Cosmetic DentistryAdvanced Dentistry

Do Teeth Whitening Strips Really Work?

There are many teeth whitening products available today. From in-chair laser whitening treatments to over-the-counter whitening kits, consumers have no lack of choice when it comes to available methods to brighten their teeth. Since these products vary in terms of type of application as well as the amount and concentration of active whitening agent, it should be pretty obvious that they produce different results.

One of the emerging products is the teeth whitening strip. This heavily marketed type of whitening application generally consists of thin dental strips infused with active whitening ingredient, with varying degrees of peroxide concentrations across the different brands. Most of these products promise quick and easy whitening solutions ­– with differing claims from “1-hour express” treatments to “dissolvable strips”. Are these whitening strips truly effective? Can they deliver the whiter smile that you are after? How do they compare with whitening gels and laser treatments? Well, let’s take a closer look.

Whitening strips are becoming the second most common method of at-home whitening procedures, after toothpaste applications. After all, everybody loves a shortcut to whiter and healthy looking teeth.

Whitening strips are becoming the second most common method of at-home whitening, after toothpaste applications

The strength of whitening strips lies in its ease of application. The technique involves pressing the thin dental strips against the outer surface of your teeth so that they stick to the teeth and evenly cover the surface with the layer of active whitening ingredient coated on the strips. Sounds simple enough… but here’s the catch.

The surfaces of our teeth are not completely flat. Hence the flat strips fail to cover the areas between each tooth to adequately whiten the recesses and grooves. The best way to describe this is to imagine painting an old fence white simply by running it over with a roller brush. If you do not take the time to paint in the grooves between each wooden board, the fence will appear white on the front surfaces but still dirty in the sections where the boards are joined. Applying that analogy to the use of dental strips, the contrasting effects will be more or less obvious, depending on the results of the whitening as well as the original shade of your teeth colour.

Pouring Paint In A Paint Tray
Flat whitening strips fail to cover the areas between each tooth – similar to painting a fence using just a roller brush

To achieve even coverage for every visible section of your teeth, the in-clinic, dentist-administered teeth whitening method (like the Zoom! Teeth Whitening System) is a highly effective treatment. Unlike over-the-counter products – including whitening strips  – the dentist-administered take-home whitening kits use of customized whitening trays. These whitening trays are based on the individual dimensions of your teeth, based on the dental impression moulds taken by a dental professional.

The whitening tray not only fits more comfortably in your mouth, it conforms to the exact contours and arching angles of your teeth for optimum peroxide gel coverage and whitening effects. Another advantage of the in-clinic method is that the higher concentration of peroxide gel ingredient ­– that only dentists are authorized to apply in a safe clinical environment like the dentist’s office – generally produce better whitening results. With dentist-administered laser whitening treatment, the whitening results are also achieved much faster – we’re talking results in just one dental appointment, as opposed to many weeks or months of OTC home-use therapies.

Despite the difference in results – and the time it takes to achieve them – there are still people who will pick over-the-counter products like whitening strips over in-clinic treatments. OTC products are generally more convenient ­– since they allow self-application at the convenience of the user – while decidedly more affordable. However, there are others who favour the speed and efficiency of in-clinic whitening. While it is good to have so many alternatives and options to select from, teeth whitening is ultimately a dental treatment that requires your serious consideration. It is therefore a good idea that you consult a professional dentist – with a proper oral examination – before making that decision.

Dentist working on girls teeth
Consult a professional dentist and have a proper oral examination before making a decision about teeth whitening

Discover how Zoom! teeth whitening can help to enhance the look of your smile. Speak to the Qualit Dental client management team to book your appointment.

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