Crest Whitestrips are a home teeth whitening system that uses strips which have hydrogen peroxide on them to gradually whiten teeth. Crest Whitestrips come in many varieties, including the Classic, Premium, 3D, Advanced Seal, Pro Effects and Premium Plus strips. Teeth whitening can be accomplished in three to 14 days, depending on what variety of Whitestrips you use.
Before applying your Crest Whitestrips, brush your teeth using just a wet toothbrush. You can use toothpaste if you wish, but it is not necessary. You shouldn’t use a fluoride toothpaste prior to whitening because it will react with the chemical whitening process, causing the whitening gel to become inactive. If the whitening gel is inactive, it can't whiten your teeth. After brushing, rinse your mouth with water. Both brushing and rinsing helps open the pores in your teeth that need to be open for whitening to occur.
To avoid sensitivity, do not brush your teeth right before using the white strips. Rather, wait about a half hour between brushing and whitening. By brushing your teeth, you can cause gum sensitivity that will be increased when whitening gel from the Crest Whitestrips comes in contact with the skin of your gums. If you wait a half hour after you brush, gum sensitivity will be reduced and won't be affected by the whitening gel. If you experience sensitivity after using the strips for a few days, limit the strip usage to once a day or once every other day until sensitivity with use goes away.
Once you’ve left the Crest Whitestrips on for the time designated on the box and take them off, wipe your teeth off with a tissue or towel to remove any leftover whitening gel. You can gently brush your teeth or rinse with mouthwash after whitening if you wish. Avoid eating or drinking anything dark colored for two hours after whitening to avoid staining. Because whitening requires pores in your teeth to be open, these pores will remain open for up to two hours after you use the strips, causing teeth to be more prone to staining. Avoid dark substances for two hours after whitening -- these might include cranberries, dark juices and sodas, wine and chocolate.
Don’t use both the whitening strip meant for your top teeth and the one meant for your bottom teeth at the same time. You should use the two strips separately because strips move around more when they are both in your mouth, causing the strips to not stay in the right position on your teeth for proper whitening. Also, trace amounts of whitening gel can come off of the strips and be swallowed. Larger amounts of this gel coming off, which can occur when using both strips at the same time, can cause an upset stomach when swallowed. Crest suggests using all 14 days of the top whitening strips before you start using the bottom whitening strips.