I don’t usually review dental products but I’ll make an exception because it’s something that works so well I have to tell the world. So before I tell you more about them, I’ll just cut to the chase and show a before and after shot.
You can totally see how much whiter they are right? This is after 2 boxes…. that’s right 2 boxes of 20 treatments or 40 treatments total. That’s a lot you might think. I started in April using them everyday and after the 2 boxes, I started to use them once a week just to maintain the colour. My smile arc is much whiter than before.
Let me tell you a story about my teeth. And maybe my life in general. You see, I’ve been going through this “bettering my life” phase. I lost some weight and started to go to the gym again. I tried to fix as many things about my appearance without surgery.
Body shape – work out, eat healthy
Hair – go to a good stylist
Clothes – find out how to dress better
Teeth – whiten them!
I didn’t realize how yellow they were until one day I looked in the mirror. I thought…. they’re kinda yellow. But why can’t I get movie star teeth? My bucks were heavily stained after years of cola and whatever crap I ate. I’m not a smoker or tea/coffee drinker. I drink tea/coffee once in a while but not enough to do any damage. As for smoking, I’m not into burning dried leaves and inhaling the fumes. But if I did smoke, I’d probably be worried about other effects to my body other than stained teeth.
I did some research online with regards to the things you can do. Whitening toothpaste, mouth wash, strips, trays, going to the dentist and have it done professionally with lasers, etc. I tried the toothpaste but that didn’t work. I then figure I’d try the strips. There are a plethora of strips on the market that confuses the crap out of consumers. There are several brands and within each brand they have more varieties. I went with Crest ’cause their commercials had a lasting impression on me. So after you pick Crest… you’re not done… you want Advanced Seal? Vivid or Advanced Vivid or Professional Effects? And if your department store carried old varieties like Supreme, Premium and Premium Plus, you’d get even more confused.
Let me try to break it down. Some of the earlier strips that Crest sold didn’t adhere to your teeth too well so they came out with Advanced Seal. I never tried anything other than AS. I hear the non-AS stuff is harder to stay on your teeth. Having used the AS variety, I can say they stay on your teeth pretty well. Vivid and Professional refers to the strength of the treatments. Vivid would have the lowest level of whitening peroxide, Advanced Vivid would have more and Professional Effects would have the highest. I’m not too sure the exact levels of peroxide, but they range from 5-10%. I think that’s the highest you can get over the counter. The dentist prescribed ones can go as high as 35%. Note: I’ll review the ones you get from a dentist after I guinea pig myself.
The higher the concentration of peroxidethe more effective it will whiten your teeth. However, they will make your teeth more sensitive. Sometimes they even hurt your gums if it gets in contact with them. I didn’t bother going with a lower concentration and “testing” whether I can endure the pain. I just dove right into it. I have to say that there was definitely some level of discomfort but it was tolerable. When I first started to use it, my gums felt a bit tingly. But it wasn’t enough to make me stop using them. Sometimes after my treatments, I’d feel this sharp pain that runs through one of my tooth and then disappears quickly. Again, it wasn’t too bad and it happened infrequently. After my first box of treatments, I think I got immune to it. Be aware that it might hurt a bit…. no pain no gain I say.
Each box has 20 packets and each pouch comes with 2 strips. One is for the upper and the other is for the lower part of your teeth. They only cover up the teeth that are shown when you smile. So they won’t whiten your molars. So unless you smile with your mouth wide open, these will work perfectly. Since the Pro strips are stronger in concentration, the package tells you to use them for 30mins. I kinda cheat and have them on for 45mins. You can do them once a day or twice back to back if you want. You peel them off the plastic and carefully put them on your teeth and fold over the excess. I would push the strips on my teeth really well so would they stick really good. Take your time to make sure that the strips touch as much of your teeth as possible. Some parts of my teeth aren’t perfectly straight so I had to “mold” it in place.
I was able to talk and sometimes I forgot I had them on. I used an egg timer to remind me when to take them off. I wouldn’t eat or drink with them on but that’s just common sense. Obviously, depending on how stained your teeth are, it would require less or more treatments. Don’t expect these to perform miracles and have your teeth bright white after one treatment or hell, even one whole box! It might take a few boxes but keep at it.
I have to say, I’m quite happy with my teeth now. They aren’t super duper pearly white and I like it that way because it doesn’t seem so obvious, but if you see my before and after photo, it’s night and day. I’m getting some dental grade stuff from the dentist soon which have about 20% to 35% concentration levels of peroxide and a custom fitted tray to test out. I want to see if they’ll give me the super bright white teeth that all the movie stars have. I’ll let you know how it goes. But for those wondering if Crest white strips work, yes they do but you have to be patient.
Amazon: Crest 3D White Whitestrips With Advanced Seal Professional Effects Enamel Safe Dental Whitening Kit, 20-count box