We asked an orthodontist if it's safe to whiten teeth with Crest Whitestrips - here's what she said

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  • I've used Crest Whitestrips a few times, and each time was impressed at just how well they whitened my teeth. But, after friends cautioned me not to use them, I got nervous that they may not be the safest whitening option out there.
  • I reached out to oral care expert Dr. Janet Stoess-Allen to better understand the claims around the popular at-home whitening tool, and she explained why they're actually one of the most effective, affordable whitening products.
  • For more at-home whitening options, check out the Insider Picks Guide to the best teeth whitening kits you can buy.

No matter how much we brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash, sometimes our teeth just don't look as bright as we'd like. Everyday habits - whether it's your daily cup of coffee, glass of red wine, or even a helping of soy sauce on the side of your favorite sushi - gradually take their toll on our chompers.

You could quit eating or drinking those things, but for most of us, that's the most unrealistic option. You could also go to your dentist for a professional whitening treatment, but those are particularly costly, and can be very painful especially if you have sensitive teeth.

Luckily, there are plenty of affordable options nowadays that give you professional whitening results from the comfort of your own home. Crest Whitestrips are some of the more prolific at-home whitening kits, lining drugstore shelves just about everywhere.

I've used Crest Whitestrips on and off for a while now, doing a set of strips every once a year or so. I usually just pick whatever options are available at my local drugstore, as every different pack I've tried has worked very well. All of the strips are thin, almost invisible, and have a no-slip grip that actually stays put. I love the convenience of these - it's easy to use them while watching television or while sitting at your desk at work.

While I love them, though, some of my peers have cautioned against using them, calling them unsafe or unhealthy for my teeth. Even though they didn't back these claims with any significant evidence, it was enough to make me question if I should search for a new whitening solution.

In an effort to make an informed decision about how I chose to white my teeth, I reached out to a renowned New York City Orthodontist, Dr. Janet Stoess-Allen, DMD. Stoess-Allen practices at Park Avenue Orthodontics and is a member of the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontics, and New York County Dental Society, among others.

crest whitestrips

How do Crest Whitestrips work?

While my own experiences have proved to me that these products do work well, I could not tell you the how or why. So, Dr. Stoess-Allen helped me better understand just that. After looking at the ingredients list for a few different Whitestrips products, it was clear the consistent ingredient in every product was hydrogen peroxide. Dr. Stoess-Allen says that hydrogen peroxide works to remove surface and deep stains on the teeth, as well as whiten them simultaneously.

While you can also try bleach gels, pens, or whitening toothpastes (most of which also contain this ingredient), Whitestrips are particularly effective because they contact your teeth most directly. When comparing Crest White Luxe Glamorous Whitestrips to bleach gels and pens, Dr. Stoess-Allen found the strips to be the most effective bleaching agent.

Are they safe?

Dr. Stoess-Allen confirmed that "None of the listed ingredients in Crest Whitestrips have [been] shown to be unhealthy or dangerous to the enamel of teeth" - she even recommends the products to her own patients. The concern may come from the use of hydrogen peroxide, which can be harsh when used in high percentages, or can make gums a little sore or teeth a little sensitive. But Dr. Stoess-Allen shared that "If the percentage of hydrogen peroxide is 10% or less, it is a very safe home-use product." Potential gum or tooth discomfort aside, the Crest White Luxe Glamorous Whitestrips' hydrogen peroxide concentration is 9.5%, which is, according to our expert, a perfectly safe level.

Bottom Line

"From the data that I have collected from recent studies," Dr. Stoess-Allen shared with us, "it appears that the Crest Luxe White Glamorous Whitestrips is the most effective DIY tooth bleaching product." She personally recommends these strips to her patients who are being treated with Invisalign clear aligners, explaining that "They can simply remove the aligners and still bleach their teeth even while undergoing tooth movement."

Ultimately, this is an affordable product that gives serious results and is approved by the experts. If you're looking to spruce up your smile and make it really shine, you know what to do.

Shop all Crest Whitestrips products at Amazon

Get the Crest White Luxe Glamorous Whitestrips for $31.20 at Amazon

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

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