Product Reviews

Do Crest White Strips Work?

Crest White Strips work, but there are a few caveats and safety concerns you should know about before jumping in.

by Dr. Burhenne


What do you think of Crest White Strips? Do they really work? Is the bleaching ingredient bad for your health?

A: Crest White Strips do work, although they’re not the best way to whiten teeth. In this post, I’ll explain how they work, how to use them safely, and what you should be aware of before you jump in.

How Crest White Strips Work

Whitening strips are small pieces of a flexible plastic called polyethylene. Each flexible strip is coated with a whitening gel that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

You take each strip and mold it around your teeth — one strip for the top and one strip for the bottom. The peroxide gel in the strips is now held up against the teeth so it can seep into the teeth to lighten them.

Problems with White Strips

Gum damage. The chemical reaction that occurs to whiten your teeth can damage the gums. This is why it’s essential to make sure that whitening strips never touch your gums. This is hard to do, but it’s possible. Try cutting the strips so they don’t overlap with or touch your gums. The strips should touch only your teeth.

Yellow spots. Strips are one-dimensional, but teeth are three-dimensional. This creates a problem when it comes to getting results you like. Strips don’t get into the in-between spaces or the curved bottoms of teeth, so you often get an effect where the center of the tooth is white, but at the edges where the tooth curves it’s yellow or gray. These yellow spots become more pronounced with white strips because the color difference becomes greater.

Tooth damage. When a dentist isn’t there to monitor whitening treatment, I get a little nervous. It is very possible to overdo it and damage your teeth. Teeth aren’t like hair and nails that you can color and if they get damaged you can just cut them and they’ll grow back healthy again. When teeth lose their function, all hell can start to break loose.

Making mistakes with whitening strips could cause you shooting tooth pain or make you sensitive to your favorite foods. See your dentist every six months for regular check-ups. Make sure you don’t have any cavities or gum disease before you start using strips.

Mark Burhenne DDS

Have you used whitening strips? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What was your experience? What advice would you share with others?

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  1. I have very clean teeth and I dont have any gum problem. My only concern is that my teeth’s natural color is yellowish. I want to know that whether using the stipes van make my teeth Ny whiter or not?

    • Im not a dentist but I would say yes: u are kinda young to be worried about whitening ur teeth. Just keep them clean by brushing at least 2x a day& flossing’ll have your whole life when you’re older to impress ppl with whiter teeth!! But remember having them clean, healthy, and cavity free are more important.

  2. Do they actually work on dentures as well ? I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere but someone told me she has dentures and they worked on hers ? Possible?

  3. Yes it works!!!! Everyone’s teeth are stained. Food, wine, soft drinks, coffee, smoking, and chewing tobacco… All of these things will stain your teeth over time. Some people don’t even notice that their teeth are stained (even if just a little) Until they use these strips. The strips are a tad bit awkward when you place them on your teeth for the very first time. And then after that, you know exactly what to do, where to place them, slide them gently into place (top and then bottom) The best way to use them is to keep your mouth closed and don’t talk. Try to not open and close your mouth at all. It will give you the most whitening if you just put the strips on and do something to occupy the next 30 mins. (I read a book or watch Tv). The strips will remove whatever stains you have on your teeth. How white they “actually” will get is the frequency that you use the strips. After the first use, you should already see a difference. Just don’t make the mistake to “over do” it. Many people that like to lighten their teeth get addicted to it sometimes. At that point, your teeth could look fake and very “unnatural”.

    • Also, “How” light/white your teeth will get depends on how light they “naturally. If you have partials or porcelain crowns, they will only go to original color that they were when you first got them.

  4. From a relative who is dental hygienist… crest 3D whitening strips really work, but will make teeth sensitive. Follow directions perfectly on white strips, after each application of strips, rinse with fluoride mouth wash “preferably Act brand.” Continue for recommended duration listed in white strips directions. Remember, no tooth paste truly whitens teeth.

    • While they did not make my teeth sensitive, my gums were a little sore. I even made sure to keep the strip only on my teeth and not on my gums. But it’s easy for the whitening agent to seep onto your gums. I also leave them on for a good 30 mins. I’ve found what works best is to find something to read for the entire time as talking with them on will move the strips around and you’ll end up with the solution inside your mouth instead of on your teeth. Focusing on something else while you’re waiting really helps. I also don’t open my mouth at all. Another BIG thing I’ve had to do is immediately put Vaseline or chapstick on my lips. My lips were super dry after only a few minutes and it was awful. My friend gave me these to try when she got them from her dentist. However, Ebay is the best place to find them very inexpensive. I think I paid $18 for 25 whitening strips. My friend paid A LOT more than that. I think $150! That’s just crazy!


  5. I have just used the 3d whitening strips for the first time and after use notice a couple of spots of whiteness on 2 separate teeth. Is this normal? Shouldn’t the whitening process be uniform? Im scared to use any more.

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