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You’ve no doubt heard of teeth whitening strips, but how do they work? What exactly is on those sticky, little strips to make teeth whiter and brighter? Read this information before you try them to make sure you know about any risks or side effects. 

First and foremost, carefully read the instructions. Even though whitening strips are considered safe, there is a lot of important information you need to be aware of. 

The flexible, plastic strips are coated with a whitening gel that contains hydrogen peroxide. It has been extensively tested and found to be safe for enamel when used as directed. You can wear the strips and continue with daily activities, however, you shouldn’t eat, drink or sleep with them on. You don’t want to swallow one!

The most common side effects are tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. After using the strips for a day or two, you may notice cold or hot tooth sensitivity. This is very common and usually only lasts for 24 – 48 hours. One tip to avoid this is to wear the strips every other day and see if it subsides. You can also try tooth sensitivity toothpaste. Using a soft-bristle brush will be gentler on your teeth and may help alleviate pain. See your dentist if symptoms persist. 

The chemical reaction that makes your teeth white, can also cause gum irritation and white blotches on your gums. This can cause a little discomfort but will subside hours after usage. To avoid this, you can carefully cut your strips so they don’t overlap on the gums. 

Don’t leave your strips on longer than recommended. You may think if you leave the strips on longer than directed, you can get whiter teeth. Not only is that false, but it can also irritate your teeth and gums. Once the whitening gel is on your teeth for the allotted amount of time, it stops working so there is no advantage. It can also wear down enamel if left on too long. 

Now you can decide for yourself if whitening strips or a dentist visit for teeth whitening and bleaching service are right for you!