Health and beauty trends nowadays are thankfully much safer and easier to try out than those in the past. We’ve gone from painting our faces with toxic lead to using products that are inspected, tested, and manufactured for safe use. Even so, it’s still best to be careful and do good research before rushing to the pharmacy to buy whatever hot new item is on the market.
When it comes to teeth whitening, there are quite a few items that tend to be hit or miss. For instance, charcoal toothpaste and brushes are popular products that have the unfortunate side effect of melting away delicate enamel and tooth structure due to their abrasive nature. Certain whitening toothpastes out there that promise instant results aren’t really formulated to be harmless and risk-free, either. Still, there are other items that can whiten teeth just as well without causing any unnecessary damage.
Teeth whitening strips have become a popular alternative to other whitening products since they’re known to be cheaper, much safer, and easier to use. Simply place the strips on the surface of your teeth, wait for half an hour, and enjoy whiter and shinier teeth! Before you rush to get your first pack of these, it’s good to understand how they work first and whether they’re really for you.
How Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work?
Most teeth whitening gels and strips use carbamide peroxide as their main ingredient. When this solid compound comes into contact with saliva, it breaks down into hydrogen peroxide that whitens the surface of teeth. This ingredient is considered safe by the American Dental Association (ADA), so you don’t have to worry about any adverse health risks.
To apply teeth whitening strips, all you have to do is find the side with special gel and stick it to your teeth just near the gum line. Most people recommend not brushing beforehand and applying a bit of pressure so the strips adhere better to your teeth. If there’s any extra length, simply stick the rest of the strip to the back of your teeth. Wait for half an hour or longer, then remove and properly dispose of the strips. Do rinse or brush to get rid of all the whitening gel from your mouth, as gel can be toxic when ingested.
How often you should use teeth whitening strips depends mostly on the product you’re using. The instructions should state how many times you should put them on, and how long you should wait before taking them off. As a rule of thumb, it’s best not to use teeth whitening strips more than the prescribed amount as this can lead to some bad side effects for your teeth and gums. It’s also good not to leave the whitening strips on too long as they can erode teeth and irritate the gums.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Although teeth whitening strips are generally considered safe, there are a few things that you should take into consideration before using them. The acidity level of hydrogen peroxide can make the mouth’s pH level too high to be safe, thus increasing your risks of developing cavities and other oral health problems. Hydrogen peroxide itself can also be quite abrasive and worsen cavities and tooth decay. Prolonged use of teeth whitening strips can also lead to discomfort due to sensitive teeth—considering that these strips make direct contact with the surface of teeth, it’s safe to say that they can affect enamel when they’re used way too much.
Are They Safer Than Other Products?
Compared to abrasive toothpaste and toothbrushes, teeth whitening strips don’t pose too many risks to your oral health so long as they’re used properly. Most dentists do in fact recommend them to patients as they don’t contain hazardous ingredients or the same level of abrasiveness found in other products.
You’ll be able to see visible results after around a week of use, and enjoy whiter teeth for up to a year if you continue to use them regularly. As long as you avoid too many foods that can cause discoloration, such as coffee and soda, and brush properly your teeth whitening strips should be able to help your teeth glow with pride.
Still, before using teeth whitening strips or any other product, it’s always best to consult your dentist first in order to determine if your teeth are too sensitive or if there are any cavities and other oral health problems that need to be taken care of first. A visit to the dentist beforehand can also help you find out if there are certain ingredients that might not sit well with you or if the side effects are too much for you to bear. Children, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions, in particular, should also consult their physicians before trying out these kinds of products just to ensure that they don't pose any adverse health risks.
It’s important to remember that you can’t attain whiter teeth just by using cosmetic products. You can eliminate bacteria and certain compounds that discolor teeth simply by practicing regular tooth brushing and avoiding too many unhealthy foods. Our high-quality dental scaler effectively removes bacteria left behind on hidden spots and crevices of the teeth after brushing so you can enjoy whiter, stronger, and healthier teeth for a long time.