Are Crest Whitening Strips Safe - A Review of Crest Whitestrips Product Safety


  • Safety of Teeth Whitening Procedures By Dentists
  • Safety of Using Whitening Strips
  • Ingredients Found in the Strips
  • Risks Of Using Teeth Whitening Strips
  • The Potential Risks of Exposure to Hydrogen Peroxide
  • What are the side effects of tooth whitening?
  • Are Whitening Strips Bad For Your Teeth?
  • Who Should Avoid Teeth Whitening Strips?
  • Why Should I Not Use Crest White Strips If My Skin Is Sensitive?
  • When should you use Crest White strips?
  • Other Teeth Whitening Treatments
  • Is it safe to swallow Whitening Strip gel?
crest sensitive gentle routine whitestrips UK

For those who want whiter teeth but don’t want to go through the process or expense of professional teeth whitening at a dentist, over the counter home based kits like Crest Whitestrips are a great option It is for this reason they are now very popular. However, keep in mind that even these are not completely risk-free as they can be harmful if misused or used incorrectly.

Whitening strips, especially those with a high concentration of peroxide, are known to sometimes cause gum irritation. This minor side effect may take the new user by surprise. And it is side effects like this that makes the question on whether at-home whitening strips are safe very popular and important. However, adverse side effects only occur only when teeth whitening strips are used incorrectly or not as recommended by your dentist.


Safety of Teeth Whitening Procedures By Dentists

Teeth whitening has seen a large increase in demand over the years as more people become aware of its benefits. More than ever before people are looking at ways they can improve their smiles (with whiter teeth) without resorting to expensive and unnecessary procedures like veneers or crowns. For professional tooth whitening to be done correctly and efficiently, it’s important that all dental work is completed by a professional or licensed dentist because if not used properly, it could damage your enamel. 

A lot of people shy away from bleach treatments because there is a common belief that tooth enamel can be damaged during treatment but this is actually false: research shows that teeth whitening will only sand off around 0.1mm (0.004in) of enamel on average per session, which is so little that it often goes undetected.

The typical whitening procedure performed by a dentist or a professional is no longer dangerous and has become safer and safer with the advances in technology and strict controls by dental associations such as the British Dental Association, British Orthodontic Society and General Dental Council. In fact, a 4-year study showed that there were no serious adverse effects associated with whitening in almost 1 million patients who underwent treatment. 

Some people may experience minor side effects such as gum irritations or tissue discomfort after bleaching. Thus, if you have sensitive gums or receding gums it is best to avoid this type of bleaching altogether. However, these problems can be easily reversed by stopping use of the product and increasing the frequency of brushing and flossing.  

Tooth whitening is dangerous to those under the age of 18. It has proven problematic for teens who have used it before puberty because their enamel has not fully formed yet. If one decides to use this product before going through puberty, they risk causing permanent tooth discoloration due to too much penetration of hydrogen peroxide into the enamel .

Often, the dentist includes post-operative care instructions in your treatment plan to ensure that you get the best results and avoid potential problems in future. For instance, in order to retain lustre, it is necessary to stop smoking for at least two weeks before and after whitening. 

Therefore, we can conclude that there is no risk associated with a whitening procedure to whiten teeth when performed by a professional in a safe environment using approved products.


Safety of Using Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are marketed as a convenient and cost effective way to whiten your teeth. They are applied similar to stickers and typically contain bleach, hydrogen peroxide or other chemicals which will alter the colour of the teeth over time. People have been using these at home or going to salons for treatment for decades but there has recently been a growing concern about their safety. All tooth whitening methods have risks associated with them and if done correctly they can be safe and very effective. If you are concerned about the safety of the product, read more information below on Crest White Strips and other Tooth Whitening Procedures – we will cover every aspect possible!

As with all cosmetic procedures there is always some risk involved. It is important to follow the directions carefully and not overuse the product but if you do everything correctly there shouldn’t be any side effects at all. For example, according to the FDA, studies have shown that even taking high amounts of fluoride — more than twice what is found in most toothpastes — can lead to dental fluorosis (a condition where white markings appear on your child’s teeth) and decreased bone strength.


Ingredients Found in Whitening Strips

With extensive research and development following global health and safety standards, Crest Whitening Strips in various products are formulated with the following ingredients.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide is the core whitening ingredient
  • Water prevents carbomer from dehydrating the teeth
  • PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone) is an adhesive agent that helps the strips bind to your teeth. It is very safe and non-toxic and when overused can cause gum irritation.
  • Carbomer is the gel agent that gives adhesion properties to gel
  • PEG is technically called a humectant, and serves the function of thickening gel to make gel sticky and adhere to teeth.
  • Glycerin is also a humectant, acts to thicken gel, helps make gel sticky so it will adhere to teeth. It is a sweet, non-toxic compound
  • Acrylates Copolymer is the thickening polymer that keeps the strip in together during use.
  • Sodium Hydroxide,  also known as lye or caustic soda, is used to adjust pH to neutral, and is a source of sodium content
  • Sodium Saccharin serves the function of providing better taste, and is a source of sodium content. Is an artificial sweetener but does not contain sugar
  • Pyrophosphate* is found in Crest 3D White Whitestrips Stain Shield and helps to protects against tartar
  • Polyethylene is the material of the textured Whitening Strip
  • The backing is Polypropylene


Risks Of Using Teeth Whitening Strip

White strips are very popular for their convenience in being able to be applied without any assistance from a dentist, unlike other treatments which must be professionally administered. However, they have also been known to cause issues with certain people’s teeth, including but not limited to irritability of gum tissue within hours after application, irritation to the throat if accidentally swallowed, and teeth becoming overly sensitive. There are a certain set of people who should not use teeth whitening strips because of the health risks attached to it. 

Professional and cosmetic dentists use teeth whitening strips or gels in some procedures. It was once believed that if teeth whitening strips are used by nonprofessionals, serious problems can occur such as: irreversible damage to the mouth and gums, gum tissue may become overly sensitive, or if swallowed it can irritate internal organs such as your throat and stomach. However, Crest products have been formulated, designed and manufactured following the strictest health and safety standards and approved for over the counter sale and home use.

It is rare to experience side effects when using Crest Whitestrips, although some people may notice temporary gum irritation or a slight swelling of the gums. If this happens, stop applying the strips at once and give your gums time to recover before resuming treatment (approximately one week). Any other symptoms such as increased tooth sensitivity should also be reported immediately so that you can stop using the strips.


The Potential Risks of Exposure to Hydrogen Peroxide

Teeth whitening strips work by utilising three main ingredients in order to change the colour of the user’s teeth: peroxide, carbamide peroxide, and calcium compounds. These ingredients can cause damage to enamel which may lead to irritation and sensitivity, as well as weakening teeth.

The main concern is over the levels of peroxide used in teeth-bleaching products, many products contain between 10 and 20 percent hydrogen peroxide which can destroy tooth enamel and irritate gums and mucous membranes if the product isn’t used properly or is used too often. There can also be adverse reactions in some people when using these products resulting in irritation to the gums or skin around the lips, nose and eyes.

Before & After Teeth Whitening - competition time

What are the side effects of tooth whitening?

Improper Crest whitetrips use can lead to certain health risks including:

  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inflammation of gums
  • Damage to enamel (dental decay)

Tooth sensitivity is one of the most significant side effects of whitening procedures and products aimed to whiten teeth and brighten smile. When the enamel is removed from the surface of a tooth, it leaves the dentin unprotected and more vulnerable to pain and discomfort. The most possible cause of this is due to overzealous application of whitening products . This can be remedied with better product knowledge and careful use by the consumer. 

An independent review of clinical data has found that over time hydrogen peroxide can break down into hydroxide ions which are known to erode tooth enamel. This in turn can lead to cases of abnormal erosion of dentine, under-erosion of the enamel surface, sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks as well as increased incidence of worn teeth.

It is important to note that these potential side effects are only possible when the whitestrips are used outside the product use guidelines with regard to application frequency and duration.

Finally, experience has shown that over-the-counter teeth whitening products actually work and the erosive effects of peroxide on dental enamel is insignificant. However, people who are at increased risk for dental erosion such as people with bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa or erythemic or stomatopathy controls who abuse brushing techniques which abrade tooth surfaces will need special guidance from a professional before using strips.

To help avoid unnecessary damage, it is important that users consult with a dentist before using any type of whitening product if they have known medical conditions such as diabetes or if they have worn braces recently or at some point during their lifetime. 

Are Whitening Strips Bad For Your Teeth?

Teeth whitening strips are safe when they are used according to usage instructions. However, overuse of these strips can cause the teeth to become inflexibly sensitive to cold and hot temperature. So if you have your heart set on using this product, it is best to follow the use instructions carefully for safety purposes.

It is worthy of note that even the widely accepted toothpastes contain surfactants or detergents that may be harmful or very irritating to soft oral tissues, causing stinging or burning of the gums. Some dry mouth toothpaste formulations can also cause similar discomfort because saliva helps moisten and cleanse the mouth. Overconsumption of fluoride, as with any other supplement or medication, can lead to dangerous side effects and toxicity. Many commercial toothpaste formulations contain sodium saccharin for a sweet flavour and aroma. Saccharin has been linked in some studies to causing cancer in lab animals when they eat it at high doses over a long period of time; however, there is not enough evidence that it causes cancer in humans, the FDA advises.

Who Should Avoid Teeth Whitening Strips? 

People who suffer from sensitive teeth should only apply the strips every other day and build up their use slowly until they can use them every day. While the strips may not cause any side effects it has been suggested that they could possibly interfere with future protective treatments such as dental sealants and crowns. Dentists advise that you should wait at least an hour after having a whitening strip applied before having anything that might affect your enamel like fluoride varnish or mouthwash.

Why Should I Not Use Crest White Strips If My Skin Is Sensitive? 

If you have open sores in your mouth do not use Crest Whitestrips. Wait until any cuts or ulcers have healed before using the product. Also, many whitestrips contain hydrogen peroxide which can cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. Because of this it is best to avoid using the drops if you have herpes or cold sores as it may make symptoms worse.

When should you use Crest White strips?

Whitening Strips are designed for safety and most people will not experience side effects however there are some precautions that need to be taken into consideration before use: Do not use Crest White Strips if your gums or teeth bleed easily, or you have oral piercings. The chemicals in the strips may irritate the open wounds and cause pain, bleeding, swelling and/or ulcers on your gums. Wait until any cuts or sores on your mouth have healed before using Crest White Strips.

Whitening Strips are designed for safety and most people will not experience side effects however there are some precautions that need to be taken into consideration before use: Do not use Crest White Strips if your gums or teeth bleed easily, or you have oral piercings. The chemicals in the strips may irritate the open wounds and cause pain, bleeding, swelling and/or ulcers on your gums. Wait until any cuts or sores on your mouth have healed before using Crest White Strips. 


Other Teeth Whitening Treatments

For the few persons to whom whitening strips safe use is not guaranteed due to other teeth conditions, it is necessary to consult with a dentist before use. Your dentist should be able to advise whether whitening strips are suitable for your needs or if there are alternative methods that may be better suited for you. For example, many people will find that LED teeth whitening kits offer the desired results without the irritant chemicals found in Whitening Strips. For those who prefer fewer options, do-it-yourself whitening kits are also available in drugstores.

Is it safe to swallow Whitening Strip gel?

No, the gel is made with ingredients that do not break down in water; therefore, once swallowed it cannot be broken down in the body. You may swallow small amounts of whitening strip gel while using this product, however, it is not recommended to swallow large amounts of this product. If you do accidentally swallow excess gel, rinse your mouth with water immediately and drink a glass of water.


  1. Mohammed Q. Alqahtani, Tooth-bleaching procedures and their controversial effects: A literature review, The Saudi Dental Journal,
    Volume 26, Issue 2, 2014, Pages 33-46, ISSN 1013-9052.
  2. Oliveira, Gustavo M., et al. “Safety and Efficacy of a High-Adhesion Whitening Strip under Extended Wear Regimen.” Journal of Dentistry, Elsevier, 7 Dec. 2012.
  3. Kugel, G, and S Kastali. “Tooth-Whitening Efficacy and Safety: a Randomized and Controlled Clinical Trial.” Europe PMC, Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, Jan. 2000.
  4. General Dental Council, Patient and Public Survey 2015 – Topline Results.