White strip treatments are a common way to help achieve whiter teeth and brighter smiles. A simple, over-the-counter solution, white strips use an active ingredient called hydrogen peroxide to remove surface stains on the teeth. As with any tooth whitening product, results will vary from person to person depending on the initial color of their teeth and how susceptible they are to bleaching. Despite these variables, most people see noticeable improvements within a week or two of treatment.
It’s important to follow the instructions carefully when using over-the-counter white strips as incorrect usage can mean decreased results or permanent damage if left on too long. Generally, it is recommended that white strips be used according to the manufacturer’s directions for at least 14 days in order to get maximum benefits from the application. When used correctly and safely, white strips can provide very favorable and safe results in a relatively short amount of time.
What are Teeth Whitening Strips?
Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible pieces of plastic that are coated with peroxide-based tooth whitening gel. When applied to the teeth, they help to break down tough stains and discoloration that has built up over time. Teeth whitening strips can be obtained at most drugstores, although there are some more specialized products available through dentists.
These strips work by slowly releasing hydrogen peroxide and other active ingredients onto the teeth’s surface, breaking up pigmentation on the enamel and making your smile brighter. Depending on your individual level of staining and discoloration, it may take anywhere from several days to several weeks for the full effect of white strips to show—but you’ll begin noticing results in as little as two hours after application.
If you use white strips nightly for a week or two (as directed on the product packaging) you should begin seeing noticeable improvement in your teeth’s color. To maintain those results or even enhance them further, use white strips every few months thereafter.
How Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work?
Teeth whitening strips work by delivering hydrogen peroxide in a low concentration to the surface of your teeth, allowing for better penetration and a brighter smile. The active ingredient in these strips is often hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, or other bleaching agents.
Teeth whitening strips are designed with a special adhesive on the back to hold them firmly in place against your teeth. The treatments typically last around 30 minutes and need to remain on your teeth during that entire time for optimal results. When the strip is removed after the allotted time, it will bring along with it any stains that had built up over time, leaving you with brighter already sparkling white teeth!
In addition to their convenience and cost-effectiveness (they typically only cost between 10-20 dollars a pack), they also provide an even application of the active ingredients giving you consistent results every time! Moreover, they are completely safe to use as long as they are used properly and respected instructions are followed.
The effects of whitening strips are not immediate; on average they can take between 2-3 weeks before noticeable improvements appear!
Factors Affecting the Whitening Process
Whitening strips can be an effective and convenient way to whiten your teeth, but how long it will take for them to work depends on several factors. The whitening process can vary from person to person and be affected by your oral health history, lifestyle habits, and the extent of the discoloration. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that can affect how long it will take for your teeth to whiten:
- Oral health history
- Lifestyle habits
- Extent of discoloration
Strength of the whitening agent
An important factor affecting how long it takes for whitening strips to work is the strength of the whitening agent – hydrogen peroxide. If the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is higher, typically, it will work faster than a lower concentration. However, it is important to note that very high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide cause gum sensitization, so it is best to use products containing lower strengths. Generally those products with higher concentrations of peroxide take longer to make the desired effect before they have to be removed.
Besides the concentration of whitening agent, other factors affecting how long whitening strips take can include the cause of discoloration and dietary habits. Heavily stained teeth may take longer time to treat than those with just lighter discoloration while certain foods and drinks including tea, coffee and cigarettes will increase the time required for teeth whitening because these are known to stain or discolor teeth surface over time. Therefore, in order for better result from using the tooth whitening strips you should:
- Keep such dietary habits in check if needed.
- Follow instructions properly given by your dentist or instructions on packaging clearly.
Type of whitening strip
When considering whitening strips, the type of whitening strip and its active ingredients are important factors to keep in mind. The two main varieties of whitening strips are over-the-counter (OTC) non-customized and at-home customized.
Over the counter (OTC) whitening strips: OTC whitening strips are usually made of polyethylene or hydrogel and contain peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which is the primary active ingredient in many teeth whiteners. Hydrogen peroxide often works best on a yellow stain at a concentration of eight percent to 15 percent. These products typically come in 10-count packages with two strips (one for your upper teeth and one for your lower teeth). Treatment times range from 10 minutes up to 30 minutes depending on the brand, with most recommending twice daily use over 14 days for optimal results.
At-home customized whitening strips: At-home customized whitening strips allow you to customize the fit of your specific teeth in order to target surface stains effectively and evenly. These products are often much more expensive but offer more consistent results as they provide a better seal compared to over the counter options. They also have higher concentrations of bleaching agents than OTC brands, with 20% hydrogen peroxide being common in higher-end products. Treatment times can range from 30 minutes up to an hour for some products, although most recommend twice daily usage over two weeks for optimal results.
Frequency of application
The frequency with which whitening strips are applied affects how long the strips take to work. Higher frequency of applications also allows for a stronger whitening action than lower frequencies, although stronger may sometimes cause sensitivity.
It is recommended that whitening strips be used on a daily basis for maximum effectiveness and minimal sensitivity. Most products instruct users to wear the strip for 30 minutes to 1 hour per day twice daily over a two week period. This schedule generates thermal heating and works to penetrate below the surface of the teeth in order to break up targeted discolored molecules.
Users who only apply their whitening strips once a day may see benefits over a longer period of time, usually closer to 4-6 weeks. However, as mentioned above this will also result in additional sensitivity due to higher concentrations sitting on one section of teeth during that daily application. It is also true that this type of “once-a-day” application can often lead to inconsistent results as well.
How Long Do Teeth Whitening Strips Take to Work?
Teeth whitening strips are a popular option for those looking to achieve a brighter smile at home. The strips use enamel-safe ingredients to oxidize the surface of teeth and reduce the appearance of discoloration caused by stains and aging.
Most whitening strips contain two main ingredients: hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide works quickly to break up tough stains, within minutes you may notice your teeth beginning to lighten. After about 20 minutes, teeth usually begin lightening in earnest, with full results being noticeable after about 14 days when used twice daily for 30 minutes each session.
The amount of time it takes for teeth whitening strips to work is dependant on several factors including the severity of your staining and the concentration level of both active ingredients contained in the product. In most cases, you’ll need to use the strips at least twice per day for up to two weeks in order to see significant results. It’s important to follow instructions carefully and not exceed recommended usage as risk of tooth or gum damage can occur if too much whitening product is used over an extended period of time.
For optimal results it’s best practice to check with a qualified dentist before starting any over-the-counter whitening treatment and never purchase product that is not endorsed by a reputable dental organisation or professional association.
Tips to Speed Up the Whitening Process
Whitening strips take a few weeks to show noticeable results, but there are some tactics you can use to speed up the process. To achieve the desired whitening effect quickly and safely, you’ll want to adopt a combination of good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, as well as using whitening strips as directed.
In this article, we’ll discuss more tips to help you speed up the whitening process:
Avoiding food and drinks that stain teeth
Certain foods and drinks can hinder your whitening process by staining the surface of your teeth more quickly. To help ensure that your whitening goes according to schedule, you should avoid highly acidic, processed, or sugary foods for the duration of your whitening experience.
To avoid staining your teeth, try to stay away from dark-colored liquids like coffee or red wine as well as dark-colored fruits like blueberries or cherries. You’ll also want to limit sugary sodas, treats such as candies and hard sweets, tea, and anything else that could cause your teeth to stain more quickly.
Additionally, if you plan on eating something cheesey or juicy like a hamburger then try and have it with some crunchy vegetables or potato chips so the acids are neutralized.
As difficult as it may be, avoiding these foods and drinks will go a long way in helping you get whiter teeth faster.
Brushing and flossing regularly
Promoting healthy mouth and gum health is an important part of speeding up the whitening process of white strips. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can help to prevent re-staining, which is when the new white color taken on by the enamel is discolored by bacteria in plaque or other food residue.
- Brushing twice daily, especially in the morning and prior to putting the strips on at night, helps to keep teeth clean and stain free.
- Flossing daily can also help to reduce plaque that often leads to staining and discoloration. Flossing removes food trapped between teeth that brushing alone cannot reach and helps keep bacteria from accumulating.
- For best results, use a fluoride toothpaste when brushing, preferably one with built in whitening ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide.
- Regular dental visits are also recommended for optimal mouth and gum health which will further speed up the bleaching process.
Using whitening toothpaste
Using whitening toothpaste is a great way to speed up the whitening process. Whitening toothpaste typically contains hydrogen peroxide or baking soda which help remove surface and deep-set stains.
It is important to check the amount of peroxide in the toothpaste prior to using it, as some toothpastes may have too much or too little of this bleaching agent. You should also be aware that using whitening toothpaste does not change the natural color of your teeth, but instead merely lightens any existing coloration.
Whitening toothpastes are generally safe to use daily, providing you with an easy and efficient way to brighten your smile.
Ultimately, the length of time it takes for whitening strips to take effect will depend on the individual as everyone’s teeth are different. On average, most people begin to see results within three days to a week. After using the strips for two weeks or so, you should be able to notice significant improvements in the shade of your teeth.
However, if your yellowing is due to deeper staining from age or consumption of foods and beverages such as coffee or wine, you may need additional treatments such as professional whitening from a dentist in order to achieve optimal results.