Having off-white teeth doesn’t mean that your teeth are unhealthy. Still, enamel-clear, pearly-white teeth are so often sought after for an “ideal” smile. Users on TikTok and Instagram have also been showing off their dazzling white teeth, thanks to easy “paste-and-peel” whitening strips that seem almost too good to be true.
If you’ve been admiring these pearly smiles on social media but are hesitant about using them for yourself, then you’re in the right place! Read on, because we share what you need to know about teeth whitening strips and our pick of ones that work to brighten your smile.
What are teeth whitening strips?
Teeth whitening strips are strips of plastic that contain a thin layer of whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Since they chemically break down the stains on your teeth, they can be considered gentler than whitening toothpaste, which contains abrasive ingredients that physically scrub the stains off your teeth.
Take them out of the packaging, and you’ll discover that teeth whitening strips come in a pair of two translucent “stickers”. Each strip is worn by first placing them, gel-side down, onto the front of the teeth, aligned with the gums. This is followed by pressing the strips evenly against the teeth, and then wrapping the remaining section of the strip to the back.
The time that you leave the teeth whitening strips on and how often you use them will vary from product to product, so you should check the packaging for specific instructions.
Do teeth whitening strips work on yellow teeth?
Teeth whitening strips really do work on yellow teeth, but mostly on teeth that have been discoloured due to lifestyle habits such as diet and oral hygiene.
When it comes to diet, for instance, one that includes a lot of coffee, tea, or red wine, can result in the accumulation of pigments in the enamel (outer surface) of the teeth, thus leading to discolouration.
If you’re not brushing your teeth well, bacteria can also accumulate on your teeth causing stains to form. People who wear braces might notice yellow stains on their teeth, usually because the areas around the brackets are hard to reach and often neglected; bacteria accumulates and the yellow stains are revealed when the braces are removed.
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You should note, however, that even if you brush and floss regularly, your teeth could be a natural off-white colour that’s due to the thickness of your enamel, or age.
In lesser words, teeth whitening strips do work on yellow teeth, but mostly on teeth that are yellow because of stains caused by external factors.
Are teeth whitening strips good for your teeth?
Teeth whitening strips are not all that different from what dentists use to whiten their patients’ teeth in the clinic. The whitening agents used in teeth whitening strips, like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, are also used in dentist treatments – only in different amounts. That’s why, teeth whitening strips are typically considered safe, when used correctly and in moderation.
Still, teeth whitening strips have their downsides – they warn of teeth sensitivity and gum irritation, especially when used too frequently or for extended periods of time.
Since the strips are “pasted” onto your teeth, they could also miss out on the spots in between each tooth; the tooth’s flat surfaces might be whitened but the harder-to-reach spots remain yellow.
So, while teeth whitening strips are generally considered safe and are effective at turning your yellow teeth white, the best thing that you can do when choosing a product best for your teeth is to first consult your dentist!
What teeth whitening strips work best?
Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips
Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips are one of the few teeth whitening strips that have been considered safe and effective by the American Dental Association (ADA), when they’re used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
They were also the first teeth whitening strips on the market, and use hydrogen peroxide to turn your teeth a few pearly shades whiter!
Get Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips for RM192 (20 pouches) on Shopee.
MOON Dissolving Whitening Strips
An option that’s more eco-friendly, MOON’s Dissolving Whitening Strips do as their name suggests: they dissolve. After you apply the whitening strips to your teeth, they will gradually dissolve and vanish after about 15 minutes, leaving no plastic strip for you to toss in the trash.
Since they’re paper-thin and translucent too, you can even wear them while you’re on the go – just make sure that you wait 30 minutes after they’ve dissolved to munch on a snack or take a sip of water.
Get MOON Dissolving Whitening Strips for US$$34.99 (approximately RM143.76) on Ulta.
Crest 3D White Whitestrips Gentle
Another one that’s from Crest, the 3D White Whitestrips Gentle is designed for those with sensitive teeth. If your teeth are sensitive or you’ve tried other teeth whitening strips before that made your teeth hurt, then try these ones that are gentler on the teeth.
You should note that they’ll give less obvious whitening results than other stronger teeth whitening strips – but that’s a small price to pay for getting brighter teeth without pain!
Get Crest 3D White Whitestrips Gentle for RM90 (seven packets) or RM130 (14 packets) on Shopee.
Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Strips
For a totally natural way to brighten sensitive teeth, turn to the Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Strips which uses a unique, patented whitening formula of coconut oil, sage oil, and lemon peel oil – yes, minus the peroxides!
These strips are gentle on the teeth and gums, and have a completely natural formula – which means that they’re ideal for you, should you be worried about whether it’s safe to use teeth whitening strips. However, since it has a milder formula, you can expect the results you see to be less dramatic.
Get Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Strips (+Whitening Mouthwash + Whitening Toothpaste) for S$54.64 (approximately RM174.51) on iHerb.
Zimba Teeth Whitening Strips
Some people dislike how teeth whitening strips taste in their mouth; if you’re one of them, then you might just start to love teeth whitening strips with Zimba’s. Zimba flavours its teeth whitening strips with mint, coconut, and peach so that you’re left with a pleasant after-taste on your tongue.
They’re also really good at holding on to your teeth without slipping. The downside is that, for some, they might cause sensitive teeth and sore gums.
Get Zimba Teeth Whitening Strips for RM197 on Shopee.
Featured image credit: @jessicamiasato/TikTok (left), Crest (right)