whitestripsIt's a great time in history to want white teeth. Although some extremely yellow teeth may require more professional whitening from a dentist, most young people should be able to see dramatic whitening effects with the basic over-the-counter whitestrips. But how can you put them to good use?

  • First, don't ever pay full price. There are hundreds of coupons and discounts out there for this kind of thing, so even if you want the advanced versions of Crest's products, there's no need to pay $53.99 for it. Do a few internet searches, clip a few coupons -- most of the time you can save yourself $6-10.
  • Choose the right products. Are you in a hurry because you're getting married in a week? Do you have a couple of months until your high school reunion? Do you just need a little touch up? Whitestrips come in all kinds of formulas, from quick 7 or 10 day formulas that bleach everything quickly, to daily care products and gradually whiten over time by using them for five minutes every day. Assess your needs before purchasing the thing that has the shiniest package.
  • It's usually a good idea to clean off your teeth a little before applying (especially if you just ate oreos) but wait to brush your teeth until after you remove the strips. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water or even brush with a wet toothbrush.
  • Peel the whitestrips from their backing carefully - try to touch the edges only to avoid getting the whitening gel on your fingers.
  • Place the strip carefully along the gumline on the top teeth and fold over evenly, then do the same on the bottom. Make sure that you get all of the bleaching gel off your hands. Just like any bleach, it can bleach your clothes, furniture, etc.
  • Check the box to find out how long the strips should stay on your teeth. This varies with the formula, and leaving them on for longer than the instructions say is neither more effective nor very good for your teeth.
  • Your teeth will probably feel sensitive at first, especially in the case of the faster-acting whitestrips, but this will go away after a few days.
By using whitestrips correctly, you should end up with noticably whiter teeth.