Everyone wants a beautiful, white smile. It can be the first thing someone notices about you and can make a truly lasting impression. However, if like just about everyone else, you enjoy an occasional glass of wine or coffee, you might find that your smile has dulled over time, or even turned yellow.
Crest 3D white strips seem to offer the perfect solution to a less than pearly white smile. They are relatively affordable, easy to apply and use, and seem very popular. So how well do they really work and are they really safe to use?
Do Crest Strips Really Work?
The short answer when it comes to the effectiveness of crest strips getting your teeth whiter is that yes, they do work. The hydrogen peroxide in the strips passes into the tooth’s enamel and can help reverse some of the tooth’s discoloration. It can even go so far as to diminish some of the discoloration within the dentin of the tooth. It does so by breaking down the molecules within the tooth that makes it appear yellow.
Some of the reasons for dentin discoloration include teeth grinding or other dental trauma, age, poor hydration or overall nutrition, genetics or amalgam fillings. Enamel discoloration can be caused by consuming foods and drinks that are highly pigmented such as coffee or wine and dental fluorosis.
Check out our complete list of the best teeth whitening strips on the market.
How the Strips Work
Crest white strips coat the teeth with a gel. That gel contains hydrogen peroxide. The gel sits on the teeth long enough for the active ingredients to go to work and penetrate the teeth, thus creating a whitening effect.
The strips themselves are made of a simple flexible plastic that is safe to use one-time. It is called polyethylene. Each strip molds to the teeth, with one strip being used for the top teeth and one for the bottom teeth. The strips are considered safe, but that does not mean they can’t irritate the gums. This is especially true if the strips are used too frequently. They may also irritate teeth. That irritation typically increases in severity the more frequently you use the strips.
NOTE: the shelf life of Crest strips is about one year. Keep that in mind when purchasing them.
How to Use the Strips
There are different packets for the bottom and upper set of teeth. You remove every strip from the packet, and you cut away any extra area that would otherwise touch your gums. Then, you simple adhere the strips to the teeth you are whitening. Crest 3D whitening strips are the most powerful of all in Crests’s teeth whitening product line. They stay on your teeth for 30 minutes which is much longer than the 5 minutes suggested with other strips in the product line. With the 3D strips, you can expect to see results faster, typically in just one use.
You should never wear the strips when you are sleeping or napping, and certainly not overnight.
How Often Should You Use White Strips?
Crest states that you can use whitening strips a maximum of two times a day. You want to make sure that you measure how sensitive your teeth and gums get while whitening. Then, you can determine how often you want or need to use them.
Are They Safe – What are the Ingredients?
Yes, the strips are safe to use, though you should be on the lookout for any tooth or gum sensitivity. In particular, the adhesive used in the strips can certainly cause some gum discomfort and irritation.
The ingredients in the strips are as follows:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Acrylates Copolymer
- Sodium Saccharin
- Sodium Hydroxide
There are also two other ingredients in the strip and backing. In the textured white strip is Polyethylene. In the backing is Polypropylene.
The Polyvinylpyrrolidone, or PVP, is used to adhere the strips to the teeth. This adhesive is considered safe to use in that it doesn’t disrupt hormones or bioaccumulate. The carbomer, which are also part of the strips is another chemical that is considered pretty safe to use. This chemical is used to increase the adhesive properties of the gel.
You might find that you experience sensitivity in your teeth and gums while using Crest 3D White Strips. There is potential for this with all whitening systems and products that use peroxide. If this happens to you, and the sensitivity is significant, you may want to consider using the strips on a more limited basis, such as every other day.
Should You Brush After Using Crest White Strips
No, you should not brush your teeth after using any Crest White Strips, including the Crest 3D strips. With all of them you will be pushing the abrasive chemicals further into the enamel of your teeth through brushing. You also should not brush your teeth just before using the strips either. When you are done, you can simply rinse your mouth of the chemicals and any residual gel.