Instructions for using Crest Whitestrips®.
This page outlines how to use Crest Whitestrips® products. We originally wrote these directions for Whitestrips Classic®, a product that has since been discontinued. We've since updated our pages so they include information pertaining to all of the different products that currently make up the Whitestrips® line.
This includes: Crest Whitestrips® 3D White - Vivid, Advanced Vivid, Gentle Routine, Stain Shield, Professional Effects, Intensive Professional Effects, 1 Hour Express, Luxe Supreme Flexfit and Luxe Glamorous White.
Directions for using Crest Whitestrips® -
- Which style of strip will you use?
- Getting ready.
- Placing the strips.
- Performing your treatment - How long, how often?
- Wrapping up your treatment session.
- Treatment frequency.
1) Crest® makes two styles of strips.
Whitestrips® come in two basic forms. The big difference between them is one type stays in place better than the other.
a) Sturdy, strongly adherent strips -
The boxes of strips having this design are labeled with the trademark Advanced Seal or FlexFit.
- The strip itself is made out of a relatively thick, tough plastic.
- The whitener/adhesive that's been applied is very sticky and is able to hold it tightly in place.
- Products that have this design are: Crest Whitestrips® 3D White - Advanced Vivid, Professional Effects, Intensive Professional Effects, 1 Hour Express, Luxe Glamorous White and Luxe Supreme Flexfit.
- The strips in this category are generally intended for longer wear times (30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the product).
There is no question that these strips stay in place well. And if you've had difficulty wearing previous generations of Whitestrips®, this design will likely provide the solution that you need.
They are so adherent that Crest® suggests that you could whistle or drink water while wearing them (which, to us, seems a fairly accurate claim).
b) Flimsy, less adherent strips -
- These strips are made out of a lighter weight, flimsier plastic. And the whitener/adhesive applied to them is much less adherent.
- The consumer product reviews we've read typically contain the words: slippery, slides around, don't stick.
- Products that have this design are: Crest Whitestrips® 3D White - Vivid, Gentle Routine and Stain Shield.
- This type of strip construction is reminiscent of the older-style of Whitestrips®.
The Gentle Routine and Stain Shield strips are only worn for 5 minutes, so staying in place isn't much of an issue with them. The Vivid (not Advanced Vivid) is worn for 30 minutes, so keeping them in place may be an issue for some people.
Which style of strip should you use?
It only makes sense that most people probably prefer using the more adherent strips (Advanced Seal®, FlexFit®). And in fact, for just routine whitening (medium length treatments over the course of a week or more), only Whitestrips Vivid® (not to be confused with Advanced Vivid) has the flimsier, less adherent design.
That's not to say this product isn't as good as the others, it's just different. And for people who are more accustom to the old-style strip, this might be the one they prefer.
How to tell which kind you're buying.
We noticed that Crest® does a good job of displaying the Advanced Seal and FlexFit trademarks prominently on their products that have these designs.
It was also our impression that these products come in trapezoidal shaped boxes whereas the old-style strips come in rectangular ones.
2) Getting things ready for your whitening strip treatment.
A) Cleaning your teeth.
In the directions for all of the products listed above, Crest® specifically states that they will stay in place better if you DO NOT brush your teeth before applying them.
As an additional aid, we've seen several consumer product reviews where the poster stated that they got better adhesion by removing excess saliva from their teeth first (by patting them dry with a towel).
B) Removing the strips from their packaging.
- Whitestrips® come packaged in pairs (one upper and one lower) in individual pouches.
- The two strips in 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 strip for the upper teeth 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.
Even the sturdier forms of Whitestrips® are relatively flimsy items and generally tricky to handle. So before you peal one off its plastic carrier, make sure that you are all set and ready to go.
- The newer generations of strips (Advanced Seal®, FlexFit®) are quite sticky.
Be extra careful that you don't fold them over on themselves. If you do, you'll make a mess of things trying to straighten them back out.
- With the flimsier, older-design products (Vivid, Gentle Routine, Stain Shield), it's less likely that you'll seriously damage any strips.
But it is easy enough to crinkle them up. And straightening them back out will take a bit of work.
In general, as you peel the strip off it's carrier just be as careful as you can. You don't want to do anything that will make you have to touch or otherwise disturb the side of the strip that contains the whitener any more than you absolutely have to.
Also, use dry fingers. You don't want excess moisture to get on the whitener (and dilute it), or easily spread onto your fingers.
3) How to place your Whitestrips®.
Note: It's the gel (coated, sticky) side of the strip that's placed against your teeth. This is the side of the strip that was face down on the plastic carrier.
A) The strips need to be aligned properly.
When placing a Whitestrip®, you should align it with your gum line. Of course, its straight edge and your scolloped gum line won't match up exactly, so just do the best that you can.
Place the strip so it fully covers your teeth.
Make sure to cover your teeth.
The idea is to maximize the amount of tooth surface that the strip covers over. Any portion of a tooth that lies beyond the edge of the whitening strip won't receive the same exposure to the whitener.
And yes, this type of positioning means that the strip will lie over small portions of your gums where they come up in between your teeth.
With the thinner, less adherent type of strip, even after you've placed one on your teeth you'll still be able to move it around somewhat to reposition it.
Advanced Seal® and FlexFit® products are much stickier. If you position one incorrectly, you can peal it back off. But you'll feel the strong tug, and wonder how much whitener you're leaving behind as you do. So it's nice if you can get things right the first time.
B) Once positioned, press the Whitestrip® into place.
Once positioned, gently press the strip in place.
Once you have the whitening strip positioned properly, gently press on it so to secure it in place and maximize its contact with each tooth's surface.
Then, fold the remainder of the strip back behind the biting edge of your teeth.
Now that the first strip is in place, all you have to do is repeat the same process on your other arch (upper/lower teeth).
C) Wash your hands after handling Whitestrips®.
The bleaching agent that's applied to whitening strips is typically hydrogen peroxide. And it has the potential to react with any and all surfaces that it comes into contact with, not just your teeth.
Wash your hands in every case.
There is no question. You will get some of the strip's whitener on your fingers during the application process, so wash them once you're finished.
Signs and symptoms.
If you don't, you may notice that your fingers start to tingle, or maybe even burn. That's the peroxide reacting with your skin. It may even cause white patches to form. 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 your contaminated fingers. So be careful and always wash your hands after handling whitening strips or the pouch they came in.
Full menu for this topic - ▼
- The basics about strips. - What are they?
- Instructions for wearing them.
- Things to know about this technique.
Other ways to whiten your teeth. -