Pros: Whitens teeth fairly quickly
Cons: Caused severe pain, bad breath and I developed a cavity while using them.
Ive been hearing the hype about tooth whitening for some time now. I admit, I was intrigued. I smoked for nearly a decade before quitting more than nine years ago. While in the Army, I drank coffee all the time and, now, I have a bit of a diet soft drink habit. Needless to say, these teeth of mine could probably benefit from a good, old-fashioned whitening. I spoke with my dentist and he gave me several options. I decided to run with the cheapest.
The Whitening System
Of the choices I was given, my dentist told me I could purchase the Crest Whitestrips or some similar product or have my teeth whitened in the office. I could have the whitening done at the office for several hundred dollars or pay roughly $28 for the Whitestrips. Guess which whitening system I chose?
Crest Premium Whitestrips
After perusing the various whitening systems, I chose the Crest Premium Whitestrips because the box promises that they are clinically proven to remove up to 14 years of stain build-up in just 7 days satisfaction guaranteed. Imagine that, I could have the teeth of a 21 year old Woo Hoo!
How to use the Strips
The directions could not be easier. You are given a little box with 14 strips for your upper teeth and 14 strips for your lower teeth. Each strip is individually sealed. Simply open the sealed top strip first, press gently on your front teeth aligning the top of the strip with your gumline, and fold the strip under your teeth. Next apply the smaller bottom strip to your bottom teeth and fold over. Each strip covers about six teeth which are the ones you normally show when you smile. The upper and lower strips are shaped differently in order to better conform to your teeth. Leave the strips on your teeth for 30 minutes and remove. Then just rinse or brush your teeth to remove the remaining gel.
A few things to Remember
Crest recommends that you not brush your teeth immediately before applying strips. You do need to be careful not to get the gel-like material on your hands. When opening each strip, look for the zig-zagged slit to make getting the strip easier. Crest recommends that you use these strips twice a day for 30 minutes each time to achieve your desired whiteness. Sometimes you may need to buy one more box if this is your first time using the strips. After you have achieved the desired whiteness, you may want to buy a new box once every six months or so to maintain that whiteness.
My first experience with the Strips
My first reaction to these strips was not very positive. They were goopy and the strips slid all over my teeth. Once these strips were in place, of course, your mouth goes into hyper-drive and starts producing too much saliva. Also, Ive heard some problems can occur if the goop gets on your tongue or lips. So, here I am for a half hour trying to keep my lips and tongue from touching these strips, while drooling everywhere and trying to keep the strips from sliding off. They are goopy and they are slippery and they sometimes do slide off. After my first half hour, I was seriously wondering if having the teeth of a 21 year old was really worth the hassle.
My second experience with the strips
I decided to try the strips again that night. I figured I might have an easier time of it now that I was officially an experienced stripper. Not so, not only was I dealing with a drippy, goopy mouth now I had intense pain. Yes, turns out I have sensitive teeth. I hung in there for 15 minutes and tore the strips off. My teeth were aching something fierce. Only by pressing a wet washcloth firmly against them was I able to ease the pain. That night, in the middle of the night, I woke up and my teeth were again in pain. The next day, I found out that some people take motrin when using the strips to deal with the achiness. I actually had to take an 800mg Motrin in the middle of the night because I kept waking up. Now, I am one of those old-fashioned types who believes that pain is actually a good thing. Pain lets you know that something is seriously wrong so I did not want to mask the pain again. I ended up waiting 48 hours and decided to give the strips another go. I only made it 15 minutes again before my teeth started aching and I again tore the strips off.
So, with all the pain, what did I do?
I actually hung in there for about eight applications. I started using the applications only once a day for 15 minutes because anything more and I felt as if somebody was crushing my teeth (never a pleasant feeling). During the week that I used the strips, I did deal with achy teeth. I also suddenly had a terrible problem with bad breath and everything tasting just awful to me. I dont often have that bad breath taste but I had it for almost a week and a half while using these strips and for several days afterward. Ive noticed since then, friends who use the strips are a bit more odorous and I have to step back when talking to them. I am really sensitive to bad breath though.
Is there anything else I experienced with the Strips?
Why, yes, as a matter of fact, an uncomfortable feeling, bad breath and extreme pain were not all I experienced. For about 15 years, every dentist I have seen always comments on the soft spot I have on one of my front teeth. They always tell me they want to keep an eye on it because it could turn into a cavity. The soft spot never changed and every new dentist always commented on it. Each time, Id tell them that Id had that spot for many years with nary a problem. One week after using these strips, I noticed the spot had turned another color and, guess what, I had a cavity. Coincidence? You be the judge. Also, I had chipped a tooth as a young girl. I forgot all about it because my parents had it filled when I was about seven or eight. I quickly remembered when 2/3 of my tooth turned whiter and that corner stayed the same color. I was later told that if anything is wrong with your tooth such as a cavity, crack or any other problem, you can do serious damage to your tooth and its nerves.
Was there anything positive about the Strips?
After about eight applications, I did notice my teeth were a bit whiter. And, afterall, whiteness was the goal here. Id have to say this was the only positive thing about the Whitestrips. The box containing the strips comes with a small mirror that I found to be completely useless. Ah yes, there was one more positive thing about the Whitestrips. The package came with a bonus Crest Powered Toothbrush and Crest Toothpaste. I do enjoy the tartar control whitening plus Scope toothpaste and the brush works wonderfully.
My Final Recommendation
Because of the pain, developing cavity and uneven whitening around my filled tooth, I quit this program early. To tell the truth, I dont even notice other folks teeth so why would all that pain be worth it? Well, it isnt. The free toothpaste and toothbrush were worth it but I could go out and buy them separately for only $10 or so. I know that not everybody reading this will have sensitive teeth or soft spots or filled chips and this may be a wonderful product for you (if you dont mind bad breath). For that reason, Ill give Crest Premium Whitestrips the benefit of the doubt and award the product about two stars. If you decide to give these strips a whirl, I wish you great success, wonderful breath and pain-free, whitened teeth.