Everyone wants a great smile. Whether you’ve had braces, other orthodontic appliances, or have undergone whitening treatments at your dentist’s office, the goal is to obtain a healthy, white, brilliant smile.

Many people are using over-the-counter whitening strip kits that can be purchased at most stores and pharmacies, but you may not be aware of how they work and their potential side effects.

How they work

At-home whitening strips work to whiten your teeth with the use of active ingredients, which may include bleach, just like you would use in your laundry at home, or peroxide, a product commonly used in first aid and cosmetology. Just as you would add a bit of bleach to a load of whites to brighten your laundry or as you would use peroxide to lighten your hair, teeth whitening strips work similarly. The active ingredient in the strips works to restore your teeth to their original brightness.

before and after white teeth

Potential side effects

When using these strips, it’s important to brush your teeth beforehand. Brushing rids your teeth of plaque, which could potentially come between your teeth and the whitening strip. This can contribute to a break-down in enamel, but it can also render the strip ineffective if it is not actually coming into direct contact with the surface of your teeth.

Most strips are considered safe for use, but you should be aware of the listed ingredients. If a strip contains chlorine dioxide, it could cause great damage to your teeth since this chemical works by breaking down the enamel rather than brightening the surface of your teeth. Always check the packaging to ensure that you are purchasing strips with safe ingredients.

Why Should I Use At-Home Teeth Whitening Strips?

You may want whiter teeth, but your dental insurance may not cover as much of your dental costs as you would like. Also, treatments provided by your dentist require you to make an appointment and go to the office. With at-home teeth whitening strips, you don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of scheduling an office visit. At-home teeth whitening strips can be conveniently purchased at most stores and pharmacies at an affordable price and are easy to use at home.

Be sure to check with the professionals at Gables Family & Sedation Dentistry for product recommendations and to be sure that the strips are not damaging to your teeth.

There is no substitute for a healthy smile!