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Are whitening strips bad for your teeth?

Oct 26, 2023Oral health, Teeth Whitening

Are whitening strips bad for your teeth?

The utilization of whitening strips does not have a definitive answer as it can vary based on different factors. Primarily, correct usage of such strips is considered safe for majority of individuals. Nevertheless, if recommended guidelines are ignored and the strips are overused or left on for extended periods of time, they may induce harm to teeth. The utilization of hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient for teeth whitening purposes should be used carefully. If not used correctly, the said component can lead to enamel damage. Additionally, it is crucial to examine whether your chosen whitening strips contain chlorine dioxide, this could destroy your tooth enamel.

It is essential to exercise caution when selecting teeth whitening products as certain ingredients can cause irreversible damage to the enamel. While some ingredients may effectively remove stains, they can also strip away the protective layer of tooth enamel and lead to adverse effects. As such, it is advisable to avoid using products containing such ingredients to prevent any unwanted consequences.


What are whitening strips?

Whitening strips are manufactured with a thin plastic film that is infused with a whitening gel. The composition of this gel typically comprises hydrogen peroxide, which ranges from 5% to 15% in the United States. Over-the-counter products are stocked and accessible for usage without a prescription and can be worn for approximately half an hour daily with some variation based on the brand preference of the consumer.

The therapy regimen usually spans over a brief period, generally not exceeding 2 weeks. This technique offers notable efficacy in eliminating extrinsic stains present on the enamel of your teeth. By extrinsic, we mean the ones that manifest on the surface of your teeth. It is important to note that intrinsic stains cannot be eliminated by dental professionals. These stains are located in areas such as the dentin beneath your enamel and are not accessible through typical cleaning procedures.


How do whitening strips work?

Whitening strips are usually designed as slim, rectangular pieces. These strips consist of a layer of whitening gel infused with an adhesive element on one side, and a smooth surface on the other end. The strips are fixed to a plastic backing similar to that of stickers. Typically, distinct strips are employed for the upper and lower sets of teeth, with the upper strip frequently being lengthier.

In order to utilize the strips, one must remove each strip from its backing and carefully affix it onto the surface of their teeth. The duration of wearing these white strips can range from 10 minutes to an hour, contingent upon the type of product that is obtained.

Upon elapsing the time for wearing, dispose of the strips and rinse your mouth thoroughly. To prevent a sticky residue from clinging to your teeth, make sure to rinse them meticulously with water.

It is essential to carefully follow the instructions of the strips you purchase since they may vary from other brands. Needless to say, the instructions provided with the product must be taken into account.


Why do whitening strips hurt my teeth?

The utilization of hydrogen peroxide-infused whitening strips by individuals commonly results in slight pain. However, it is imperative to note that the pain does not stem directly from the hydrogen peroxide. Instead, it can potentially heighten tooth sensitivity, thereby causing pain.

Recent speculations suggest that the reason behind this phenomenon could be due to the oxidization of proteins present in the dentin layer of the tooth by hydrogen peroxide. This breakdown of proteins leads to the exposure of the nerves. In cases where your gums make contact with the white strips, pain, and irritation may arise as a result of the potent nature of hydrogen peroxide.

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