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Why Aren’t My Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips Working?

Mar 03, 2024
Why Aren’t My Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips Working?

Why Aren’t My Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips Working?

A brighter and whiter smile can change everything. Teeth whitening is the most requested dental treatment in the United States. 

If your dentist doesn’t offer teeth whitening, you may try over-the-counter (OTC) whitening strips instead. They’re convenient and easy, but may not get you the bright, white smile you expect.

OTC teeth whitening strips are great, but they don’t work for everyone.

At Solay Dental in Oldsmar, New Port Richey, and Brandon, Florida, our experienced dentist, Dr. Shiva Soleimani, specializes in cosmetic dentistry and wants to explain why your OTC whitening strips aren’t working. 

Read on to learn more.

Too much plaque and tartar

Teeth whitening strips contain chemicals that break up the stains on the surface of the teeth to brighten them. Plaque is a sticky substance created by the bacteria in your mouth. Brushing and flossing removes plaque from your teeth.

If you don’t brush your teeth before applying the whitening strips, the sticky plaque may block the stain-fighting chemicals from reaching your teeth. If you don’t properly brush, sticky plaque hardens into tartar, trapping the stains on the surface of the teeth. 

We remove plaque and tartar at your routine dental cleanings. If your over-the-counter whitening strips aren’t working and it’s been more than six months since your last dental cleaning, plaque, and tartar are likely the problem.

Poor adherence to the teeth

Teeth whitening strips must hug the surface of the teeth so the stain-fighting ingredient can do its job. If your strips are too loose or fall off during treatment time, then your teeth may not get the right amount of stain-fighting chemical to brighten the smile.

OTC whitening strips also have a lower concentration of the chemical needed to whiten your teeth, so the process takes longer. Regular use of these strips may make your teeth more sensitive and you may stop using them before you get the results you expect.

Not treating the right stains

Teeth whitening can’t fix all tooth stains. 

Not all tooth stains are the same. Some stains are on the surface of the teeth, while others are internal. Teeth whitening strips can’t fix internal staining caused by an injury or a side effect of a medication like an antibiotic or antihistamine.

Teeth whitening strips also don’t work well on dental restorations like crowns, caps, and veneers. 

If you want a more sparkly smile and your OTC whitening strips aren’t working, schedule a consultation with us. We offer in-office teeth whitening treatments that get incredible results in one session, as well as take-home whitening trays that can brighten your smile in a few weeks.

We can also fix internal tooth stains with veneers, crowns, or dental implants. These cosmetic dental treatments cover the stained tooth, creating a brighter, whiter smile.

Over-the-counter whitening strips can’t fix all tooth stains. If you’re unhappy with the look of your teeth, let us help you build your perfect smile. Call our office today or click the online booking button to schedule your consultation. 

We offer teeth whitening, Invisalign, and many other cosmetic dental services, and have locations in Oldsmar, Brandon, and New Port Richey, FL.

Book your appointment at Solay Dental by phone or request one online today