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Are Teeth Whitening Strips Effective ?

Yes! Teeth whitening strips are effective as a tool for lightening teeth. It is always important to remember however that the product must be used in conjunction with the manufacturer’s instructions.

When choosing a whitening strip, you should purchase one that works well with your lifestyle and the amount of time you have to wear the product on a daily basis. If using whitening strips twice a day for thirty minutes seems like a long time, there are other whitening options, such as in-office bleaching at your dentist’s office that can be completed in one office visit.

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How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Work on My Teeth ?

Teeth become discolored or darker over time as teeth acquire staining molecules on and within the enamel and dentin. These molecules contain double bonds that cause them to be colored. This occurs when normal white light interacts with the double bonds and some of the light is absorbed. The remaining light, which is what we see, is dimmer and is no longer white (the tooth appears darker and discolored).

When a whitening gel (either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide) is applied to the teeth, the peroxide penetrates the enamel and dentin. During this time, the peroxide breaks down into its active, whitening components. These active components break the double bonds, resulting in a molecule with only single bonds. These new compounds (the single bonds) no longer absorb portions of white light. The result is a tooth that is no longer discolored so it appears lighter and/or whiter.

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What is the Active Ingredient in Teeth Whitening Strips ?

Most teeth whitening strip products in the marketplace contain hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching agent. Due to differences in concentration, or the amount of peroxide in each product, the effect varies. OTC whitening strips contain anywhere from 3% to 10% hydrogen peroxide. Professionally dispensed whitening strips (available only through a dentist) usually contain around 15% hydrogen peroxide. Whitening procedures conducted in dental offices and in teeth whitening centers contain hydrogen peroxide in the range of 15- 38% .

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How Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work ?

The peroxide gel on a white strip works to slowly bleach your teeth to a lighter shade. Many whitening strips often come in two different sizes, one size for the upper teeth and one for the lower teeth. By pressing these strips up against your teeth for a tight fit, the gel makes contact with your enamel. Teeth whitening strip products differ in the percentage of peroxide they contain, and thus the usage instructions are different for each type. In general, expect to wear the strips for 30 minutes once to twice a day over the course of one to two weeks. Individuals are strongly encouraged to closely follow any and all instructions included in these OTC whitening strips.

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What are Teeth Whitening Strips?

While smaller brands existed prior to the launch of Crest White Strips, the marketing and advertising support behind Crest firmly launched and introduced this concept to the US market on a broad scale basis. Since then, many companies have followed suit and now there are numerous whitening products on the market, such as Listerine Teeth Whitening Strips and Rembrandt Whitening Strips. Additionally, store brands have also been introduced at mass retailers such as CVS and Target.

The teeth whitening strip form is essentially made up of a thin piece of plastic covered with a tooth whitening gel that contains peroxide. By wearing the strips as indicated on the product packaging, the gel comes into contact with the surface of your teeth and works to slowly take away surface stains, as well as stains within the tooth’s enamel.

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Effects on Dental Work

Paint-on Teeth Whiteners May Effect Your Dental Work

As is the case with just about every form of peroxide-based teeth whitening, dental restorations will not take to the bleaching process the same way your teeth will. For this reason, it is often the case that dental work will need to be replaced after the whitening process to match the new colour of your teeth. Once again, it is important to consult your dentist before whitening your teeth. Your dentist will best know how your teeth will take to the whitener and if you will need to have any work done following the whitening. This will also give you a better understanding of all the possible costs associated with the whitening process.

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Paint On Teeth Whitening Advantages

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Paint-On Teeth Whiteners

Despite some disadvantages, there are still instances where paint-on teeth whiteners are the best choice. For instance, if you only need to bleach a couple teeth, a paint-on whitener may be perfect for you. For best results, each patient needs to weigh all of their options and take the advice offered by their dentist.

Disadvantages Of Paint-on Teeth Whitening

There are some disadvantages to paint-on teeth whitening techniques that may be valid reasons for choosing another method. One criticism of this technique is that the whitening agent that is painted on dissolves too quickly for the bleaching agent to break down into free radicals and further break down the staining. It is essential for the whitener to stay on the teeth long enough for this process to complete itself.

A study was performed with two subject groups.: in one group whitening gel was applied and then covered with a polyethylene strip to keep the gel in place (protecting it from saliva, and any other fluids or motion that might dilute or remove the gel). In the second group, the paint-on whitener was left uncovered. The whitening results from the covered gel resulted in significantly improved whitening. [1]

The use of professional whitening trays and OTC strips allows the whitener to stay closer to the teeth for the necessary amount of time resulting in a more effective whitening treatment. These other methods are also more effective at protecting the whiteners from being diluted from fluids in the mouth. Professionally dispensed whitening trays have proven to be a highly effective at-home whitening technique; however, OTC strips have tested at a comparably high level.

Consulting a dentist will help you make the best choice that suits your needs and lifestyle.

[1] Farrell S, Barker ML, Sagel PA, Gerlach RW. Use of a physical barrier to improve efficacy of a paint-on whitening gel: a seven-day randomized clinical trial. J Clin Dent. 2006;17(5):117-21.

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Paint On Teeth Whitening Effectiveness

Paint-On Whiteners can be purchased over-the-counter, and are generally less expensive and less effective than whitening strips.[1] [2]

There are many cases where each tooth has a variation of discolouration. In these instances, each tooth can be treated based on its individual need. There are also instances where only one or two teeth need to be treated. One example could be the darkening that can happen to a tooth after a root canal procedure. In scenarios like this, paint-on teeth whiteners could be the least expensive teeth whitening method for obtaining desired results. Although, paint-on whiteners are not always the most effective technique, sometimes it is a suitable technique.

[1] Xu X, Zhu L, Tang Y, Wang Y, Zhang K, Li S, Bohman LC, Gerlach RW. Randomized clinical trial comparing whitening strips, paint-on gel and negative control. Am J Dent. 2007 Sep;20 Spec No A:28A-31A. Erratum in: Am J Dent. 2009 Apr;22(2):114.

[2] Bizhang M, Müller M, Phark JH, Barker ML, Gerlach RW.

Clinical trial of long-term color stability of hydrogen peroxide strips and sodium percarbonate film.

Am J Dent. 2007 Sep;20 Spec No A:23A-27A. Erratum in: Am J Dent. 2009 Apr;22(2):114.

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What is “Paint-On” Teeth Whitening ?

Paint-On Teeth Whitening can be purchased over-the-counter from a retailer and are generally less expensive and less effective than teeth whitening strips.[1] [2] Paint-On teeth whiteners consist of a gel that is applied to the tooth using a small brush. Some paint-on whitening gels harden into a film that coats the treated tooth, and dissolves in the mouth.

Paint-on whiteners can contain either carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as their primary bleaching ingredient. As with any teeth whitening regimen, it’s wise to consult with a dental professional before treating discoloured teeth.

[1] Xu X, Zhu L, Tang Y, Wang Y, Zhang K, Li S, Bohman LC, Gerlach RW. Randomised clinical trial comparing whitening strips, paint-on gel and negative control. Am J Dent. 2007 Sep;20 Spec No A:28A-31A. Erratum in: Am J Dent. 2009 Apr;22(2):114.

[2] Bizhang M, Müller M, Phark JH, Barker ML, Gerlach RW. Clinical trial of long-term color stability of hydrogen peroxide strips and sodium percarbonate film.

Am J Dent. 2007 Sep;20 Spec No A:23A-27A. Erratum in: Am J Dent. 2009 Apr;22(2):114.

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All the information contained in this website is intended for educational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to consult other sources and talk with their healthcare provider to obtain further information.

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