Teeth Whitening


Are you considering using whitening strips to brighten your smile? You’re not alone – whitening strips are one of the most popular teeth whitening products on the market. but how do whitening strips work? In this article, we’ll take a look at the science behind whitening strips and how they can help to improve the appearance of your teeth.

Whitening strips helps in whitening the teeth and removing the stain. Although it is not as effective as a dentist’s office treatment, it is a cheap and simple alternative. Whitening strips helps in whitening with time, but one must take care of its ingredients while applying.


The science behind whitening strips

Whitening strips are a popular way to achieve brighter teeth. Whitening strips are made of a thin, flexible plastic that is coated with a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching agent. When you apply the strip to your teeth, the bleaching agent comes into contact with your tooth enamel and starts to break down the stains that are present.

The beauty of whitening strips is that they are easy to use and relatively affordable. Plus, they can be a great way to achieve brighter teeth in just a few short weeks. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to improve the appearance of your smile, whitening strips may be the solution for you.

The science behind whitening strips, at-home whiteners, toothpaste and other common methods is simple: the active ingredient removes the build-up of stain that has settled on the teeth over time. Specifically, it breaks up discoloration caused by things like drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes through a process called “oxidation.”

There are at-home tooth whitening kits as well as in-office treatments depending on your preferences. The majority of treatments take a few weeks to complete and you will see developing results almost immediately after each treatment session.


Do Whitening Strips Work Actually? 

Whitening strips are a popular method for improving the appearance of teeth. But do they actually work? Yes, whitening strips can work to some extent. They are not as effective as professional teeth whitening treatments, but they can help to remove some surface stains from the teeth.

Whitening strips can be effective at whitening teeth. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, the whitening effect from whitening strips is not permanent. teeth will eventually revert back to their original color over time. Second, whitening strips only work on natural teeth. They will not have any effect on dental implants, veneers, or other artificial teeth.

Overall, whitening strips are a safe and relatively affordable way to improve the look of your teeth. If you are considering using whitening strips, be sure to talk to your dentist first to get the most accurate information about how they will work for you.

Do Whitening Strips Work on all type of Stains?

The staining is categorized into following:

Do Whitening Strips Work

  1. Extrinsic Staining:

    Extrinsic Staining affects the outside of teeth primarily. Extrinsic Staining is caused mainly due to the following environmental factors:

  • Smoking
  • Coffee, Wine, and Dark berries
  • Tobacco
  • Certain Dark Foods
  • Metal Exposure such as Iron or Copper
  1. Intrinsic Staining:

    The target of this type of staining is inside of your teeth. The following factors are involved in causing intrinsic staining:

    • Enamel Erosion with Age
    • Inborn Disorder in Tooth Development
    • Excessive Fluoride
    • Certain Antibiotics and Medications
    • Tooth Decay
    • Trauma or injury to teeth
    • Genetics

Are Whitening Strips effective on both Intrinsic and Extrinsic Stains?

Different stains have different responses to bleaching. Stains caused by smoking, yellowish aging stains, coffee, and genetics generally respond well to bleaching. Whitening strips are largely used to bring a change of shade or two in tooth color. It works as a touch-up to maintain and enhance tooth color.

It is effective for both extrinsic and intrinsic stains, but it brings the change slowly and to a limited extent to stains of a higher degree. You may consider professional whitening from a dentist to bring significant changes. Dentists are experts in giving custom treatment, considering your stain type and gravity, by using a higher


Does teeth whitening strips actually work?

The ability to whiten the teeth using whitening strips is limited. Using whitening strips is not the most efficient approach to whitening your teeth, as the concentration of whitening ingredients in them isn’t as much as that used by a professional dentist.

Why you shouldn’t use whitening strips?

Most white strips are considered safe to use. However, the concentration of peroxide may damage enamel and cause demineralization and degradation. These conditions arise with the overuse of whitening. The whitening strips containing chlorine dioxide are hazardous to the layer of teeth. Chlorine dioxide is also used for disinfecting swimming pools. Therefore, it is better to avoid the extended use of whitening strips.

Do whitening strips work on yellow teeth?

The whitening strips can work on yellow teeth, given that it is the result of staining. Sometimes, the teeth may always have been yellow due to the natural color of teeth or the result of certain medication. The over-the-counter products available are used to whiten yellow teeth. The products are only helpful in removing the yellow stains. However, teeth whiteners can not treat naturally yellow teeth.

How long does whitening strips take to work?

Generally, it depends on the amount of bleaching agent added to a particular whitening strip you are using. The change in tooth color can be seen in a week or two.

You may find your teeth shade change by a shade or two in several days. Some products with a higher concentration of bleaching agents require you to apply only once a day and yield expected results.


Role of ingredients for quick and effective bleaching

The ingredients used in strips largely determine the effectiveness of the whitening treatment. The most common ingredients used in strips are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

The carbamide peroxide works slow as it has to break down to hydrogen peroxide once it comes in contact with water. The products that recommend applying strip overnight usually use carbamide peroxide. The products containing hydrogen peroxide are quick to respond and bleach as much as it includes the concentration of hydrogen peroxide.

Some beauty salons use particular strips that contain chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide is said to be the safer and quicker solution to bleaching, but its safety is questionable. It may strip the enamel of your teeth. The teeth treated with chlorine dioxide are prone to re-staining early and become extremely sensitive.


The instructions to apply whitening strips

Different whitening solutions available in the market come with varying instructions. The typical solutions recommend using a whitening strip twice a day for two weeks at max. You may apply the whitening strip for about 30 minutes unless recommended for a longer duration.

Precautions to Avoid Risks with Teeth Whitening Strips

The risks attached with tooth whitening with white strips are often mild, ranging from tooth sensitivity, gum irritation or damage to gum tissues.

The symptom of gum irritation starts from the beginning of treatment and lasts for several days due to bleaching of enamel. With the enamel bleached, its surface becomes sensitive towards cold and hot drinks and food that continues for several days.

The risks are as likely to happen as the higher the peroxide concentration in the whitening strip is used. The risks also increase more for the amount of time it is applied.

In the worst-case scenario, the risk includes demineralization and structural damage to the teeth. It unfolds with the loss of calcium and minerals from the teeth due to a higher concentration of bleaching agents.

It is essential to follow the instruction of the product manual for its application according to the type and amount of bleaching agent used. The whitening effect only appears on natural teeth. Existing fillings, crowns, and implants won’t change their color.

Brushing your teeth right after the treatment may limit the required results. Brushing may hinder the lifting the stain particles from enamel surface. It is better not to brush your teeth with whitening toothpaste for half hour atleast after whitening treatment.


Are there any alternatives to whitening strips?

There are a variety of ways to achieve brighter teeth, and each person’s needs will vary. Certain methods may work better for some than others, so it is important to consult with a dentist to find out what the best options are for you.

That being said, there are a few alternatives to whitening strips that are worth considering. One option is to use whitening toothpaste. These toothpaste contain ingredients that can help to remove surface stains and brighten teeth. Another alternative is to use a whitening mouthwash. These mouthwashes can also help to remove surface stains and give teeth a brighter appearance.

If you are looking for a more drastic change, you may want to consider getting a teeth whitening procedure done by a professional. These procedures can provide you with immediate results that last for a long period of time.


The risks associated with whitening strips

The use of whitening strips to achieve brighter teeth has become increasingly popular in recent years. While these products may be effective at improving the appearance of your teeth, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with their use.

Whitening strips contain chemicals that can cause irritation and tooth sensitivity. In some cases, they may also lead to gum inflammation and other side effects. If you are considering using whitening strips, be sure to talk to your dentist first to ensure that they are right for you.


Read Also:  How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last? – Teethopedia



The whitening strips works to whiten the stains, while it might not be effective to the teeth with natural yellow color. The efficiency of whitening strips depends upon the ingredients used in it such as hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, sodium hydroxide. The concentration of whitener is controlled to maintain safety. Avoid using teeth whiteners too often. The professional dentists apply higher concentration of whitening agents for quicker and better results under special attention and care. Consult with your dentist for medical advice if you face any problem with whitening strips or home teeth whitening.

How long does teeth whitening last depend on how one looks after the teeth after whitening. As long as one keeps the teeth under care by using whitening rinses or a custom-made tray every month to maintain the shade of your teeth whitening, the teeth whitening will remain intact. In addition, teeth will maintain their lighter color if one brushes the teeth well and does not have a lot of diets such as curries, tea, coffee, and red wine.

A simple answer to this question is that teeth whitening lasts 2 to 3 years or as little as merely 6 months. A detailed answer to this lies in the deconstruction of methods we apply for teeth whitening treatments.

Dentists have done quite a research over how long teeth whitening lasts, the results are pretty amazing. In a study, the change of about eight shades in teeth color after teeth whitening procedure is observed in the first two years of treatment. Furthermore, after the first two years, the patients just had regress of only two shades, which is pretty impressive.

Many people face teeth stains or gum disease due to lack of brushing or any other reason that dulls down the color but does not take the color to what it was before teeth whitening. Applying the gel with trays helps people re-whiten their teeth even if they left the teeth untreated for whitening for years.

How long does it take to whiten your Teeth?

The length of time required to whiten teeth depends upon the method you might use.

We usually use whitening toothpaste at home to keep our teeth whitened, but that process is very slow and often helps maintain teeth whitening.

The other method is generally used as at-home whitening kits that are mouth trays made by the dentists to fit in your mouth. The concentration of the bleaching agent is lowered in these mouth trays. These trays are usually worn for a brief period daily and produce desired results in 2 to 3 weeks. The whitening strips and over the counter teeth whitening products are also used for same purpose at home.

The effective and quicker way to whiten teeth is In-chair whitening or in-office whitening. A dentist performs this kind of whitening treatment at the clinic. A higher concentration of whitening formulas produces quick and effective results.

It is important to understand that the stronger concentration of the whitening agent requires special attention and care to avoid any problem. Therefore, it is only be done by a dentist. It takes just 1 to 2 hours to achieve significant results for your teeth whitening.

How long does teeth whitening last? Would it last forever

Many people think that it may last forever once they whiten their teeth, but it is untrue. Once the teeth are whitened, they are likely to drop down a shade or two with the return to regular diet such as tea, coffee and red wine.

There is no worry about having home trays. Many people apply the gel within trays to help you re-whiten their teeth again. One may apply the teeth whitening trays for one or two nights to maintain the color as it was before. It is important to note that teeth whitening does not apply to the old fillings. Old fillings can discolor, but tooth whitening cannot whiten old restorations or tooth filings.

How long will my teeth stay white after whitening?

There are too many methods available for teeth whitening with varying concentrations of whitening agents, i.e., hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Due to the range of teeth whitening options, the average results for teeth whitening last anywhere from 6 months to 3 years.

How often do teeth need to be whitened?

It is recommended to go through teeth whitening, either at-home or in-office teeth whitening, only once a year to avoid any problem, i.e., teeth sensitivity. Teeth whitening once in a year enhances teeth’ natural smile. Profession teeth whitening helps teeth to remain whitened for about a year.

Is getting your teeth whitened worth it?

Whether choosing In-office whitening or at-home whitening trays kits, teeth whitening is the best solution to your dental aesthetic worries and keeps your teeth shine permanently. Teeth whitening enables the teeth to keep their natural shine. Professional teeth whitening is safe, effective and worth paying the extra cost to get lasting, comfortable and safe teeth whitening results.

Can teeth whitening damage teeth?

While teeth whitening does no damage to the tooth enamel, the higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide without proper care can cause damage in the form of teeth sensitivity or gum irritation. The incorrect or too often use of whitening products can cause damage.

Do bleached teeth stay white?

The bleached teeth will stay if you have a deep bleaching treatment. The teeth will stay whiter as long as you follow routine maintenance at home and avoid dark foods and alcoholic beverages.


how long does teeth whitening last

Teeth Whitening Myths and Facts

There is a myth that tooth whitening worsens if the patients take a non-white diet such as coffee, tea, dark fruits and red wine, which is untrue. Non-white diet does not interface with teeth whitening. However, it might increase the rate with which teeth may get darker faster than those with no non-white diet.
The patients who face yellow teeth due to having a routine of non-white diet may go for teeth whitening. The only effect it might have is a faster darkening of teeth, but one may easily re-whiten the teeth by using home whitening trays. The patients may use whitening mouth rinses to maintain the color after whitening. Another way to prevent it is to sip through a straw, but it would look strange while drinking coffee or red wine.

There is always hope for anyone with yellow teeth irrespective of their condition. Take care of your teeth and apply teeth whitening if you are having yellow teeth. 

Read Also: Discover How Teeth Whitening Works? An Ultimate Guide


Tooth whitening will last as long as you keep brushing and use whitening rinses or custom trays to maintain the whitening shade. Unfortunately, it will dull down its shade once you return to a non-white diet such as coffee, red wine, tea, and curries that may stain your teeth. But it is possible to restore the color by applying whitening trays again to restore the soft and lighter color of your teeth gradually. The way to keep the whitening last is to maintain oral hygiene and brush your teeth for routine care.


Teeth whitening is a fantastic thing to make your teeth look whiter and shinier. It is an easy, affordable and quick way of improving the overall look of your teeth. However, the problem is that it could be confusing to know what could be the safest way to do it and how long does teeth whitening last?

There are many things to know about teeth white cosmetic dentistry, so in this article, we will discuss absolutely everything you need to know about teeth whitening and how long it will last.

How and Why Teeth Whitening Works?

Teeth tend to go yellower with time. There are varieties of reasons for it, but it all starts with teeth staining. This tooth staining can be either extrinsic staining that occurs on the outer surface of teeth that is less deep or intrinsic staining that happens deep inside the tooth as the color molecules embed inside the teeth, which are difficult to remove and results in tooth discoloration with changes in tooth color.

Tooth whiteners works by applying mechanical action to remove extrinsic stains or by removing intrinsic staining by breaking down colored molecules inside the teeth. Intrinsic stains are removed by using peroxide bleaching gel.

Extrinsic Staining Removal

As discussed, mechanical action is required for the removal of extrinsic stains. However, it is as simple as going to the dentist to clean the stain for you. Extrinsic stains also come in contact with toothpaste, so the charcoal toothpaste and whitening tooth that has abrasive in them and abrasive help remove the extrinsic stains while you brush the teeth with whitening toothpastes.

Extrinsic Staining Removal
Extrinsic Staining Removal

If someone has many stains outside the teeth, the toothpaste doesn’t work well for whitening. In such cases, it is important to remove surface stains. However, the unwanted problem with toothpaste is that its abrasion can open up the pores into the tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity. With this sensitivity, one may start to feel the temperature change more than usual. However, the result of the toothpaste to whiten such stains is generally the same, except for some consisting of peroxide.

Intrinsic Staining Removal

Intrinsic stains occur with the embedment of color molecules inside the teeth. Colored molecules found in particular foods and drinks such as colored fruits, coffee, red wine, tea and red wine are the main reasons for intrinsic stains. In such a case, peroxide is used to whiten the teeth, which breaks down colored molecules which cause intrinsic stains.

Use of Peroxide For Teeth Whitening

Dentists use peroxide to whiten the intrinsic stains. It penetrates inside the tooth to break down color embedded molecules and whiten them by taking away color. The extent of effectiveness of peroxide whitening treatments depends upon the time and percentage of peroxide the tooth is exposed to. The main ones among the few ingredients used for whitening are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide.

Difference Between Hydrogen Peroxide and Carbamide Peroxide

The difference lies in the course of action as hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient and starts working right away after contact with teeth. While the carbamide peroxide undergoes a chemical reaction, it turns into hydrogen peroxide before it begins working. Therefore, due to the active ingredient, carbamide peroxide is found in solutions that works in shorter duration of time. Conversely, hydrogen peroxide is used in solutions that work overnight.

Read: Teeth Whitening Cost: How it works?

Commonly used techniques for intrinsic Stain Removal:

  • Peroxide Containing Toothpastes:

    Such toothpaste contains peroxide in lower concentrations to yield minimal results. It can result in teeth sensitivity to some people, but it is safe to try if it works and feels good.

  • Whitening Strips:

    These are adhesive whitening strips with the gel on the inner side that adheres with the front side of your teeth. It is applied for 30 minutes twice a day over 14 days. The downside is that it comes in the same size, so some people may find it irritating for their gums. Overall, it is a good product that works. It is affordable and readily available over the counter at your local market.

  • Whitening Mouth Rinse:

    Whitening rinse is used for 1 minute twice a day. Research shows that it works but takes almost three months to bring improvement of one to two shades. It generally takes too long to work, but it is recommended for those who have finished whitening and want to maintain the shade.

  • Whitening Pen:

    The whitening pen contains a gel that you need to draw out over your teeth. It is workable until and unless cheeks and saliva do not touch the teeth. Unfortunately, the contact with saliva and cheeks generally takes away its efficiency in teeth whitening. Therefore, we do not recommend buying whitening pen.

  • Tray Based Home Whitening:

    It works on the idea of a whitening at home. In tray based whitening kit, the tray containing gel is placed over the teeth for the period suggested by the manufacturer. You can get these over the counter. The downside with over-the-counter trays is that they are available in the same size.
    You may need more gel to get it to your teeth, plus it may irritate your gums. Over-the-counter products typically contain a low percentage of peroxide that they suggest using for about an hour. The lower percentages of peroxide in the over-the-counter solution will not be more effective as it takes longer to work.

  • Dentist made Custom Tray:

    You may go to your dentist for a custom-made whitening solution that will be a better fit for your teeth and quite effective due to the controlled percentage of peroxide that works compared to over-the-counter whitening solutions. The only downside to going to the dentist is that you find the cost a little bit higher. It is now your job to weigh out both which suits better to you.

  • In-office Whitening:

    This is when you go to the dentist to have a whitening procedure right in the office. Although the dentists use a very high percentage of peroxide, they may often use the ‘blue activating light.’ Just for you to know that it is mostly for show, there is no concrete research showing that blue light works as little battery power it.
    Due to the higher percentage of peroxide used by dentists, the results also instantly range from 30 minutes to an hour. It is appropriate for those who want to hassle with time or want instant results for any upcoming event. It might enhance the sensitivity due to the higher percentage of peroxide. Another downside is the higher cost at the dentist.

It is important to note that if you want to go for teeth whitening, it is highly not recommended to get it performed from a beauty salon or shopping mall. Have the whitening procedure performed by a dentist because they are the ones who are qualified to evaluate whether you are a candidate for any particular whitening procedure or not.

According to a survey conducted to know attitude towards teeth whitening in U.K, among the people with age 18 to 25 years about 40 percent of participants shown their willingness to get their teeth whiten soon. While 22 percent of brits are of the view to get their teeth whitened by a professional dentist.

There are certain things, instruments, and materials that only dentists are trained to use if the patient teeth are sensitive, otherwise, it is a risk if you go to a place that is not trained and don’t know about the material and instruments required.

Is Tooth Whitening Safe?

Yes, as long as it is done correctly. The main risk involved with teeth whitening is sensitivity. It is likely to happen if whitening is performed incorrectly. However, there are specific measures that can reduce the risk of sensitivity. Let’s discuss the following tips that will help you with teeth whitening to reduce the risk of sensitivity if you already have sensitive teeth or face the risk of having it once whitening is done.

Let’s go through different tips for prevention against the following risks:


In general, the primary prevention against sensitivity is that you should not whiten the teeth daily and apply the whitening material for more than the recommended time. Use sensitive toothpaste frequently before you start teeth whitening, and visit a dental professional to know further detail about whether the method is safe or not.

Gum Irritation:

The other significant risk is gum irritation which many patients face. The research shows that there are chances of severe reactions if the percentage of peroxide is more than 10 percent. To deal with the risk of peroxide reaction, a professional dentist should do teeth whitening with a higher peroxide ratio. In addition, the dentist often puts something over the gums to prevent the gums from coming in contact with a high percentage of peroxide.

Although such risk is low with over-the-counter whitening products, the risk is still there if done incorrectly. The risk increases in the counter in tray whitening due to fix size available for everyone. The in-home tray might not fit perfectly, so there are chances for the peroxide to come in contact with your gums and cause irritation.

The tip is to have a toothbrush or tissue paper ready to remove the excess whitening gel that goes over your teeth towards your gums to prevent any such problem. By removing the excess gel, gum irritation can be controlled this way if you use over-the-counter tray whitening.

Can Teeth Whitening Damage Teeth?

In a sense, it does damage your teeth, but for a short time. This is because the amount of peroxide used for whitening penetrates the enamel and breaks down the enamel slightly. The process is known as demineralization. The amount of damage to your teeth is done due to this demineralization. The higher the percentage of peroxide would be, the more demineralization you will have.

The cool thing about demineralization is how enamel deals with this demineralization. Enamel can re-mineralize itself with the help of two things. The most important thing is the saliva that mainly calcium and phosphate, among many other nutrients of which enamel is made. Saliva helps in embedding the calcium and phosphate back to the surface of enamel which helps in re-mineralization very quickly. This process usually takes half an hour for re-mineralization.

The other way to deal with demineralization is by the products that contain amorphous calcium phosphate, such as tooth mousse plus. These products are applied where a higher percentage of peroxide is used that damages more. It might happen at in-office teeth whitening, so you may inquire if they are using any re-mineralization product after the procedure or not.

Is it Safe to Ingest Teeth Whitening Bleach?

In a short answer, it is safe if used in low concentrations. Luckily, hydrogen peroxide is the naturally producing product inside our body to protect itself from the more dangerous substance, superoxide. However, a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide could be toxic for the body as it can form hydroxyl radicals if catalase, an enzyme, fails to decompose hydrogen peroxide completely.

Fortunately, commercial products available for whitening do not include much higher levels of hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, it can only be dangerous if it is ingested directly. If the percentage of hydrogen peroxide is less than 10 percent, it might have a milder reaction if any reaction occurs at all.

You might worry about what will happen if it leaks out of the tray and goes back to the throat. Fortunately, our saliva contains that enzyme that decomposes hydrogen peroxide. So, in such leakage scenarios, the enzyme would take that 10 percent of hydrogen peroxide to the level of 1 percent that would not be dangerous at all.

The concentration of bleaching agent is needed more while doing in-office tooth bleaching than where it is recommended to go for a dental professional to avoid any complications and side effects.

Keep the whitening gel out of the reach of children. If they get their hands on it, they might ingest it. So, any product that does not keep the hydrogen peroxide percentage below 10 percent could damage children and impact quality of life.

Protocols for Home Whitening

  • Brush your teeth and give them floss.
  • Place whitening gel of size as a head of a matchstick in spots of the tray. There is not much need for the gel to place on it in customized trays made by dentists as it tightly adheres to the teeth.
  • Do not whiten all of your teeth. You may see your perfect sparkling smile in the mirror by whitening just the front upper ten teeth and bottom eight teeth. You would run out of gel fast if you whiten all of your teeth. So it is good to whiten only those teeth that you can see.
  • After loading the tray with gel, place it over the teeth. Keep a tissue paper ready to take away excess gel to prevent any complications.
  • Take the tray out after the allotted time is passed.
  • Rinse your mouth after the whitening
  • Gently brush your teeth. Do not brush for long because your enamel is soft after whitening, so brushing hard can wear away the enamel. Be careful with the brush. Just make sure to get the home whitener gel away.
  • Whitening is not going to affect your pre-existing restorations such as fillings, crowns, veneers. They would not change and stand out of color due to their previously matched color before whitening. So have a chat about these with your dentist and bear this in your mind before you start whitening.


Read Also: Why Are Your Teeth Sensitive To Sugar?


To summarize, whitening is a great way to improve your smile and dental aesthetic. It is safe to use if done correctly. If you don’t want immediate results and can wait for a few weeks, you may go to in-home whitening. Conversely, with a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide for quick results, you must go to a professional dentist to perform whitening. Minimize sensitivity before you start by using sensitive toothpaste. Take precautions such as clearing excess gel from gums and getting into the throat so to prevent any irritation and damage.

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