One product in the dental industry that has been a big seller for many years is teeth whitening strips. The manufacturers of these devices guarantee that with a few repeated applications, users can expect to increase the whiteness of their teeth by multiple shades. Many of them state that the effects can be noticeable even after the initial application. A pearly white smile is something we all want to have, and since most people tend to neglect their dental check-ups, teeth whitening strips are often deemed a cost-effective and fast-acting solution. After all, why wouldn’t you want to use something that removes years of plaque and tartar buildup with such ease? It should be noted that there are in fact many different types of teeth whitening products or teeth whitening services. The strips are applied directly over the teeth, and contain a gel that works to clean and remove common stains. There are also gel-based products. The gel is literally brushed onto the enamel of the tooth; the effect and end results of the different variations are essentially the same. Despite the popularity of over the counter teeth whitening products, many people are still reluctant to use them. This is understandable, as questions about their safety as well as effectiveness are often raised. So, are they the real deal or are they just a waste of money? The answer to this question will depend. By combining repeated applications with healthy oral cleaning routines, you can certainly improve the color (and health) of your teeth. However, don’t expect miracles to happen after one use, especially if you aren’t brushing daily. Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work? The bleaching agent that is present in most over the counter whitening strips is far less potent than those that are used by dentists. That being said, you won’t be getting pearly white teeth within in a few days or weeks. Consistent use of these products over the course of a couple months, however, can have a dramatic improvement on teeth whiteness, particularly if yours are heavily discolored. The results will vary; people who have darker stains (i.e. smokers and tobacco users) will notice the results of whitening strips faster than someone whose teeth are relatively healthy. Products that contain higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide will inevitably have a stronger impact on the stains and discoloration, but it is important to remember that not all results are permanent. Although the bleaching agent can remove most surface material, stains can reappear back to their existing state if the user does not adhere to a regular oral cleaning ritual. It has been said time and again that brushing, flossing and using mouthwash are the only ways to keep teeth clean and healthy in the long term. Whitening strips are a recommended over the counter remedy, as they are simple to use. They need to be worn for 30 minutes to an hour each day, with the standard usage cycle being 2 weeks. However, for optimal whitening results, and to ensure a healthy mouth and teeth, one should seek out one’s local dentist or dental cosmetic professional.