After anti-ageing skin care, a white smile is the most anti-ageing feature, so I put the feelers out over Twitter for advice from other beauty bloggers on the best at home teeth whitening solutions. Amongst the many responses I received was an offer from WhitestripsDirect.com to try out the Crest 3D White Whitestrips Professional Effects.
Which are a flexible strip that are coated with a peroxide infused gel. The strips stick to your teeth and are worn for 30 minutes a day. Containing the same whitening ingredients as used by professional dentists, they claim to give you professional results in 20 days. Plus promises you'll start seeing results after just 3 days. They sounded fantastic so I agreed to give them a try.
I've only ever used one home teeth whitening kit before which was a 3 step kit. You've probably seen something similar in Boots or Superdrug. I wasn't too impressed with the results nor did I like having to wear a gum shield full of gunk!
The Whitestrips were pretty much my last attempt at home teeth whitening before I explored the world of professional dentist whitening and lasers etc. Which is obviously a lot more expensive.
What I loved about the Whitestrips compared to 3 step kit I'd tried before, was how easy they were. Firstly the application process. The 3 step kit involved drying your teeth, then applying a solution to each tooth individually while desperately trying to keep your lip from touching any of your teeth. Before holding an ill fitting gum shield full of a gooey gel substance in your month for 10 minutes. During this time you can not talk or swallow. Otherwise you end up swallowing the gel and gagging. Then, while your still feeling pretty sick from a belly full of peroxide you have to brush your teeth using an awful tasting toothpaste. Oh and you have to do that twice a day for two weeks.
The Whitestrips in comparison, involves peeling a flexible piece of plastic from it's backing liner (similar to a thick piece of cling film or maybe a plaster). Which you then stick it to your lower teeth and fold over the back, behind your teeth. Then repeat the process for your upper teeth, It's that simple. They do advise to hold in place for 2-3 seconds but I didn't find this necessary. Literally as soon as the Whitestrip made contact with my teeth it was stuck in place and felt really secure. They call it 'Advanced Seal' no slip technology.
You wear them for 30 minutes. During this time you can talk (albeit with a little bit of a lisp, similar to if you were wearing a brace for the first time). You can swallow, without fear of digesting any nasty gunk. Heck, you can even drink water if you want to. Obviously eating would be out the question but even greedy guts me could lay of the munchies for 30 minutes!
After the time is up you simply peel them off, discard and brush your teeth as normal.
The great thing about the Whitestrips is the fact they are flexible. This means no matter what shape your mouth is, the Whitestrips are going to make contact with each individual tooth. Compared to the gum shield type kits which is more of a one size fits all, unless of course you pay a lot of money to have a custom made mould from your dentist.
Results wise, I can honestly say I did notice some small results after the first 3 days. I haven't quiet completed the full 20 days, I still have another 3 Whitestrips left to use but overall I'm really happy with the results. Although I still haven't got the dazzling Hollywood white smile, my teeth are considerably whiter than when I started. I've just had a weekend at the parents and my Mum noticed how different they were almost as soon as I'd walked through the front door.
They state the results will last up to 2 years which is fantastic but obviously your diet will play a factor in this (dependant on how much Red wine you drink).
The Whitestrips will only whiten natural teeth, so if you have any crowns, caps, veneers etc then they won't work on those.
They also warn about tooth sensitivity, which I did experience. Although to be fair, it wasn't any worse than the 3 step kit I used. I guess if you are prone to sensitive teeth, then using any peroxide based whitening product would increase your chances of tooth sensitivity, Home kit or dentist treatment. It wasn't anything too unbearable, however they recommend stopping usage for 2-3 days and then carrying on. However I found 1 day's break was enough for me.
|Top: Before. Centre: After 3 uses. Bottom: After 17 uses.|
A pack of 20 crest white strips costs £41.99 and are available from WhitestripsDirect.com, where you can also find more information about the Whitestrips.