Do those teeth-whitening kits in drugstores really work any better than your average whitening toothpaste? Why, yes, these cheap and easy-to-find strips you apply to your teeth do the job and do it well. That’s provided you use them as directed.
“They do work,” says Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett, a dentist and a professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry. “The active ingredient in those strips is the same as the gel that the dentist gives you to take home.”
He’s talking about hydrogen peroxide, which is in the kits you can buy for about $30. Your best bet is to buy whitening kits that are ADA-accepted, which means they were declared safe and effective by the American Dental Association. And it also means that they deliver on their promises.
The ADA seal means the whitening kits won’t demolish your enamel or destroy your gums in your quest to have a glittering smile. It bears pointing out that you should already be brushing your teeth twice a day.
“We’re talking about adhesive strips. The strips don’t hurt gums or enamel. The peroxide can irritate the gum, but you only have the strips in for a short time. The risk is almost nil,” says Hewlett. “The strips for some people might take a little longer but not to a degree where I would call it a disadvantage.”
Of course, there’s a caveat. “The strip only covers a certain number of teeth. If you have wider smiles, the strip is not going to cover that. Cavities or old fillings don’t whiten. Tetracycline staining from antibiotics won’t whiten,” says Hewlett, who recommends you see a dentist before embarking on any dental adventures to make sure your teeth can go lighter.
These three kits bear the ADA acceptance seal, meaning they work, and they won’t gum up your smile.
The brand says this teeth whitening kit delivers results that last for six months and beyond.
You apply the teeth whitening strips once a day for 30 minutes, then apply the blue light to the upper and lower teeth until it turns off.
Ingredients: PVP, Water, PEG-8, acrylates copolymer, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide, sodium saccharin.
This whitening treatment promises to remove coffee, wine, and tobacco-related teeth stains in less than two weeks.
Apply this teeth whitening product once a day for for 30 minutes and you should see full results in 10 days.
Ingredients: PEG-8, water, hydrogen peroxide, acrylates copolymer, sodium hydroxide, sodium saccharin, glycerin, carbomer.
This teeth whitening kit is formulated for those with sensitive teeth.
Like its brethren, you apply the strips once a day for 30 minutes, and use the blue light until it turns off on its own.
Ingredients: PVP, water, PEG-8, acrylates copolymer, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide, sodium saccharin.
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