Product Reviews
Updated on January 25, 2023
7 min read

How to Use Crest White Strips

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Using Crest Whitestrips: Step-By-Step Instructions

To use Crest Whitestrips and reduce any side effects, follow the packaging instructions.

  1. Remove the upper and lower strips from the packaging
  2. Cut each strip to the precise height of your teeth, if needed
  3. Remove the plastic covering the adhesive layer
  4. Carefully place each strip on your teeth with the gel side sticking onto them; try not to let the strips touch the gums
  5. Let the strips sit on your teeth for the number of minutes listed on the packaging (typically 10 to 30 minutes)
  6. Remove the white strips from your teeth
  7. Rinse and wash your mouth with water
  8. Do not brush your teeth for at least two hours or eat for at least one hour
  9. Repeat the treatment; do not exceed the number of days suggested on the packaging (typically 10 to 20 consecutive days)

Do not brush your teeth with toothpaste before or after using the white strips. Brushing your teeth before using white strips can heighten tooth sensitivity. Brushing afterward risks pushing the abrasive chemicals into the tooth enamel.

How Often Can You Use Crest Whitestrips?

Some Whitestrips require one application, while others should be worn twice daily.

Usually, you should wear your home whitening strips for 5 to 45 minutes, depending on the product's strength. Read the instructions carefully and follow the directions for the best results.

Always read the packaging of how many times a day you should wear Crest Whitestrips. This will differ by product and should be written in the teeth whitening instructions. 

Are Crest Whitestrips Effective?

To determine if Crest Whitestrips are a good option, you should learn whether you are dealing with enamel or dentin discoloration. Enamel becomes discolored from staining (for example, if you drink a lot of red wine).

Dentin is typically considered the ‘inside’ of your teeth. Dentin becomes discolored from aging, trauma, poor nutrition, or smoking. Crest Whitestrips include peroxide to penetrate the dentin of your teeth.

Crest Whitestrips may reduce the appearance of teeth stains. However, gray teeth rather than yellow are less likely to whiten noticeably using peroxide-based whitening systems like Crest Whitestrips.

Avoid using Crest Whitestrips immediately before or after dental work, like dental fillings or dentures. Dental whitening strips will not whiten veneers, fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, or anything else aside from your natural teeth. 

You should also have clean teeth before whitening so the gel is distributed equally. 

3 Ways to Maintain White Teeth After Using Strips

Practicing good oral care is the best way to stop teeth from aging prematurely and yellowing. You should also schedule regular dental care and teeth cleanings.

Here are other ways to maintain white teeth after using Crest Whitestrips:

1. Avoid Drinks That Stain

Try to avoid drinks that are likely to stain your teeth. If you drink sodas like cola, sip them through a straw to reduce the drink's contact with your teeth.

If you drink beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, or cola, always rinse your mouth after consumption as soon as possible to reduce the risk of stains. The same goes for foods that are likely to stain your teeth.

2. Use the Right Toothpaste

Be sure to brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste once or twice a week while using products to whiten the teeth. Use standard toothpaste for daily use. Using mouthwash daily can also help.

3. Remember to Floss

Daily flossing will also help keep white teeth in excellent condition. Make sure to practice a complete oral care routine, including twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing, as this is essential no matter what teeth whitening products you choose.

Crest Whitestrips Ingredients

Crest Whitestrips ingredients include:

  • Water
  • Glycerin
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)
  • Carbomer 956
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Sodium saccharin
  • PEG-8 
  • Acrylates copolymer
  • Pyrophosphate (in Crest 3D White Whitestrips Stain Shield) 
  • Polyethylene (the textured strip)

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a common substance used to whiten teeth. This ingredient is often safe to use, as long as it does not permeate sensitive gum tissue. 

Hydrogen peroxide in Crest Whitestrips is polarizing because the gel is exposed to the gums.

Sodium Hydroxide

Some specialists consider sodium hydroxide, a pH-balancing ingredient, dangerous and toxic. Sodium hydroxide is considered caustic, which means it erodes whatever it comes in contact with. 

Sodium hydroxide is often used in hair dye. Similar to over-dyed hair, teeth can be stripped from over-whitening. 

PVP and Carbomer 956

Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) helps to bind teeth to the strip. PVP is considered safe, so it won’t disrupt hormones or bioaccumulate.

Carbomer is also considered a safe chemical. It also creates an adhesive to help bind the strip to the teeth.


PEG-8 has been shown to cause hives in those with an allergy. Hives can appear on the cheeks, tongue, or gums.7


Pyrophosphate has been used in Whitestrips to act as tartar protection. However, studies have shown that pyrophosphate does not reduce tartar on teeth.8

Acrylates Copolymer

Acrylates copolymer is a polymer that helps the strips to stay intact while whitening. 

Acrylates copolymer is considered safe. However, sometimes it can be contaminated with other harmful ingredients that should not come in contact with the skin, eyes, or mouth.

Are Crest Whitestrips Safe?

Crest Whitestrips are safe for occasional use. But, if you do not use them correctly or use them too frequently, these whitening treatments damage your gums or teeth.

However, UV light, included in some teeth whitening kits from Crest, may cause severe tooth sensitivity. This sensitivity may fade within a few days to one week. UV lights do not seem to increase the whitening effect of peroxide further than a week or two.

UV lights with peroxide may adversely affect the pulp of your tooth. This could potentially lead to painful or uncomfortable toothaches or the need for a root canal in cases of severe, persistent sensitivity. 

The American Dental Association (ADA Council) has approved Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips as safe and effective for home use.

5 Possible Side Effects and Risks of Crest Whitestrips

The side effects of Crest Whitestrips include:

1. Yellow Spots

Crest Whitestrips work on the surfaces of teeth and often can not reach crevices. This could lead to uneven whitening.

2. Tooth Damage

If you use Crest Whitestrips too often, the enamel on your teeth can wear down. This can increase your teeth’s sensitivity and make you more susceptible to developing cavities.

3. Gum Damage

Sodium hydroxide, an ingredient in Whitestrips, can erode teeth and irritate the soft tissue of your gums. This can damage your gums and lead to decay and disease if used too often.

4. Tooth Sensitivity

If the enamel of your teeth deteriorates, the inner layer of your teeth (dentin) becomes exposed. This can cause sensitivity and make consuming hot or cold foods or beverages difficult. 

5. Negative Impacts on the Oral Microbiome

Peroxide, an ingredient in Whitestrips, works to eliminate both good and bad bacteria. It is important to have good bacteria to keep your mouth healthy. 

Leaving peroxide in your mouth for too long can disturb your oral microbiome

How Much Do Crest Whitestrips Cost?

Whitening Strips typically cost around $70 for a kit, but prices vary depending on the type of strips.6 

Some whitening strips contain ingredients like the products used by dentists and remove stains below the tooth's enamel. Crest 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects can remove up to 14 years of teeth stains and offers expert-level whitening at around $69.99 for 20 strips.6

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Gentle Routine offers more subtle teeth whitening at approximately $44.99 for a set of 28 strips. They have the same ingredients used by dentists for in-office teeth bleaching. However, since the concentration is lower, the product is less likely to irritate sensitive teeth.6

Where to Buy Crest Whitestrips 

The best place to buy Crest Whitestrips is Amazon, and plenty of different varieties are available. You can also purchase Crest Whitestrips from Walgreens, Walmart, Target, and similar stores.

Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White

Crest 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White

Crest 3D Whitestrips Sensitive

Crest 3D Whitestrips Sensitive

Last updated on January 25, 2023
8 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 25, 2023
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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