In this article
Teeth whitening strips are dental products that whiten teeth and remove stains. They are an at-home aesthetic treatment that makes many people more confident due to a brighter smile.
Whitening strips are generally safe and effective. Possible side effects include temporary tooth sensitivity and gingival inflammation.1
Taking care of your teeth while using whitening strips can increase the overall treatment efficacy. Read on to learn the best oral hygiene practices while using tooth whitening strips.
Yes, you can brush your teeth immediately after using whitening strips. Most manufacturers recommend gently brushing if you choose to do so.
Keep in mind that your teeth may be sensitive after using whitening strips. Wait for the sensitivity to subside before you brush your teeth. This usually takes about half an hour to a few hours.
Learn about the safest ways to whiten your teeth.
No, you shouldn’t brush your teeth right before applying whitening strips. Most manufacturers advise waiting at least 30 minutes after brushing.
Applying the strips too soon after brushing may cause gum irritation. In addition, brushing can make your teeth too smooth for the strips to stick.
However, brushing and flossing your teeth 30 minutes or more before placing the whitening strips can increase their efficacy. Removing plaque allows the strips to make closer contact with your teeth.
Whitening strips are flexible, plastic strips that stick to the teeth. Like most whitening treatments, they use bleaching agents to whiten teeth.
The main active ingredient in most whitening strips is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. They come in the form of a thin gel layer on the strip. Research shows that both ingredients are safe and effective to use on teeth.2
Knowing how to use whitening strips will help them work successfully.
Depending on the product, you’ll need to wear your whitening strips once or twice daily for 30 minutes. Apply them at least half an hour after eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth.
Closely follow the directions included with your whitening strips. The application process usually involves the following:
After applying and disposing of the strips, gently brush and floss your teeth.
You can also eat and drink whenever you like, but avoid food and beverages that can stain your teeth, such as:3
The two most common side effects of whitening strips are tooth sensitivity and gum inflammation.
Research has found these effects are more likely when using products with a higher peroxide concentration.4 Side effects are, however, almost always mild and temporary. Whitening strips will not have a permanent adverse impact on your oral health.
You can alleviate and prevent tooth sensitivity symptoms by:
If you have swollen gums or gum inflammation, you can also:
Make a dentist appointment if symptoms worsen or do not go away over time. Always consult a dental professional before starting an at-home whitening regimen. They will help you decide which treatment is best for you.
See NewMouth’s top 10 teeth whitening products of 2022.
Here are some additional best practices to keep in mind while using whitening strips:
Here’s what not to do while using whitening strips:
It is safe to brush your teeth after applying whitening strips. Most manufacturers recommend waiting 30 minutes to do so. Always avoid brushing your teeth right before using whitening strips.
Whitening strips are a safe, effective way to whiten teeth. They can, however, cause mild, temporary side effects such as tooth sensitivity and gum inflammation. Follow the product instructions closely for the best results, and contact your dentist if you have concerns or develop symptoms that won’t go away.
In this article