What Are Teeth Whitening Strips? Do They Work?

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So many people desire a whiter and brighter smile. They nurse the hope that all stains that have built up over the years will just vanish completely. Teeth-whitening strips are believed to be a low-cost and very effective way of achieving this. Of course, they work very well and are far better than random teeth whitening kits marketed online. While they may be close to perfect, they do have a few drawbacks that you need to be aware of.

What are teeth whitening strips, and how do they work?

Teeth-whitening strips are produced from a flexible plastic material. The strip is coated in a layer of whitening gel. The gel contains a bleaching agent (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). When you apply the strip to your teeth, the gel presses against the surface of the teeth and is held in place. It then penetrates the tooth and begins the lightning process. Teeth-whitening strips are usually applied daily over a 2-3-week timeline.

While teeth whitening strips may seem like a low-cost way to achieve a whiter smile, it does have a couple of disadvantages. These disadvantages are surmountable, no doubt, but you must get to know them if you want to use the strips effectively.

Demerits of teeth whitening strips

1.  Risk of uneven whitening

No matter how diligently and carefully you place the strips, there will always be the risk of uneven whitening. You see, the whitening strip is a 2-dimensional surface. Conversely, your tooth has a three-dimensional surface. There will be spots on your tooth where the strip does not make full contact. However, with careful application and a bit of luck, you’ll cover up those spots next time. However, it is important to note that any parts of the teeth not properly covered will not be as whitened. At best, you’ll get uneven results. On the worst side, you’ll have very visible unsightly yellow edges.

2. The risk of gum problems

Teeth whitening strips contain a harsh chemical that can damage your gum tissues. It is important to avoid contact between your gums and the whitening agent as much as possible. However, this is easier said than done. You can try cutting the strip with scissors to more closely match your smile. The fact, though, is that it is always difficult to create a balance between covering your teeth fully while preventing the gel from touching the gums.

3. Tooth sensitivity

Teeth whitening strips can be used safely in moderation. However, overuse can cause sensitivity and permanent damage to your teeth. If the enamel is eroded due to excessive application of the whitening agent, you risk pains, decay, and other complications which may end in tooth loss. Treatment should never be prolonged beyond the recommended time, and ensure that your teeth are in good condition (without gum disease or cavities) before starting the teeth whitening process.

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