The strips do not adhere as well because of the oil.
Best For Sensitive Teeth: Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips
Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips are used for a half hour for one week. Thereafter, the brand recommends you use them once or twice a week for maintenance. There are 21 treatments in each kit.
Lumineux uses all natural ingredients and essential oils to do their teeth whitening, not hydrogen peroxide. Because of this, the kit causes no teeth or gum sensitivities for most people.
The strips have a tendency to become jelly-like within the half hour of use and the gel can be difficult to remove. They brighten, but not as much as the ones that use chemicals. They are more expensive to use because of the maintenance treatments.
Do whitening strips permanently whiten teeth?
Even the teeth whitening conducted in a dentist’s office is not permanent. The results of any tooth whitening treatment are going to depend on the amount of surface-level stains you have. You can improve your results by getting a regular dental cleaning first to remove plaque, before starting with your teeth whitening kit. Make sure to wait until your gums are fully healed before proceeding with the teeth whitening kit.
The results of strip whitening generally last one to four months. To help the effect last longer, brush your teeth with teeth whitening toothpaste and use oral hygiene products that contain teeth whitening ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, coconut oil, activated charcoal, lemon, or vinegar. Drink more water. Lastly, avoid substances that yellow and darken the teeth like tobacco, coffee, and black tea – or at the least brush your teeth right after.
How do teeth whitening strips differ from how dentists use trays to whiten teeth?
Teeth-whitening strips are a step up from whitening toothpaste, but there are other more effective products beyond strips. At times, a dentist will recommend strips, but their product of choice for discolored teeth is a tray-based system. If a dentist constructs the trays, they will fit your teeth perfectly and lighten your teeth better. When the trays are custom made, it also helps keep the bleaching gel from touching the gums for minimal sensitivity.
Professional-strength gel trays are usually worn for more than an hour and can whiten teeth stains by up to eight shades in four weeks. Strips are worn for up to an hour a day and normally improve the appearance of your natural teeth color between two to five shades.
What is the difference between the gel used on strips and what’s used during office whitening?
Professional-level whitening treatments use high concentration solutions that are brushed directly onto stained teeth. The teeth are then treated with light, lasers, or heat. Office whitening can cost up to five hundred dollars, but produce visible results in a single, one-hour treatment. Usually, more than one appointment is required. Over-the-counter whitening strips only whiten natural teeth. In-office dental treatments are necessary if you have veneers or other dental work to bleach.
Should you brush your teeth before or after using teeth whitening strips?
If you brush your teeth before applying the strips, make sure to wait at least an hour for your gums to repair fully before applying the strips. Remember, gums are sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and other active ingredients in teeth whitening kits.
When removing the strips, there may be a bit of gel adhering to your teeth. You can do several things: (1) rub it into the teeth and allow it to dissolve over time, (2) remove it with your finger and rinse, or (3) very gently brush it away.
What should be avoided when using teeth whitening strips?
Never use teeth whitening strips for longer than recommended in the instructions or more frequently than indicated. Straying from the manufacturer’s suggestions for use could excessively bleach your teeth and lead to a blue color or even transparency. Smoking while the strips are adhered to the teeth can also inhibit the effects of bleaching and cause undesirable results.