Best Teeth Whitening Treatments: Whitening Strips or Teeth Whitening Gel?
The two most popular methods home teeth whitening kits employ to get rid of teeth discoloration are whitening strips and teeth whitening gel, but what is the best way to get your teeth lovely and white?
The truth is that both of these treatments can be highly effective when whitening the teeth at home, provided that you choose a high quality kit. Some manufacturers make substandard treatments that do not perform any better than toothpastes, so it pays to read teeth whitening kit reviews to make sure you choose the best brand.
Teeth whitening strips
If you have a wide mouth like the woman above, fixing whitening strips to the teeth should be quick and easy; however not everyone can flash a smile showing so many teeth. If you have a narrow mouth, fixing the strips to your molars can be fiddly.
Strips have an adhesive compound to keep them securely in place; however even the stickiest strips will not stay in place if the teeth are wet. You must therefore dry the teeth thoroughly beforehand, and since the mouth constantly produces saliva this may not be quite as easy as it sounds.
People with uneven or crooked teeth can also have problems getting the strips to fix over the entire surface of the teeth. Most kits use quite narrow strips so they cannot be folded over to cover the tops and back of the teeth. That means multiple strips need to be used adding to the cost of each full whitening treatment.
Gel Whitening Kits
Gel whitening kits are usually – do check – sold with moldable mouth trays which fit the users teeth like a glove. This is important as it prevents the gel from spilling out onto the gums. Mouth trays can be reused many times, so you only need to buy an extra tube of whitening gel rather than a full kit when the gel runs out.
Since the teeth are immersed in the gel it gets into all the nooks and crannies and whitens all surfaces and even between the teeth. Dentists also use gels for professional treatments – they do not use strips – which indicates that this is the most effective method. Trays are used at home for ease of application rather than the gel being painted on. Although people with veneers cannot easily whiten their teeth, there is some evidence that gels with mouth trays can whiten veneers work.
Summary of benefits and disadvantages:
Benefits of teeth whitening strips
- Clean with no mess
- Easy to whiten the front surface of the teeth
Disadvantages of teeth whitening strips
- The teeth must be dry before use
- Users can have problems sticking them to the teeth
- Problematic if you do not have perfectly even teeth
- Can be difficult whitening the top and back of the teeth
- Strips make it hard to get the whitening agent between the teeth
Benefits of teeth whitening gel kits
- Easy to whiten all surfaces of the teeth
- Easy to clean stains between the teeth
- Mouth trays are moldable to fit the unique anatomy of the user
- Mouth trays can be reused, so only the teeth whitening gel needs to be replenished
- May even whiten teeth with veneers
Disadvantages of teeth whitening gel
- Can be messy with cheaper kits
- Care must be taken with Hydrogen Peroxide gels to avoid getting it on the gums
If you want the best teeth whitening at home treatment, gel is the way to go. Teeth sensitivity is an issue with both methods as it is the active ingredient – Hydrogen Peroxide – that causes sensitivity, not the method used to apply it.
If you want to avoid teeth sensitivity as well, the best bet is to choose a kit that does not contain Hydrogen Peroxide such as Optimal White.