Teeth whitening strips are ultra-thin strips of plastic film that can be stretched over the teeth to deliver a tooth-whitening agent directly to the surface of the tooth. One side of this film-like substance contains a whitening agent, usually hydrogen peroxide, and the other side has no whitening agent. The side with the whitening agent is placed on the teeth, with the opposite side facing out. The whitening strip is folded over the tooth and pressed into place until it adheres firmly to the surface of the tooth. Clear whitening strips allow a person to lighten his or her teeth virtually at any time without being obvious.
This method of teeth whitening is preferred over a tray system in which a small tray is filled with whitening solution and then placed over the top of the teeth because teeth whitening strips are not bulky or messy and typically do not trigger a person's gag reflex. A person also can converse normally while wearing these strips. Even so, a user must refrain from eating, drinking or smoking while these strips are in place and for at least 30 minutes after their removal.
Teeth whitening strips come in a variety of strengths. Regular teeth whitening strips usually have about a 6 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide whitening agent. These are designed to be worn for approximately 30 minutes two times each day for a total of 14 days. A regular-strength teeth whitening kit usually will contain 28 strips for upper teeth and 28 strips for lower teeth, for a total of 56 strips.
Premium teeth whitening strips come in a 10 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide whitener. These strips are designed to be worn for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening for a total of seven days. A premium teeth whitening system will contain 28 strips, 14 for upper teeth and 14 for lower teeth. These whitening strips generally are more expensive than regular teeth whitening strips, but they are beneficial if a person needs to whiten his or her teeth in a week or less.
Teeth whitening strips can be purchased over the counter in pharmacies or department stores and are located in the oral hygiene section. They are odor-free and are not known to have side effects, but parents should seek advice from a dental professional prior to using them on children. With proper use, whitening strips for teeth can help people of all ages achieve a bright, healthy smile safely and inexpensively.