can I wear whitening strips overnight?
Questions And Answers

What Happens If You Sleep with Whitening Strips On?

Brushing the teeth immediately before bed is an ingrained habit for most of us.

If that’s not enough to maintain a dazzling white smile, you may be tempted to use tooth whitening strips. That’s fine, but only if you strictly follow the product instructions.

Tooth whitening strips contain hydrogen peroxide, which bleaches your teeth to lift stains.

That’s OK in short doses, but sleeping in whitening strips leaves them on too long, drastically weakening your teeth. This could lead to discomfort, broken sleep, gum disease, and even loss of teeth.

There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of tooth whitening strips if your teeth are a little stained on the surface. Just never keep them on longer than instructed, as there’s nothing to gain by attempting to speed up the whitening process.

What are Whitening Strips?

Whitening strips are products placed on the teeth to improve the color of your smile. The purpose of whitening strips is to remove stubborn stains on teeth that brushing cannot lift, leaving you with a dazzling smile.

While the dental industry designs and markets whitening strips, they’re not technically dental products. Whitening strips only have a superficial aesthetic impact. According to Clinical Oral Investigations, they won’t fix cavities, strip color, or even out the teeth.

Whitening strips can manage staining. They’re best used by people who smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, or find their teeth stained by berry consumption. Anybody can take advantage of whitening strips to improve their smile.

In addition, whitening strips can help rectify intrinsic staining – marks on the inside of the teeth. These will usually be caused by antibiotic medications, enamel erosion due to advancing age, or excessive fluoride exposure through excessive tooth brushing.

You’ll be able to find whitening strips in most pharmacies or supermarkets. These will be sold through familiar brand names, such as Trident. Alternatively, if you’re prepared to pay more, you can purchase higher-quality strips directly from a dentist.

what happens if i leave whitening strips on overnight?

How Do Whitening Strips Work?

Whitening strips are sold in packs, usually of 14 or 28, with the intention of using two strips per night. A whitening strip is constructed from a flexible material backed by adhesive. Attach a strip to each row of your teeth and leave it to get to work.

Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are found in whitening strips. The core difference between these two peroxides is that carbamide contains acids. However, carbamide peroxide does break down into hydrogen peroxide when wet.

Hydrogen peroxide is most critical in tooth whitening. When this chemical compound touches the teeth, it completes a bleaching process, lifting stains. If these stains are particularly stubborn, the acids found in carbamide peroxide will break them up first.

Be aware that these peroxides aren’t merely surface level – they break down the outer layer of any teeth, penetrating the enamel. The bleaching process takes place a step beneath, within the dentin.

Here you’ll find pigmented molecules known as chromogens, which are responsible for staining the teeth. The application of bleaching peroxides acts as an indiscriminate cleaning agent.

How Long Should You Leave Whitening Strips On?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to utilizing whitening strips.

Different brands will have their own sets of instructions, and these must always be adhered to. Whitening strips will only be effective if you use them appropriately.

Read these instructions to learn how to apply the whitening strips and, more importantly, to learn long you should be leaving them on. This depends on the product’s strength, as the more hydrogen peroxide in the strip, the less time it’ll need on your teeth.

Some whitening strips only need to be worn for around five minutes per day, while others need around an hour to do their work. Cheaper brands will usually need to be maintained longer as the chemical compounds will be more diluted.

You should also check the literature bundled with whitening strips to ensure that you can use these products. Children, pregnant women, and people with existing dental issues should avoid whitening strips for any period, no matter how long or short.

Can I Wear Whitening Strips Overnight?

As discussed, you should always check the instructions found on your whitening strips. The length of time to leave them in will vary, but it will never be overnight. Whitening strips aren’t designed to be worn for anything close to this long.

You may need to show a little patience when it comes to whitening strips. Most of the time, you’ll see results within a few days of applying them. It may take longer, though. Under no circumstances attempt to speed up the whitening process by wearing them overnight.

It’s unlikely that you’ll forget to remove whitening strips before you get into bed – they’ll be comparatively intrusive on your teeth. If you’re prone to such absent-mindedness, take precautions like setting an alarm. You’ll be glad you did so in the morning.

What Happens If I Leave Whitening Strips on Overnight?

The first thing you’ll notice if you try to wear tooth whitening strips overnight is disturbed sleep. If you’re not used to dozing with foreign objects in your mouth and over your teeth, this will take its toll on your ability to rest comfortably.

As per the Dentistry Journal, the use of hydrogen peroxide, especially for prolonged periods, can have side effects. If you leave your whitening strips on overnight, you’re likely to damage your teeth irrecoverably.

Among the milder side effects of tooth whitening strips is sensitivity. When you first start to use whitening strips, they’ll feel a little uncomfortable. You’ll know the sensation if you’ve ever worn a fixed retainer and had it tightened.

Your teeth will feel sore to the touch, even tender. If you’re only wearing your whitening strips for the prescribed time, that’s not a huge concern. The discomfort will pass after a day or two. The longer you wear them, the more painful they will be.

Unfortunately, it’s not just your teeth that can suffer from excessive use of dental strips. You also run the risk of gum soreness and bleeding. This, in turn, opens the door to bacterial infection and painful periodontal concerns that may require dental surgery.

Perhaps the biggest risk of wearing whitening strips overnight is the progressive destruction of your teeth. Prolonged exposure to hydrogen peroxide will lessen the strength and structure of your teeth, extracting calcium and leaving them increasingly weak.

how long should you leave whitening strips on?

Alternatives to Whitening Strips

If the inability to sleep using whitening strips puts you off using these products, there are a handful of alternative arrangements you can make to ensure a bright, beaming smile. The first and most obvious is to keep up with a regular tooth brushing schedule.

Cleaning your teeth last thing at night will give your teeth and mouth plenty of time to recover from the day’s wear and tear. Brushing will also purge any bacteria, ensuring it cannot multiply overnight and wreak havoc on your teeth.

Something similar to whitening strips is a tray-based kit. This will involve placing a mouthpiece over your teeth, like a retainer. In theory, you can wear these trays overnight, but you’ll need to test for any sensitivities first. Wear a tray for at least four hours before trying to sleep wearing it.

A much faster and immediate solution, albeit one that comes with a price tag attached, is undergoing laser whitening at a dental surgery. This will leave your teeth gleaming in just an hour. There will be no need to contemplate what to do overnight.

We all like the idea of a gleaming white smile, and whitening strips can help us achieve that. Don’t allow the quest for perfectly white teeth to place your sleep at risk, though. Whitening strips shouldn’t be worn overnight and must be removed before bed.