Do store bought teeth whitening strips actually work?

Do store bought teeth whitening strips actually work?

Yes, the teeth whitening strips you can buy at the store do work, but they’re not the most effective way to whiten teeth. Here’s a little from our Surrey dentist about how white strips work, how to use them safely, and what you should know before you try them.


So, what exactly are teeth whitening strips?

White strips are small strips of polyethylene, a thin piece of and flexible plastic. Each of the plastic strips is coated with a gel that contains either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth.

You apply the whitening strips to the fronts of your teeth, then mold them to fit. Once applied the peroxide gel gradually seeps into the teeth to help remove stains and lighten the teeth.

Do white strips actually work?

Store bought teeth whitening strips do work, but only to a degree. While they will help remove surface stains and make your teeth somewhat whiter, since the concentration of whitening ingredients in them is fairly low,  they're not as effective as having your teeth whitened by a dental professional. The whitening gel used at your dentist’s office contains higher concentrations of bleaching ingredients and is therefore more effective at whitening teeth.

Problems with White Strips

Besides not being the most effective way to whiten your teeth, white strips can also pose some problems.

Gum Damage

White strips have been known to cause chemical reactions with user's gums which can result in damage to the tissues. In order to avoid gum damage, do not to let the whitening strips touch your gums when you apply them.

Yellow Spots

White strips are only minimally effective when it comes to the curved bottoms of teeth as well as the in-between spaces. White strip users can end up with the centre of the tooth being whiter than the edges, causing a somewhat blotchy looking smile.

Tooth Damage

Be extra careful not to overdo whitening!  Unlike hair or fingernails; once your teeth are damaged, they’re damaged for good.

Over-whitening can cause tooth enamel to soften, and the teeth to turn an odd greyish colour. Making mistakes with white strips could even cause you to experience shooting pains in your teeth, or make you sensitive to certain foods. 

If you are planning to try white strips, be sure to consult with your dentist first. Contact our Surrey office today to learn more about effective ways to whiten your smile!

From Our Team

  • We love caring for the oral health of the Surrey community, and we're always welcoming new patients. We'd love to meet you and your family!
    - Dr. Anna Rosenczweig

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