Nothing is more embarrassing than meeting someone for the first time with teeth that are stained different shades of yellow and brown. While there are a number of reasons for this type of discoloration, the other person only sees ugly stains that they feel might be the result of poor hygiene. Whether you are on a job interview, out to dinner with friends or simply going about your day to day life, it is imperative to keep those pearly whites as white as they are meant to be. Unfortunately, there are just some times it isn’t what we do or our lifestyles that cause discoloration but medications we are taking, such as chemotherapy or antihistamines during allergy season. No amount of normal brushing is going to remove those stains and it is going to take a whitening product of the highest caliber to bring your teeth back to their original white luster.
Top 5 Whitening Strips
|Lumist Whitening |
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white 1 Hour
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|Crest 3D Luxe|
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So What Are The Best Whitening Strips? – Here Is What We Recommend!
In reviewing literally dozens of teeth whitening products, the one that kept coming up time and again was Crest 3D Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects teeth whitening kit which come 40 to a package (20 uppers and 20 lowers) for 20 complete treatments. This particular product met every single requirement we laid out for what should be expected from it. They are definitely one of the best teeth whiteners. Here is what we found.
Unless best teeth whitening strips have active ingredients that are proven to be effective, there is no sense going any further. Crest White strips Professional Effects have the following ingredients:
- PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone)
- PEG-8 (polyethylene glycol esterified with lauric acid)
- H2O2 (Hydrogen peroxide)
- Acrylates copolymer
- Sodium Hydroxide
- Sodium Saccharin
As you will probably notice, hydrogen peroxide is one of the main active ingredients that we mentioned above as perhaps being ineffective in teeth whitening products. However, it should be understood that the concentration used in rinses is considerably lower than that which is placed directly on the surface of the teeth and held there with a ‘bonding agent’ as is used in crest white strips. But the best is yet to come! Sodium hydroxide is also a bleaching agent that is stronger than hydrogen peroxide and consequently speeds up the bleaching process significantly. So let’s talk a bit about the ingredients and what each does. The first two ingredients, PVP and PEG-8 are for all intents and purposes the gentle adhesives that hold the strips in place. Also, these two ingredients are thickeners that are water soluble. Along with Acrylates copolymer, these provide the substrate upon which the active ingredients are placed. These three ingredients not only hold the strips in place but keep the active ingredients there in proper proportion as well so they can continue to work throughout the entire time they are held against the teeth. Sodium saccharin is a non-caloric flavoring/sweetening agent that is also not harmful to the teeth as sugar would be.
Ease of Use
We have found that Crest 3D Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects are the easiest to use of all teeth whitening strips we reviewed because of the innovative gentle adhesives and substrates included in the ingredients. The strips are extremely thin and flexible and have undergone a slight change in size for the lower strips. Previous products from Crest had slightly narrower lower strips that just didn’t conform to the teeth as well. With this new design, it is much easier to keep them where they belong on those lower teeth which was always problematic in the past. You simply peel & apply then leave them for 30 minutes and you’re on your way to whiter, brighter teeth. Nothing could be easier.
According to clinical trials before the strips for white teeth were released on the market, it was reported that visible results were apparent within just three applications and maximum benefits achieved in about 20 days. Unlike so many other products that can take up to three months to be maximized, three weeks is a considerable improvement! Three weeks to whiter, brighter teeth at a fraction of the cost when professionally treated is remarkable.
The most common side effect noted is a bit of redness and gum irritation when first using the crest teeth whitening strips. This is actually common to all such products, even those less effective and is to be expected. This minor irritation will ease after the first few treatments and is generally believed to be the result of the hydrogen peroxide bubbling germs and bacteria to the surface of the gums. The manufacturer states that if the redness continues beyond the first few days that you should temporarily stop treatments until the irritation subsides. Then it is safe to resume unless your dentist tells you otherwise. The only other side effect could be the appearance of tiny white spots on the surface of the enamel and this is quite common during any bleaching procedure. Both will rectify themselves within a short period of time, within a few treatments, unless there is some abnormality on the tooth’s surface. This would also be the case in professional bleaching procedures and would require the services of a dentist to correct. The main difference? You aren’t paying hundreds of dollars for the treatment only to follow it up with hundreds more to fix the abnormalities!
What Others Are Saying
Based on viewing hundreds of reviews around the web, the very lowest average rating we found was 4.4 out of 5 stars. Some users found significant whitening after the first treatment, but the norm was just as the manufacturer stated, noticeably whither teeth by the third application. When a product gets these kinds of positive reviews, we had to look at it closer and we liked what we found. Check out what this person had to say about the strips!
Great whitestrips other than Crest Whitening Strips
Of course no two people are alike and if everyone was the same it would be quite a boring world to live in. No one product is ever going to satisfy all people at all times, therefore, we also decided to highlight more brands other than crest whitening strips that we feel are worthy of mention. Of all the products we reviewed, those that came in second and third to our top pick were 28 Whitestrips Onuge and a product simply called Professional Strength Teeth Whitening Strips 28 Count. Let’s take a closer look at them. Next on our list is a product that is similar to our top pick but there are some variations that may make a difference to some people. When comparing these strips it is important to know how these products vary in order to choose the one that is right for you. As the name implies, there are 28 teeth whitening strips (14 upper and 14 lower) for a total of 14 complete treatments. Here are our findings.
The one thing we didn’t quite agree with is the way in which the manufacturer only lists hydrogen peroxide for ingredients. Some people have allergies and it is really important to tell them what may cause a potential problem. Also, is hydrogen peroxide the only active ingredient? If so, then this would most likely not be as effective as 3D Luxe Crest Whitestrips Professional Effects. Since there is no way of knowing what else is used, it is necessary to look at what people are saying about this product in order to gauge its efficacy.
Ease of Use
Here again, we found that 28 Whitestrips Onuge are easy to use. It’s a matter of peeling, applying and leaving them on for the recommended period of time. However, and this is a big difference, these strips need to be left on for a full hour. Although both manufacturers state that you can eat and drink with the whitening strips in place, if you are running behind on an important appointment or simply looking to turn in for the night, this could be an inconvenience. Also, if they need to be left in twice as long, what does this say about the strength of the whiteners?
Although 28 Whitestrips Onuge does have H2O2 and has been proven effective, it will take a few extra treatments to bring your teeth up to the level of whiteness you expect. Since it may be uncomfortable for many people to leave the teeth whitening strips in for the full hour, it may take extra treatments to get the expected results.
Unfortunately, the only ingredient the manufacturer lists is hydrogen peroxide and few people are actually allergic to it, but there is always that ‘unknown’ when it seems as though other ingredients should be listed. To date there have been no reports of anyone suffering from any adverse side effects but it is still in your best interest to proceed with caution if undue redness or irritation results after the first use. There is some amount of irritation to be expected from any teeth whitening product, but if it is severe, discontinue use and contact your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.
What Others Are Saying
Actually, customer reviews are quite positive. When ranking 28 Whitestrips Onuge, the average was almost as high as the average ranking for the Crest 3D Luxe Whitestrips. After 14 treatments many said they got the desired results, whiter teeth, but others stated they were uncomfortable leaving the strips in that length of time so they needed a few extra treatments. On the whole, customer reviews were encouraging so we feel comfortable recommending this product second to Crest 3D Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects.
The final product we are comfortable recommending is Professional Strength Teeth Whitening Strips 28 Count which, like our second pick, is a 14 day supply. One little ‘bonus’ that we thought was nice is the inclusion of a shade guide so that users can gauge how their treatments are progressing. It is also possible to judge whether or not your teeth are stained so severely that the 14 treatments wouldn’t be sufficient. Even so, to rank any product fairly, it is necessary to judge it by the same parameters as the others in this group. This is what we uncovered.
As you might expect based on this products’ placement in our rankings, the only ingredients again are hydrogen peroxide, but at least this company lists water. Are there any other ingredients customers should be aware of? Based on customer reviews, it doesn’t seem as though there is anything dangerous as there have been no reports of any harmful side effects.
Ease of Use
Of the three we chose for our top recommendations, these strips are a bit more complicated to use. With these you need to apply the gel and then place the strip and fold it over to hold it in place. But because these strips are only left in the mouth for 30 minutes, they are a bit more acceptable than the full hour required by the previous teeth whitening strips. They are not as easy to use but the lower amount of time required makes them easier to deal with.
Since you are given 14 complete treatments when you buy the kit, you would hope for teeth brought up several shades of whiteness within that time. What we found was that you can realistically expect to lighten those stains by 2 or 3 shades within the two week treatment timeframe.
With a whitening agent just slightly above antiseptic strength hydrogen peroxide, it isn’t likely there will be any nasty side effects unless you are one of the rare people with a sensitivity to it. As discussed earlier, there is the off chance that you may experience a bit of redness and irritation in your gums, but that is common and should abate after the first few treatments. If the pain is severe or if you feel there is an undue amount of redness, swelling or irritation, discontinue use and consult with your medical/dental professional.
What Others Are Saying
Of the three products we have reviewed here, this is the one that scored the lowest with customer comments. However, that isn’t altogether bad because it still ranked far above the other products we did not include in our recommendations. Customers found it effective in whitening moderately stained teeth but as mentioned, were not impressed by the method of application. Even so, they were happy to get results, so that little bit of inconvenience was worth the effort.
Research shows that stained teeth have a profound psychological impact.
However, the causes of discolored teeth are nothing compared to the psychological damage it does to a person who is constantly afraid to smile for fear of being ostracized for having ugly teeth. In a study that was commissioned by one of the world’s premier dental products manufacturers, Crest, the findings were overwhelming. In this study with over 1,000 participants, researchers looked at those interviewing for jobs and those on first dates before and after whitening their teeth. Initially participants were asked how important they felt their personal appearance was in given circumstances. In terms of personal appearance, they were asked to consider the importance of whiter, stain-free teeth. Of those participants, 64% believed whiter teeth had an impact on financial success, 68% felt that their appearance impacted professional success and amazingly 52% of those participants felt that a person’s appearance impacted the way in which others judged their trustworthiness. So then, in the study participants were observed in real-life situations where they were on job interviews and on first dates. Each of these participants were studied before and after having their teeth whitened. An amazing 65% of job applicants came across as more professional after having their teeth whitened and 59% of those on first dates acted much more naturally and outgoing after the procedure.
Professional teeth whitening procedures are often too expensive for the average person.
In a perfect world, we could just make an appointment with our dentist every few months to have a professional teeth whitening service performed by either the dentist or with a dental hygienist in the office. Unfortunately, medical/dental insurance doesn’t cover what is considered a cosmetic procedure and it would be necessary to cover the cost out-of-pocket. Considering the fact that it can cost several hundred dollars for each treatment (depending on the dentist and part of the country) even one procedure is cost prohibitive. Now consider the fact that you would need several treatments within the course of a single year to stay on top of those stains, especially if they are the result of your daily lifestyle. It would end up costing well over $1,000 for a single year and if you had to repeat this every year, you could buy a car in just a few years with what it costs to whiten your teeth. It is unrealistic to expect anyone to pay that amount of money, so what can be done at home to get the same results? Perhaps the first thing to look at is why your teeth are so discolored and is there anything you can do to avoid future stains?
Sometimes it is just impossible to avoid discoloration in your teeth.
Of course everyone knows that certain foods and beverages cause teeth to darken and stain, such as coffee, tea, wine, colas and even a good many fruits and vegetables. However, there are some foods you would never believe in a million years could cause your teeth to darken and the two leading culprits would be potatoes and apples. That’s almost unbelievable, but it is true! While you could avoid those foods, it really isn’t necessary from a cosmetic viewpoint as there are affordable remedies such as best teeth whitening strips that we’ll discuss a bit later. Another huge way in which teeth are proven to discolour is through the use of many common medications prescribed by doctors and even some OTC pharmaceuticals as well. Two of the leading medications that cause teeth to darken are prescribed regularly and they are the antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline. Did you know that Benadryl can also cause discoloration in your teeth? Then there are those less common medications such as some types of chemotherapy as well as radiation in the area of the head and/or neck. These can’t be avoided as they are meant to treat cancer which is certainly more difficult to cure than stained teeth. What about diseases? Many people aren’t aware that some diseases (not the treatment but the disease itself) can lead to darkened enamel on the surface of the teeth. So when you add it all up, there probably isn’t a realistic way to prevent staining but you can keep it at bay with regular brushing. Unfortunately, some of the mouth washes you use may also cause your teeth to stain if they are formulated with chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride. So now you can’t even brush your teeth and rinse with a mouth wash without worrying about stains! Unbelievable!
What are the best teeth whitening strips and products?
Now that we’ve established that there is no way to completely avoid dental discoloration and that it is far too expensive for the average person to have professional whitening treatments on a regular basis, you are probably asking what types of teeth whitening products are on the market for use at home. Actually, there are several different types that are used in different ways, some easier to use than others and some are far safer than others. Here we’ll take a look at a variety of ways in which you could whiten your teeth with OTC products so that you can decide for yourselves. We, personally, prefer whitening strips for reasons which we will explain later and then we’ll tell you which of the many products on the market we recommend. But to get started, let’s look at products by how they are applied.
- Whitening Toothpastes – One of the reasons we don’t advise whitening toothpastes is because most of them have some sort of abrasives in them and although they can bring teeth up to one shade lighter, they also wear down the protective enamel. Not only does this lead to tooth decay but also will enable further staining to set in deeper and much quicker.
- Whitening Rinses – There are a number of newer products on the market that you just swish for a few minutes after brushing your teeth. Most of these simply have hydrogen peroxide in them and are not very effective. In fact, the manufacturers even have the disclaimer that you may need to wait as long as 12 weeks to ‘begin’ seeing results. That’s an awfully long time to wait and if you are looking for whiter, brighter teeth for that all important job interview, someone else is probably going to get there first! Hydrogen peroxide is effective but it takes a much longer time to work than a quick swish here and there.
- Tray Whiteners – Of all the whitening systems on the market, these are the most cumbersome and uncomfortable to use. The process involves filling the tray (much like a tooth guard) with a whitening solution, again usually peroxide, and then placing the tray over your teeth. Then, you leave the tray on for a length of time from an hour to overnight while the peroxide does the bleaching. Unfortunately, one of the things you will find is that once the bubbles stop fizzing, it signals the end of oxidation which means the peroxide is no longer working. Why put yourself through all that for such an extended period of time when the ‘bleaching’ agent has lost its efficacy?
- Best Teeth Whitening Strips – Of all the OTC whitening products, we have found that teeth whitening strips are the best choice for a number of reasons. However, anyone who has ever struggled to keep those awkward dental trays in their mouths overnight would do almost anything to avoid a repeat. Not only are white strips easy to use, you will never even know they are there. They are non-abrasive so you don’t need to worry about wearing that layer of enamel off your teeth and you don’t need to swish for two minutes at a time 3x per day for 12 weeks before seeing results.
Having established that our choice of the best whitening strips on the market for at home use would be these strips, it’s time to take a look at a few of the leading products on the market. Let’s find out what you should be looking for and how you can decide which are the best whitening strips based on their formulations and customer reviews are. Bear in mind that just because they all advertise as being strips to whiten teeth doesn’t mean they are all going to be exactly the same. For this reason, it is necessary to closely inspect each and every product before making your decision as to which one is right for you.
What to Look for in Crest Whitening Strips
If you are going to look for professional quality teeth whitening strips then the first thing to look at is the active ingredients that do the bleaching. Secondly, strips that slip and slide around in your mouth while you are trying to wear them aren’t very effective since you can’t keep them in place long enough to do their work. So, to sum it up, you are looking for teeth whitening strips that are formulated with a professional strength bleaching agent that will stay put once you place them in your mouth.
How Can You Decide the Perfect Crest Whitestrips For Yourself?
Once you know what to look for, it’s simply a process of elimination. You know that a) you want professional strength whitening and b) something that will stay in place long enough to work. Also, cost may be a factor as well. If you can find products that are comparable to those used by professionals at a much lower cost, then that is a good place to start. The next area for comparison would be to look at what others are saying. Always take the time to read customer reviews and testimonials. Any company can write whatever they want about their products but in the end, they could just have great advertising. How many times have you seen commercials on television that promise to be the best thing since the invention of the wheel? Unfortunately, when you get it home it doesn’t even turn on, let alone work as advertised. So know you know why we chose teeth whitening strips as the best product to use and how we go about comparing various products. After looking at virtually every product we could get our hands on, the following three are those we would recommend because we would (and do!) use them ourselves. That is the final test, in our eyes.
Conclusion on best whitening strips
Our conclusion overall is that teeth whitening strips can outperform other whitening agents that are sold OTC and if used properly, can rival costly professional services at a dental clinic. Laser whitening procedures performed by a dentist can cost several hundreds of dollars and often are no more effective than OTC teeth whitening strips. Also, we found that consumers really like the fact that they can use the strips at their own convenience and are not subject to the availability of a dentist’s schedule. If they have an important interview or date coming up within a few days, they don’t need to worry about bringing their teeth up at least a shade or two in whiteness as they can simply begin treatments as they wish. We can’t emphasize enough how happy consumers are to have a product that is affordable as well as effective.
Since Crest 3D Luxe Whitestrips Professional Effects ranked highest with customers and with our team of market analysts, we feel that this would be our number one choice. Not only do these teeth whitening strips have the highest concentration of active ingredients but there are a total of 20 treatments as opposed to 14 like the other two contenders. For ease of use, effectiveness of ingredients and customer satisfaction, we rank 3D White Luxe Crest Whitestrips Professional Effects at the head of the class. Image Credit: Dr. Gary Lam DDS
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