Are Teeth Whitening Strips Right For You?

Huffman Family Dentistry

Most of us would agree that we want a whiter smile. Teeth that are bright and white indicate good health and hygiene and can do wonders for your overall look. Are teeth whitening strips the best way to a better smile? Here are some pros and cons to consider before purchasing whitening strips for your teeth.

One of the main reasons why many people choose teeth whitening strips is because the results are quick. Many whitening strips promise whiter teeth in just seven days. The results can last as little as six months, but some products give you a whiter smile for up to 18 months. That’s a pretty significant length of time to have a winning smile.

Whitening strips are also effective and safe for most people. If you have stained teeth due to drinking wine or coffee, or even if you want to whiten your teeth to decrease the effects of smoking, strips are a viable option. When you see that your teeth are whiter, you’ll be more likely to smile often, which could benefit you both professionally and personally. However, it’s important to note that whitening strips aren’t as effective as crowns, veneers, fillings or caps, especially if you have teeth that are severely stained and don’t respond well to conventional whitening treatments.

Using whitening strips is also pretty inexpensive when compared to other whitening treatments. Professional teeth whitening can cost anywhere from $100 to $650. Strips are easy to purchase at many groceries and discount retail locations, and usually don’t cost more than $45.

While there are several benefits to using teeth whitening strips, there are some drawbacks as well. Excessive use of the strips could weaken the enamel. Just as you wouldn’t over-bleach your hair to avoid damage, the same principle is true for your teeth. Using bleaching strips daily or even weekly can take enamel from the teeth, which makes the teeth and gum more susceptible to sensitivity and disease. When the enamel is weakened, the teeth can have a translucent appearance and even look gray or blue. Remember that enamel doesn’t grow back, so be sure to use the whitening strips according to the package instructions.

If you already have sensitive teeth, the strips could cause even more sensitivity. Here are some additional DIY teeth whitening tips. You may also find that your teeth are more sensitive after applying the strips, and if this is the case, stop using the strips and talk to your dentist about other whitening options. Sensitivity symptoms can last up to three weeks, so be sure to inform your dentist if you experience pain or a tingling sensation when brushing or flossing. 

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