Are Whitening Strips Good for Your Teeth?

They’ve increased in popularity over the past several years.. Those little plastic strips that you stick to your teeth to make them whiter. Who wouldn’t want a quick and easy way to get a brighter smile? As popular and easy to use as they are, are they really healthy for your teeth?

The white strips are typically made of very thin polyethylene, which is a flexible plastic that molds to the surfaces of your teeth and also bends into the crevices between the teeth. The active ingredient in the strips is typically hydrogen peroxide. The kinds of strips you buy at the drugstore have a solution of about 10% peroxide. The strips are applied twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. You can usually see a difference within a few days, and after you’ve completed the treatment, your teeth are visibly whiter for about four months.

The American Dental Association (ADA) says that the whitening strips are mostly safe and effective, but there are some issues that can arise if you decide to whiten your teeth using this method. It is highly recommended that you talk to your dentist first before you take on the strips to make sure that you won’t irritate any existing problems you have with your teeth and gums. Also, getting your teeth cleaned may even give you the beaming smile you’re looking for.

If you do decide to use whitening strips, follow the directions closely. If you expose your gums to the peroxide, they can get sensitive or irritated. Your teeth may become sensitive for a little while during and immediately after treatment, but that typically goes away after you’ve completed the 14 day cycle. Another common occurrence is that people often overuse the whitening strips because they initially get great results and keep striving to get their teeth whiter and whiter. This can be dangerous, because the peroxide can cause your teeth to become porous and your tooth enamel can start breaking down.

We all want our pearly whites to be as pearly white as possible. The best way to keep them beaming is to follow a solid oral hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist.