Tooth Whitening Strips - Do Dentists Like Them?

My general dentist says Crest Whitening Strips work, she recommends them. I'd love a second opinion from another dentist. Do these strips really work and get rid of stains from years of coffee!?

Doctor Answers 5

Tooth Whitening Strips

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I think they work with some people better than others, but I've certainly seen patients get results with them. If cost is really an issue, you could try them first and see. People often overuse over the counter products though, and I have seen many cases of sensitivity from using them.

Cleveland Dentist

Teeth Whitening Strips

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Whitening strips do work, but usually don't give dramatic results.  For faster and better results, try in-office whitening like ZOOM or take home whitening gels with custom-made trays.  These other options contain  higher concentrations of the whitening agent.  Best, Dr. Elizabeth Jahanian.

Elizabeth Jahanian, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Whitestrips a viable option

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I feel Crest Whitestrips are an option worth considering. I include them in my whitening options to patients. I find that many patients end up using a few boxes to get the desired result. When they touch up, they need to purchase additional boxes, unlike home whitening where the trays can last for years. A good lost cost alternative to see if your teeth will lighten.

Fred Peck, DDS
Cincinnati Dentist

Crest white stips work

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When they first came out, I "poo-poo"d them.  Then a patient came in and had a great result and I had to eat crow.

It seems that if one REALLY follows directions, they CAN work.  However, most people won't...




For faster results with a less challenging method, ask your dentist.  If your dentist does NOT offer KöR whitening, then they don't really know what they are talking about...

Crest whitening strips

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In short, Crest whitening strips do work.  However, as a clinician that is concerned about oral health, I would not recommend them to my patients.  Here are the reasons:

  1. It takes longer to achieve an appreciable result with any over-the-counter whitening strip, as the concentration of peroxide incorporated into the whitening gel is very low.
  2. The longer you have peroxide gel in contact with gum tissues, the greater the risk for mouth ulcers and esophageal ulcers.  Recently, a patient came into my office with multiple ulcers in her throat because of these whitening strips; she was placed on an oral steroid to ease the pain so that she could eat again.  It took her ulcers over 2 weeks to heal completely.
  3. Peroxide gels are oxidizing agents which release free radicals.  Free radicals are dangerous when in contact with tissues that have rapid turnover, such as gum tissues; the free radical of oxygen that is released by peroxide gels can affect gum tissue health, leading to desquamation ("peeling" of your gum tissues) and chemical burning of the gums.

The safest way to whiten your teeth is to have it done professionally, with a one-hour in-office treatment administered by a dentist or dental hygienist.  Alternatively, you can opt to have custom trays made that fit your teeth precisely (and prevent whitening gel from contacting gum tissues) so that you can whiten at home with a more powerful prescription-based whitening agent. 

To give you an idea of how adamantly opposed I am to whitening strips:  If my patients question me about using an over-the-counter whitening strip product, I usually offer to make them custom trays and dispense whitening gel to them for FREE.  I'd rather them whiten safely than to use a product that has a significant potential for severe side effects.  Good luck!

Michael Gulizio, DMD, MS
Manhattan Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.