Are you feeling self-conscious about your not-so-white teeth?
Nothing beats having gorgeous pearly whites. When you’ve got great-looking chompers, it definitely boosts your confidence.
No wonder people invest in products just to get their teeth back to their dazzling white shade. But here’s a thought – do teeth whitening strips really work? Or is it only a hype?
If you are confused about whether you should pick up a box of these strips or not, we are here to help you make a smart decision. Let us unleash the facts on teeth whitening strips – what they are, how they work, and how effective they are (or not).
Table of Contents
How Do You Get Stained Teeth
First things first – why do your teeth get those nasty stains, anyway?
It is actually simple. Imagine a hot coco messing up your white shirt. This is pretty much the same story with your teeth.
Whenever you eat food or drink beverage that has a strong color, this impacts the quality and color of your teeth.
Just think about dark- and brilliant-colored food and drink such as coffee, beer, wine, chocolate, and turmeric tea. When these rub up against your teeth, you can expect your chompers to adopt these colors temporarily until you clean them up with your toothbrush.
These are what you call extrinsic stains or environmental influences that cause your teeth to get nasty stains.
But then again, there are also what we call as intrinsic stains. These happen inside your teeth due to illnesses and medications. Trauma to your tooth, infections, and aging all cause tooth discoloration or staining.
It is also possible to get stains on your teeth because of fluoride overexposure. However, this is often the case with children and not very common among adults.
So you have extrinsic and intrinsic influences resulting in stained teeth. Can you do something about it?
What Can Help Whiten Your Teeth
Fortunately, you have a choice not to have stained teeth for the rest of your life.
There are ways and means for you to regain the immaculate white color of your teeth. A visit to the dentist can help you bring back the whiteness of your chompers. But if you are on a tight budget, there is a viable option to use a tooth whitening product.
For instance, teeth whitening strips have been around for quite some time as an inexpensive means of removing stains from your teeth. They do not require medical supervision, and you can use it right in the comfort of your own home.
These strips contain a layer of active ingredients that whiten the teeth such as hydrogen peroxide. This substance adheres to the plastic strip, and others use carbamide peroxide as the active component.
What whitening strips do is just that – they help bleach the surface of your teeth to remove stains. They penetrate into the dentin and the tooth enamel to get rid of intrinsic stains stuck within the depths of your teeth.
But it is not all that easy…
There are risks that come with incorrect usage of these strips. This is why you need to be very particular and diligent about following the instructions indicated in the package to get the results you want without any problem.
Important Things to Consider When Using Teeth Whitening Strips
As with any product you purchase, you need to check the ingredients before you buy and use it.
Read the labels carefully to make sure that everything in the product is completely safe. There are some nasty ingredients in products that you should stay away from. If you read anywhere in the label things like chlorine dioxide, steer clear from this whitening strip. It is not safe to use.
This is a type of chemical oxidizer that erodes the enamel of your teeth and causes damages. No wonder some people who experience these issues warn others about staying away from this product because of this harmful ingredient.
It is also worth noting that teeth whitening strips are not ideal for long-term use. You need to stick carefully to the indications in the package as to how long you should use these strips. If you fail to follow these instructions, you run the risk of various side effects including gum irritation, tooth sensitivity, and discomfort.
Other side effects that arise from using low-quality whitening strips are alterations in the enamel of your tooth, erosion of fillings and dental restorations, and damages to your braces.
Research on the Dangers of Teeth Whitening Products
Strips, gels, and other similar products designed to whiten the teeth are not created equal. Depending on what it contains, you need to base your decision on whether you should go ahead and purchase or not.
There have been studies on the effects of whitening or bleaching products that include hydrogen peroxide. For instance, a study done by researchers from Galloway’s Stockton University in New Jersey showed the dangers of using such bleaching substances. In the study, it was observed that this substance harms the teeth.
Bleach attacks your tooth’s most sensitive layer and makes it minimally strong. The ingredient can also cause damages to the scalp and hair, according to some people who use this product.
This study also concludes that hydrogen peroxide compromises the safety of dentin or your teeth’s middle layer. The hydrogen peroxide can pass through the tooth enamel and exposes your dentin to danger. What’s worse, once the dentin has been infiltrated, this also compromises the health of the protein collagen in it.
Once the dentin ends up becoming fragmented due to hydrogen peroxide exposure, the collagen mass found in this tooth layer is lost, along with other proteins in it.
Teeth whitening strips do help remove stains on your teeth.
But this is not a permanent and the safest solution to your concern. By minimizing your intake of food and drink that stain your teeth and by consulting a specialist before you go ahead and use these strips, you have a higher chance of having that nice smile for years and years.