Do Crest White Strips Really Work? | Teeth Whitening Strips

Do Crest White Strips Really Work? | Teeth Whitening Strips

 Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH
Written by Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH🔬 Evidence Based
Do Crest White Strips Really Work? | Teeth Whitening Strips

Crest Whitening Strips are probably one of the most original and effective over-the-counter teeth whitening products out there. Developed by a reputable and trustworthy brand, if you’re wondering, “Do Crest White Strips work?”, the short answer is yes, they do. But as with any commercial whitening product, there are always ifs, ands, or buts to keep in mind.

Crest Whitening Strips are one of the few professionally recommended over-the-counter whitening products that are safe for both adults and teens. But as with any whitening product, you only want to bleach your teeth under the direction of your dentist and if your teeth and gums are healthy.

Do Crest Whitestrips Work?

Yes. Crest whitening strips work, at least to a certain extent. The whitening ingredients and concentrations inside of the gel that’s on the strip won’t be near as “strong” as what you can get from your dentist. But it’s still effective enough to help with a fairly modest amount of tooth stain.

The key to getting your whitening strips—whether they’re Crest brand or another one—is to make sure they have full contact with your teeth. You usually need to take your fingernail and physically shape the strip against the contours and curves of each of your teeth and along the gumlines. If there isn’t even contact time, you’ll wind up with splotchy or uneven whitening. Do Crest White Strips work if used correctly? 100%. But you have to make sure you’re following the directions to a T.

How Long Does It Take Before You See Results?

Factors like natural tooth discoloration and lifestyle choices can make it harder to whiten teeth in some people more than others. But if you’re just the average person who wants whiter teeth, you’ll need to usually wear the whitening strips every day for 10-14 days before you see the full results.

However, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait two weeks before you see any improvement in the color of your tooth enamel. Whitening strips usually start to make a difference within just 3-4 days. Only you’ll want to keep wearing them to continue the improvement, even out the whitening overall, and get the brightest end results.

How Do Crest White Strips Whiten Teeth? 

Although there are several different types of Crest White Strips on the market, you’ll find that they all have the same active ingredient: hydrogen peroxide. No, you shouldn’t go out and start rinsing with hydrogen peroxide. But when it’s in a gel form and placed against teeth, the peroxide oxidizes the stain particles that it comes into contact with, lifting discoloration and whitening the tooth in the process.

The concentration of peroxide that you’ll find in Crest strips is not the same as what you could get in a professional system. It’s basically like comparing over-the-counter medication with a prescription from your doctor. They can both work, but one will be stronger than the other.

When you wear white strips against your teeth as directed, they eventually lighten your tooth over several days. But if worn incorrectly and directions aren’t followed, you won’t see very good results. How do Crest White Strips work effectively? When worn flushly against your teeth for 30-60 minutes per day, for 10-14 days in a row.

Risks Of Using Teeth Whitening Strip  

There are a few major risks that anyone using whitening strips needs to know about:

1) Tooth-Colored Restorations

When you whiten your teeth, your enamel will get brighter, but your dental work won’t. If you’re someone who has white fillings or crowns in the front of your smile, those materials are going to stay the same color consistently throughout your whitening regimen. They will either stand out from your tooth after you’ve whitened, or you’ll need to have them updated in a more appropriate color by your dentist.

2) Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is the #1 side effect of teeth whitening. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to limit your risks. Consider only wearing your whitening strips every other day. Another tip is to use sensitivity toothpaste leading up to your treatment, throughout the duration of those weeks, and then for a week or two afterward.

3) Bleached Gums

Whitening strips are not meant for your soft gum tissues. If they rest against them for too long, your gums could start to get bleached out or experience chemical burns.

4) Splotchy Whitening (Spots On Teeth)

It’s not uncommon for some parts of your tooth to whiten at quicker rates than others. In the beginning, you might see splotchy or uneven coloration, especially if you have areas of demineralization. In most cases, these will even out as you complete the final days of your whitening treatment.

Teeth Whitening Alternative Solution

If your teeth are really dark and discolored, or you’ve had an extensive amount of dental work done in the past, over-the-counter teeth whitening may not be able to offer the results you’re looking for.

Professional teeth whitening provides the best results when tenacious stains are a concern. Since they’re much more concentrated, you’re able to target extensive tooth discoloration in a time-effective manner.

But if whitening isn’t appropriate or you have lots of dental work in your “smile zone”, the better alternative would be to consider porcelain crowns or veneers. Both can significantly change the appearance of your teeth. Everything from the exact color and shape can be tailored to your preferences.

Sometimes your dentist may have you whiten first, then treat the teeth under concern. Or they may recommend several different restorations across the teeth that are visible when you smile.

What about safe DIY whitening methods? Aside from using a whitening kit or scheduling dental work, here are some other important tips to follow:

  • Brush your teeth for a minimum of twice a day, for two minutes each
  • Invest in an electric toothbrush
  • Floss or water floss once per day
  • Have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months
  • Ditch dark liquids for clear ones
  • Sip your drinks through a straw

Avoid These Teeth Whitening Methods

Not all teeth whitening tips and tricks are actually safe for your teeth. Some of them can be counterproductive or even damaging to your mouth. Here are just a few examples of DIY teeth whitening options you need to steer clear of:

1) Activated Charcoal 

Putting an abrasive on your teeth might polish away surface stains, but after that, it can physically scratch and erode your enamel. Once that happens, teeth will look yellower, darker, and physically build up more stain than before. Don’t attempt to DIY whiten with products that contain rough particles of activated charcoal.

2) Whitening Mouthwash

You really won’t see whitening results from using mouthwash. But if you’re rinsing right after drinking a dark liquid, it might help limit new stain buildup. However, some whitening mouthwash formulas actually make certain people get black stains on their teeth with regular use.

3) Kaolin Clay

This is another micro-abrasive that’s popular with skincare products. Like activated charcoal, it can cause micro-scratches on your teeth. Would you brush with sand in your mouth? Absolutely not. Nor do you want to use tinier versions of particles that could scratch up dental work or create spaces for stains to stick to. 

4) Fruit Peels

Are social media influencers making it seem ultra-tempting to rub your teeth with fruit peels to physically whiten your smile? It’s actually acid erosion that you’re seeing. With too much erosion, teeth will start to look super white at first. But it’s only temporary. You’ll be left with expensive, extensive damage that’s also unattractive. The only way to correct it will be with the help of your dentist and a great dental lab.  

5) Apple Cider Vinegar

Rinsing with apple cider vinegar is dangerous for your tooth enamel because of how acidic it is. Plus, the yellow tint can build up in the micropores across your tooth surfaces, adding to additional discoloration.

Do Crest White Strips Work? 

Yes! Whitening strips are safe and effective, as long as you use them as directed. But if you need something stronger, your dentist may want to set you up with a professional kit or talk to you about dental veneers. Avoid DIY whitening hacks that seem too good to be true (because they are.) Relax, all of us have a bit of natural tooth discoloration. When you use products like whitening strips under the direction of your dentist, you can enjoy predictable and timely results.

 Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH
Written by Whitney DiFoggio BS, RDH"Teeth Talk Girl," is a registered dental hygienist. She started her dental health journey on YouTube, educating the public through videos.
Last updated onOctober 3, 2023Here is our process

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