Why Are Crest Strips Banned In UK – A Detailed Review on the Availability of Crest Whitening Strips in the United Kingdom

selecting the right Teeth Whitening kit


Key Highlights

  • There is some difference in whitening products available for sale in stores in the US and those available in the UK
  • Whitening products are popular in the US but not many of those are legal in the UK
  • Crest whitening products are approved for sale in the US and are widely popular
  • The restrictions on sale of crest whitening products are based on health safety considerations especially due to improper product usage


crest whitestrips


Smiling really does make people feel happier and the confidence to smile is increased with having sparkling white teeth.[1]

The subject of teeth whitening is a popular one because clean white teeth are considered a good sign of proper hygiene and lifestyle. Teeth colouration often occurs as a result of 

  • extrinsic staining from drinks, foods and tobacco
  • intrinsic discolouration 
  • ageing, resulting in yellow teeth which is in turn is simply a result of the exposure of the yellow dentin underneath the enamel 

Teeth whitening covers tooth bleaching and stain removal that ensures confidence in smiling is restored. while there is the option of having a qualified dental professional perform teeth scaling and polishing, there are cheaper yet effective solutions that achieve similar results.

In this category fall teeth whitening strips and our crest whitening product series.

What are Crest Whitestrips

Crest Whitening Strips are a great way to whiten teeth. They are easy to use and provide fast results without the high cost of dental bleaching treatments. With Crest Whitening Strips, you can have whiter teeth in just 14 days! Crest whitening strips are thin pieces of material stuck over the teeth. These are thin transparent strips made from polyethylene, a plastic, coated on one side with a gel that contains the active bleaching ingredient, hydrogen peroxide. There are specific strips provided to go over the top teeth, and another set for the bottom row of teeth.

We have a varied product series of Crest whitening strips with differing strengths and application instructions. No one particular set of strips can be said to be the best crest whitening strips, but the most popular to date is the Crest 3D Whitestrips. Strips recommended for use depend on individual needs, amount of whitening required and duration of application.

What are the ingredients in crest whitening strips

The ingredients of crest whitening strips are as follows

  • Hydrogen peroxide: Whitening agent
  • Polyvinylpyrrolidone: Responsible for making gel adhesive
  • Pyrophosphate: Protective agent against tartar (found only in Crest 3D White Whitestrips Stain Shield)
  • Sodium hydroxide: neutralising agent
  • Water: assists with preventing teeth dehydration
  • Glycerin: Thickening agent, added to gel to also help adherence to teeth
  • Carbomer: adhesive agent
  • PEG: another thickening agent, assisting gel to stick
  • Acrylates copolymer: gel thickener, keeping strip in place
  • Sodium saccharin: taste improver – makes strip taste better

How Do Crest Whitestrips Work

As previously highlighted, the colour of your teeth is affected by your diet and lifestyle. The active chemicals in the whitening strips act on the materials discolouring the teeth. This will usually not work on teeth where discolouration is due to ageing factors – the younger one is, the whiter the teeth. Teeth yellowing occurs naturally with ageing. Crest 3D White Whitestrips will only whiten natural teeth. The strips will not whiten caps, crowns, veneers, fillings or dentures. 

The whitestrips are designed in such a way that they stick to the teeth and stay in place. This is achieved because of the constituent called polyvinylpyrrolidone. The contact between the teeth and the strips with active bleaching ingredient, hydrogen peroxide, leads to the teeth whitening action.

How To Use Crest Whitening Strips

Crest strips are desgined for simple straightforward use. Careful strip application is reduced to a formula: peel-apply-reveal.

  • Take out strips from pack, and place respective strips over top and bottom rows of teeth, making sure to not let strips get in contact with gums as this may cause some sensitivity.
  • Application duration and frequency of usage should strictly follow product directions, which is generally daily, for about half an hour, for a period of two weeks, repeating the process each day.

Then Why Are Crest Strips Banned in the United Kingdom

Given the special careful design of the crest strips, the inclusion of an active bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide and its appeal to many people all over the world, it is then a common question as to why they are banned in the UK and why has the limit of hydrogen peroxide been set at 0.1% in the UK?

When it comes to the discussion on teeth whitening, a key chemical is always mentioned, hydrogen peroxide, and this is the main bleaching agent in whitening strips and procedures executed by licensed dentists. Dentists may prescribe whitening trays into which recommended hydrogen peroxide-containing whitening gel is injected regularly. Custom made whitening trays prescribed by a dental professional as part of a professional whitening treatment involve the use of active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as bleaching agent but hydrogen peroxide is over three times stronger than carbamide peroxide

Tooth Whitening Laws were altered following the EU Council Directive 2011/84/EU which were summarized into four significant changes for dentists offering tooth whitening:

  • Consumers only have access to buy, over the counter, whitening products that contain or release 0.1% or less of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Professional tooth whitening treatments are only permitted to use products containing or releasing between 0.1% – 6% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • For each cycle of use, the first use must be undertaken by a dental practitioner or under their direct supervision – and are not directly available to the patient
  • It is now a strict requirement that the percentage of Hydrogen Peroxide (contained or released) must be clearly and appropriately labelled [2]

So in summary, by law, over-the-counter (OTC) products in the UK are only permitted to contain a concentration of hydrogen peroxide not exceeding 0.1%, whereas this limit is higher in the US. In the UK, the law allows the concentration of hydrogen peroxide to be as high as 6% for teeth bleaching at the dentist while the limit for carbamide peroxide is 16%.

In the US, over-the-counter products can contain up to 10% hydrogen peroxide, much higher than what even dentists in the UK are permitted. In fact, the American Dental Association has fully approved the Crest 3D White Whitestrips. Below is an excerpt of the seal statement:

Seal Statement

The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs Acceptance of Crest 3D White Whitestrips is based on its finding that the product is safe and has shown efficacy in whitening natural teeth when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.[3]

Crest Whitestrips are stronger than British OTC whitening strips

There are whitening strips that are available for sale and purchase in the UK but these are generally less effective due to their minimal hydrogen peroxide concentration targeted at meeting restrictions

The concentration of Crest 3D Whitening Strips is 10% and this is over the limit set by law for such products. Procter & Gamble, which manufactures Crest whitening strips, does not authorise their sale in shops in the UK in keeping with the regulations.

What Are The Reasons For The UK Restrictions on Crest Whitening Strips

What are the risks of whitening strips?

We will now discuss some of the reasons for the restrictions by UK/EU law on the sale of whitening strips over the counter.

Potential Harm to Gum

There is the concern that high concentration hydrogen peroxide is harmful to the gums, tongues, cheeks and other soft mouth tissues and the improper use of whitening strips could lead to this harm. It is worthy of note that improper use was the primary concern of the professional regulatory consultant who reviewed teeth whitening products in the EU (link to ec.europa). The concern is that peroxide contents in whitening products are high enough to cause complications and they will be marketed in apothecaries without professional dispensing or any dental supervision.

“The peroxide concentration in these gels is quite effective at whitening but it can quickly and easily cause significant damage to mucosal membranes, the dentinal pulp or tissues surrounding the mouth if used improperly.”

Impact on Oral Microbiome

The action of hydrogen peroxide in whitening strips and practically every teeth whitenting procedure alters oral microbiome, which comprises of bacterial beneficial to oral and overall health. The conern here is that improper use of high concentration whitening strips could impact oral health. Yet again, we emphasize the concern on improper use.

Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of hydrogen peroxide but this usually subsides within a day or two after use of whitening strips.

Whitening Effectiveness

Another concern with the effectiveness of whitening strips is the uneveness of whitening especially for teeth that are not straight. This is because the whitening effect is dependent on the contact between the whitening strips and the teeth. However, it is well known that for all dental procedures, teeth whitening results vary from person to person, affected by factors such as age, dietary habits and lifestyle in general.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do whitening strips work

Yes, whitening strips work. Crest whitening strips have been proven to be very effective teeth whitening products. Having treated the subject of the legality of Crest whitening strips in the UK, we will highlight a few reasons why whitening strips are an effective alternative for teeth whitening.

Crest whitening strips are one of the most popular and well-known methods of teeth whitening. They’re easy to use, and they can be very effective at whitening teeth. Crest Whitening Strips are available in other parts of the world, including the United States. If you’re interested in using them to achieve whiter teeth, make sure you read all instructions carefully and follow them exactly as directed. Also, be sure to speak with your dentist before starting any kind of whitening treatment – even if it’s an over-the-counter product like Crest Whitening Strips. Your dentist can help you create a treatment plan that’s best for your individual needs.

The active ingredient in whitening strips is hydrogen peroxide which works by penetrating the outer layer of your tooth called the enamel, going further into the deeper dentin layer, where it causes bleaching of the chromogens – the chromogens are what cause tooth staining, they are the pigment molecules found inside and outside your tooth.

According to the American Dental Association,[4] teeth whitening products, including strips, can help effectively remove both internal and external stains on teeth.

Furthermore, it is worthy to note that the effectiveness of the strips also depends on other factors such as the strength of the chemicals with which strips are impregnated and for how long people have them on the teeth. Frequency and duration of application should always conform to product manufacturer directives/guidelines and recommendations from your dentist.

Are teeth whitening strips safe

Teeth whitening strips are safe when used in accordance with health guidelines and manufacturer recommendations. It is because they are considered generally safe when properly used that certain teeth whitening strips are sold in stores in the UK and all over the world.

Are Crest white strips safe

Crest white strips are safe to use when applied following the product use directions. Teeth whitening strips have been in use with many positive experiences for decades now. Crest white strips have been approved for sale by the American Dental Association, among other regulatory bodies. Crest whitestrips have been impacted by UK and EU legislation due to safety considerations and concerns relating to product misuse as explained in this article.

Are whitening strips bad for your teeth

No, whitening strips are effective teeth whitening products. However, like every other medical and cosmetic product, there are potential side effects associated with excessive or improper use. Our Crest whitening products (Crest 3D Whitestrips, …) all have well-detailed guides on proper use.

Where to buy genuine crest whitening strips UK

Because the crest whitening strips are not available over the counter in the UK, people are constrained to buy them online. This exposes people to the risk of procuring counterfeit products or buying them and misusing them to one’s detriment. The solution to this is to buy from reliable online retailers such as Euro White. Euro White is dedicated to selling only teeth whitening products, and as such puts in the effort necessary to ensure product quality and satisfactory delivery. The internet is filled with glowing reviews on the effectiveness of the Crest whitening strips (crest whitening strips UK reviews). Of course, like for all other products (whether medical, cosmetic, household, etc), there are a number of negative reviews, a lot of which are associated with obtaining counterfeit products or misuse (crest white strips gone wrong). Count on our online store for genuine crest whitening products.

Can you buy Crest whitening strips in UK?

Yes, we have crest whitening strips in our online store and continue to deliver to our customers all over the United Kingdom. Crest Whitening Strips are a great way to whiten teeth. They are easy to use and provide fast results without the high cost of dental bleaching treatments. With Crest Whitening Strips, you can have whiter teeth in just 14 days! Read on for more information about these strips so that you can decide if they’re right for you. Please review the products in our shop and place your order. We offer speedy delivery times.



  1. Smiling Really Does Make People Feel Happier
  2. Tooth Whitening/Dental Bleaching Products Containing Hydrogen Peroxide in the European Union: Proposals to Modify Current Regulations Submitted to the European Union Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP)
  3. Seal Statement: The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs Acceptance of Crest 3D White Whitestrips by Procter & Gamble Co.
  4. Teeth Whitening Treatments – American Dental Association
  5. Gerlach, Robert W., and Paul A. Sagel. “Vital Bleaching with a Thin Peroxide Gel: The Safety and Efficacy of a Professional-Strength Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening Strip.” The Journal of the American Dental Association, Elsevier, 30 Dec. 2014. 

Use this link to go back to our BLOG list homepage