How do you use teeth-whitening strips?
Each and every whitening-strips product will have its own specific set of directions (so you really do need to read them) but, in general, here's an outline of how strips are typically used. (A product like Crest Whitestrips Classic.)
Directions for using whitening strips -
1) Getting things ready for your whitening-strip treatment.
A) Brush your teeth before applying whitening strips.
As far as best practices go, you should give your teeth a quick once-over cleaning (using a toothbrush without toothpaste) before apply your whitening strips. The general idea is as follows.
Any dental plaque or debris lying on the surface of a tooth will prevent direct contact with the strip. This barrier will inhibit the action of the whitener.
B) Remove the strips from their packaging.
Teeth whitening strips (Crest Whitestrips) come packaged in pairs (one upper and one lower) in individual pouches. The contents of each pouch are used for one treatment session and then discarded.
Simply tear open the pouch and remove the thin plastic carrier on which the whitening strips have been affixed. The upper whitening strip is the larger one of the two.
The side of the whitening strip that faces its plastic carrier is the side that contains the tooth whitener and is the side that needs to be placed against the surface of your teeth.
C) Don't peal a strip off until you're ready to apply it.
Whitening strips are very flimsy by nature. So before you peal one off its carrier, make sure that you are all set and ready to go.
It's unlikely that you'll seriously damage any strips but it is easy enough to inadvertently crinkle one up, which will take a bit of work to straighten back out. In general, you don't want to do anything that will cause you to touch or disturb the side of the strip that contains the whitener any more than you have to.
2) How to place whitening strips.
A) The strips need to be aligned properly.
When you place a whitening strip, you should align its edge with your gum line. Of course, the shape of the strip and your gum line probably won't match up exactly, so just do the best that you can.
In general, the idea is to maximize the amount of tooth surface that the strip covers. Any portion of a tooth that lies beyond the edge of the whitening strip won't receive the same lightening effect.
B) Once positioned, press the whitening strip in place.
At that point when you have the whitening strip properly positioned, press on it gently so to secure it in place and maximize its contact with each tooth's surface.
Now, fold the remainder of the strip over and then back behind the biting edge of your teeth.
The first strip is now in place. Now all that's left to do is simply repeat this same process with your other arch (upper/lower).
C) Always wash your hands after handling teeth-whitening strips.
The bleaching agent that's applied to teeth-whitening strips (Crest Whitestrips) is hydrogen peroxide. And it has the potential to react with any and all surfaces that it comes into contact with, not just your teeth.
There is no question; you will get some of the strip's whitener on your fingers during the application process.
If you don't wash your hands off, you may notice that your fingers start to tingle, maybe even burn. That's the peroxide reacting with your skin. It may even cause white patches. In any case, just wash your fingers off and you should be fine.
More serious or permanent complications might occur if you inadvertently touch your eyes, pets, furniture or clothing with contaminated fingers. So be careful and always wash your hands off after handling whitening strips.