Crest whitening strips are a really popular and effective product, but you've probably noticed that most UK outlets don't sell them. It is, however, still possible to buy them in the UK if you know where to look. Another option is to check out some of the teeth whitening alternatives that are readily available in the UK.
Teeth-whitening strips are a relatively simple and convenient way to remove surface stains, and Crest makes some of the best teeth whitening strips around. So it's pretty unfortunate you can't easily buy them in the UK!
Read along with us as we take a deep dive into the Crest Whitestrips line of products and investigate everything you need to know about teeth whitening, like:
- What are Crest whitening strips?
- Are Crest whitening strips safe?
- What are the ingredients in Crest 3D White Strips?
- Do Crest whitening strips work?
- Where to buy Crest whitening strips in the UK?
- What are the best alternatives?
- What are reviewers saying?
Those teeth aren't getting any whiter, so let's get started!
Table of contents
- 1 Why do our teeth stain?
- 2 What are Crest Whitestrips?
- 3 Which are the best Crest whitening strips?
- 4 Where can you buy Crest whitening strips in the UK?
- 5 Crest whitening strips UK review
- 6 Crest whitening strips USA review
- 7 Do Crest whitening strips cause any problems?
- 8 Best alternatives to Crest Whitestrips in the UK
- 9 Best alternatives to teeth whitening strips
- 10 Conclusion
- 11 FAQs
Why do our teeth stain?
First of all, if your teeth aren't perfectly white it's normal! Some people may have naturally pearly whites, but it’s perfectly healthy for the rest of us to have teeth tinged with yellow or grey.
Tooth enamel is a thin blueish-white layer and it's translucent, so some of the colour from the dentin beneath shows through. Since dentin is dark yellow, it can give teeth an off-white or yellow appearance. So, your teeth may naturally be more yellow than white.
However, your tooth colour could also be caused by staining. Staining can generally be divided into three main categories:
- Extrinsic: staining caused by food, drink or tobacco that only affects the tooth's enamel
- Intrinsic: discolouration inside of the tooth, not just on the surface
- Age-related: enamel gradually wears away with age, exposing more of the yellow dentin underneath
So, now that we have discussed what causes the stains on our teeth, let's get stuck into how to whiten them!
What are Crest Whitestrips?
Crest 3D White strips are the most searched for brand of teeth whitening strips in the UK, even though they are not easy to buy here! These strips are very similar to other teeth whitening strips.
They are thin, usually transparent and made from a plastic called polyethylene. Each strip is coated on one side with a gel that contains a whitening agent, usually hydrogen peroxide.
There are generally two strips included that are safe for one-time use: one for the top teeth, and one for the bottom teeth. These strips are flexible and conform to the shape of your teeth, keeping the whitening gel in place.
How do Crest Whitestrips work?
Whitestrips use polyvinylpyrrolidone to make the strips stick to your teeth and stay in place. Polyvinylpyrrolidone is quite a mouthful and may sound suspicious, but don't fret. The Environmental Working Group rates it as a safe adhesive that doesn't bioaccumulate or disrupt hormones.
Crest teeth whitening strips also contain carbomer to add more staying power to the gel. This ingredient is safe in the small quantities used in the strips, however, adhesives like this can cause irritation to gums in the case of overexposure.
The whitening ingredient in this brand, and indeed in many whitening solutions, is hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is effective in eliminating surface stains, and it can also lessen the yellow appearance of the dentin.
Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide can also have a negative effect on your health. Your oral microbiome comprises bacteria, some of it very beneficial to your oral and overall health, and hydrogen peroxide kills the beneficial bacteria.
Crest whitening strips ingredients
We've gone over a couple of the Crest whitening strips ingredients, so let's have a look at the rest. According to the Crest website:
- Water: Prevents teeth dehydration
- Glycerin: Thickens gel and helps it adhere to teeth
- Hydrogen peroxide: Whitens
- Carbomer: Makes gel adhesive
- Polyvinylpyrrolidone: Makes gel adhesive
- PEG: Thickens gel and makes it stick
- Acrylates copolymer: Thickens gel and keeps strip in place
- Sodium hydroxide: Makes pH neutral
- Sodium saccharin: Makes the strips taste better
- Pyrophosphate: Protects against tartar (only in Crest 3D White Whitestrips Stain Shield)
How to use Crest whitening strips
Top tip: Don’t brush your teeth before applying the strips, this will enable the whitening strips to stick to your teeth better.
- Apply the strips: To apply, peel off the liner from the back of the whitening strip, and then place the gel side of the strip along the front of your teeth, lining it up with your gum line. Press the strip against your teeth and fold the extra width of the strip behind your teeth. Follow this procedure for both upper and lower arches.
- Usage frequency: Make sure to read the instructions on the product that you are using. Some should only be worn once a day, while others require two uses per day.
- Application time: Always follow the instructions on your specific white strips. The recommended time frame can range from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. The time usually depends on the concentration of the whitening formula. Wearing them for more time than directed won't result in whiter teeth, and may cause damage.
- Treatment time: Wear your strips for the directed treatment time. Make sure to check the instructions as some treatments last just a week, while others can last for a month.
Which are the best Crest whitening strips?
Crest offers seemingly infinite options when it comes to whitening your teeth with Whitestrips. The following are some of the most popular Crest Whitestrips in the USA:
- Glamorous White 3D Whitestrips
- Vivid White 3D Whitestrips
- Professional Effects 3D Whitestrips
- Charcoal and Arctic Mint 3D Whitestrips
- Crest Whitestrips whitening kit
- Crest Whitening Strips Supreme Flexfit
There are a lot of options to choose from, from this brand and many others. To help you get a feel for what different Crest Whitestrips products have to offer in the US, have a look at the table below.
Glam White 3D Whitestrips
Vivid White 3D Whitestrips
Professional Effects 3D Whitestrips
Charcoal Mint 3D Whitestrips
Crest 3D whitening kit with light
Number of strips
14 sets (1 upper, 1 lower)
10 sets (1 upper, 1 lower)
20 sets (1 upper, 1 lower)
14 sets (1 upper, 1 lower)
14 sets (1 upper, 1 lower)
Length of treatment
Once per day
Once per day
Once per day
Once per day
Once per day
Whitens 25x better than leading whitening toothpastes
Removes 10 years of stains
Whitening equivalent to a $500 in-office laser treatment
Whitens 25x better than a whitening toothpaste
Results that last up to 36 months
Where can you buy Crest whitening strips in the UK?
If you do a quick search on the Internet you will find that there are many UK sellers that provide Crest White Strips, including:
- Crest Whitening Strips Professional Effects
- 3D Luxe Whitening Strips
- Vivid White 3D Whitestrips
- 3D Whitestrips Glamorous White
- Crest Whitestrips Whitening Kit
- Whitestrips Charcoal Mint
- Crest Brilliance Gentle Whitening Strips
Can you buy Crest whitening strips on Amazon in the UK?
No, sites such as Amazon don't sell Crest whitening strips in the UK due to the fact that the quantity of hydrogen peroxide in the ingredients is too high for UK regulations. It's worth double-checking the ingredients of Crest whitening strips sold in the UK against the ingredients in those sold in the US, as it may change the level of efficacy.
Crest whitening strips UK review
Jen Garside reviews Crest 3D Professional Effects
“The strips promise visible effects in just three days, and I wasn’t disappointed. After five strips, I was extremely pleased with the effects.”
In this Glamour article, Jen's aim was to review teeth whitening products with hydrogen peroxide as the main ingredient. She reviews Crest 3D Professional Effects Whitestrips first and found she was incredibly pleased with the results. Jen explains that she has always struggled with keeping her teeth the right shade of ivory, and has even gone as far as to apply more fake tan to her skin to make her teeth appear whiter!
In her review, Jen starts with applying the strips. She says they are easy enough to apply, you just need to be careful to avoid your gums so that you don't cause unnecessary irritation. Telling the strips apart is also a simple matter of the longer one being for the upper teeth and the shorted strip for the lower teeth.
Jen was very happy with the effects, saying that after just 5 days she could see a difference already.
Jen's review of Crest 3D Professional Effects
Jen also reviews Crest 3D Whitestrips 1 Hour Express Treatment and found that they were great for use before a big event, such as a wedding. But, because they were uncomfortable and left her with a dry mouth, she would save the rest of the box, and only use them for very special occasions.
Crest whitening strips USA review
SimplyPop's Crest Whitestrips Luxe reviews
Shawn has a beautiful smile, but his teeth are a touch yellow which is the issue he wants to address. He takes us through a three-month journey of his experience:
Shawn opted for the Crest Whitestrips Luxe, which also came with a whitening express treatment as well. He says he really likes them because they work really well, but, cautions his viewers to be careful with coffee, wine and general oral hygiene. This is because, as Shawn reminds us in his review, teeth whitening is not just a quick fix, you have to be dedicated to taking care of your smile.
You can watch the rest of his review in the video below:
Do Crest whitening strips cause any problems?
There's always at least some risk of causing harm to your teeth or gums with any whitening treatment, and Crest White Strips are no exception. In fact, this product is banned in the UK.
Damage to gums
Crest Whitening Strips contain ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide, and PVP, which have the potential to cause damage if misused. In the UK, these strips are not widely available due to the high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. So, it is important to use these products as directed to minimise the potential for harm.
Damage to teeth
A study by Experimental Biology found that hydrogen peroxide, a key ingredient in these and other over-the-counter whitening options, can harm the dentin that resides under your tooth's enamel. The results found that one of the major proteins in dentin was breaking down with the use of strips, and that collagen actually disappeared.
Additionally, whitening products may cause damage to the tooth's enamel, which can result in tooth sensitivity and pain, as well as increase the risk of cavities.
Crest 3D whitening strips can only do so much when it comes to whitening your teeth, they are only able to whiten the surfaces that they completely cover and adhere to. It can be difficult to ensure full coverage with flat strips, especially as in the hard-to-reach areas between your teeth.
It can also be hard to fully cover the contours where your teeth meet your gums without causing damage to your gums. The result is sometimes a white centre with yellow or grey edges.
Disrupting your oral microbiome
Hydrogen peroxide, the main whitening agent in these strips, also kills bacteria. That might sound like a good thing, but there is a lot of bacteria in our mouths that we need to stay healthy. Without a proper balance of these beneficial bacteria, you have a higher chance of infections and cavities, as well as bad breath and other general health problems.
Best alternatives to Crest Whitestrips in the UK
In the past, it wasn't always easy to source Crest whitening products in the UK and although they are easier to find now, there are plenty of other alternatives to check out. Let's get started with some alternative whitening strips.
Snow's Magic Strips
Snow is well known for its popular whitening kit, but have you heard about the whitening strips? Snow's whitening strips are officially called The Magic Strips, and they definitely live up to their name. According to Snow, 90% of customers get a whiter smile after just one use.
These whitening strips use Snow's new P3 Technology and take only 15 minutes per treatment, unlike other brands that take 30 minutes. They have a lavender and mint flavour so they taste pretty good too.
The Magic Strips contain hydrogen peroxide and they dissolve right onto your teeth. Other brands are usually the peel-off type which leaves a gooey mess on your teeth. The full ingredients include the following:
Pectin, PVP, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, water, peppermint aroma, pentasodium triphosphate, sodium hexametaphosphate, polysorbate 80, natural lavender aroma, sucralose, limonene, and linalool.
There are 28 treatments in a box of Snow Magic Strips (14 for top teeth and 14 for bottom teeth), and they cost $49, or roughly £35 which equals $1.75. or just £1.27 per treatment.
Hismile’s PAP+ Whitening Strips
Hismile’s PAP+ Whitening Strips are peroxide free and instead contain Phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP) as the active ingredient. Hismile's PAP+ formula is specifically formulated to not only safely whiten your teeth, but address pre-existing sensitivity and remineralise your enamel.
The PAP+ formula whitens teeth without causing irritation or sensitivity to your gums and teeth like other types of whitening strips. It also contains potassium citrate to help desensitise teeth and nano-hydroxyapatite to remineralise them. This is the same formula used in their popular whitening kit.
These strips differ from the whitening kit because the whitening kit uses an LED light to enhance the effects of the whitening gel. But, while these whitening strips may not be as effective as the whitening kit, they are a quick and convenient way to whiten your teeth on the go.
To use these strips, make sure your teeth are dry, to begin with, and then apply the long strip to your top teeth and the shorter strip to your bottom teeth. Leave the strips on your teeth for 30 minutes while you do other tasks, or sit and relax while you wait. Then remove the strips, rinse your mouth with water and make sure you don't swallow any of the residues in the process.
Mr Blanc Teeth
Mr Blanc Minty Fresh Teeth Whitening Strips confidently claim their non-peroxide product is safe and effective. Let's have a look at what they say.
The first point they make is that the strips will noticeably whiten teeth without causing any teeth sensitivity. They state that their product will achieve a “clinically proven average of 3 shades whiter in 14 days”.
Minty freshness and no weird aftertaste is another positive feature. However, the taste does not seem to be a point that is mentioned very often in the Amazon reviews. People seem to mention the quality, rather than the taste, more often than not.
If you would like to know more about Mr Blanc Teeth, read our full review.
Pro Teeth Whitening Co Charcoal Whitening Strips
These activated charcoal teeth whitening strips have quite a unique feature in that, they are black in colour. Don't let that put you off, activated charcoal is used in quite a number of teeth whitening products.
Pro Teeth Whitening Co Charcoal whitening strips were formulated by dentists, and are made from 100% naturally derived ingredients including coconut oil and cellulose gum. They are made and packaged in the UK and Pro Teeth Whitening Co guarantees quality in every batch. They have no added hydrogen peroxide or fluoride and claim to not cause gum irritation or damage to teeth enamel.
In each box, you get 28 strips (14 day supply) that will remove tough stains from the usual culprits, including coffee, tea, wine etc.
They are easy to apply, and nicely fit the contours of the teeth. But, make sure you brush your teeth afterwards to make sure you don't leave any black gel on your teeth!
So, now that we have had a brief chat about the Crest whitening strips alternatives, let's take a closer look and compare and contrast them to in the table below:
Let's take a closer look at these alternatives, and compare and contrast them in the table below.
Snow's Magic Strips
Pro Teeth Whitening Co
Phthalimidoperoxycaproic Acid (PAP)
Sodium chlorite, citric acid
Sodium chlorite, coconut oil, activated charcoal
14 (28 strips)
14 (28 strips)
14 (28 strips)
14 (28 strips)
Approx. cost per treatment
Where to buy
Best alternatives to teeth whitening strips
Teeth whitening strips are not the only method for whitening teeth. There is a wide variety of alternatives at different price points, to choose from, some options include:
- Laser teeth whitening at the dentist
- LED whitening (e.g. Philips Zoom)
- Professional bleaching kits
- At-home whitening kits
- Treatments combining in-office and at-home whitening (e.g. Enlighten)
If you want the best result possible when it comes to whitening your teeth, we recommend that you get your teeth whitened in practice by a dentist.
If you are looking for a less expensive option, that still provides good results then we recommend an at-home whitening kit.
Let’s look at some of our favourites:
Smile Avenue whitening kit
The Smile Avenue whitening kit is a safe and effective alternative to Crest whitening strips in the UK. It can be sold and bought in the UK because the active ingredient is Phthalimidoperoxycaproic Acid (PAP) rather than hydrogen peroxide. PAP is not banned for use in products in the UK, and it's proven to be effective at whitening teeth.
Smile Avenue claims to be great for sensitive teeth, as it is more gentle than other teeth whitening kits. One of its main ingredients, Hydroxyapatite, works to remineralise your enamel. This is a great feature as other whitening treatments can make teeth feel more sensitive, and even damage the teeth.
The LED technology utilised in this home whitening kit helps to speed up the treatment timescale. The kit comes with four pens of gel that will last 24-30 days of treatment. When you need to buy more pens, the refills are at affordable prices.
If you're not happy with your purchase, Smile Avenue will give you a full refund with their 30-day money-back guarantee. And, they offer free shipping, and if you use discount code DENTA10 you get 10% off your entire purchase!
If you want to know more about this product you can read our full review of Smile Avenue.
Hismile PAP+ Whitening Kit
Hismile's PAP+ Whitening Kit is an innovative system that also uses PAP as the active whitening ingredient along with an LED mouthpiece to speed up results. Hismile is an Australian company that is becoming more and more popular for its range of PAP whitening products. The PAP+ whitening gel Phthalimidoperoxycaproic Acid as well as nano-hydroxyapatite and potassium citrate for remineralising you and desensitising your teeth.
Similarly to Smile Avenue, Hismile's whitening gel contains hydroxyapatite for remineralising teeth. They are however different as Hismile uses nano-hydroxyapatite which has smaller particles and can cover and remineralise more surface area of your teeth.
There are myriad reasons that make Hismile our recommended at-home whitening kit, but here are just a few:
- Effective whitening: PAP whitening has been proven to be just as effective as hydrogen peroxide when it comes to whitening teeth, but without the potential damage to your enamel or gums.
- Remineralises teeth: Contains the remineralising ingredient Nano-Hydroxyapatite to help strengthen enamel.
- Easy on teeth and gums: Hismile's whitening gel contains PAP which doesn't damage your enamel or irritate your gums like hydrogen peroxide does.
- Refills: When you want to refresh your results, you don't need to purchase a whole new kit. Instead, you can order refills. This is both eco and wallet-friendly.
- Affordability: Hismile is great value for money, the 6 pods included in the kit will last for 3-6 treatments (up to a year of whitening).
You can read about other at-home whitening kits here and other types of cosmetic dentistry in our guide here.
As you can see from these Crest 3D white strips reviews, Whitestrips are an effective method to whiten stained teeth. They provide a relatively simple way to whiten your teeth from home, and for a fraction of the price of professional, in-office whitening.
Crest White strips are hard to come by and are actually banned in the UK. Not only this, they cause a risk of enamel and dentin damage and increased tooth sensitivity or even pain when using this or any other kind of whitening product.
However, the American Dental Association has given Luxe Whitestrips their Seal of Acceptance, so you can feel confident knowing that the professional community stands behind this product.
If you are concerned that the product is banned in the UK and would like to use something that is potentially safer, and easy to buy then we recommend trying an at-home whitening kit like Hismile, Smile Avenue, or Snow.
White strips alone won't be able to provide the same level of whitening that you would get at the dentist's office, which is why we recommend Smile Avenue's whitening kit. Smile Avenue is an at-home kit that uses a professional-strength whitening gel and an innovative LED mouthpiece to drastically whiten teeth with results that last for more than a year. You can read more about Smile Avenue to find out if it's a good option for you.
Can you buy Crest Whitestrips in the UK?
It is illegal to sell Crest Whitestrips in the UK due to the quantity of hydrogen peroxide in the ingredient. However, you can still find them for sale if you search online. It is possible to find most of Crest's whitening strips products on eBay and a few other websites.
Do Crest White strips work after one use?
You won't see any noticeable results after one use unless you use the Express whitening strips. These work in just an hour to remove surface stains for a noticeably whiter smile. Standard treatments will gradually produce results, and to get full results, you should stick with the entire treatment course.
How often do you use Whitestrips?
Whitestrips are meant to be used once per day, every day. You can potentially use an Express whitening strip to supplement this, but, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. If you skip days, you may not see the same results as you would if you were consistent with the whitening treatment.
ScienceDaily: Teeth whitening products can harm protein-rich tooth layer. Consulted 24th July 2020. MouthHealthy.org: Whitening: 5 Things to Know About Getting a Brighter Smile. Consulted 24th July 2020. Now.tufts.edu: What causes discolored teeth and is there any way to cure or prevent staining? Consulted 24th July 2020.
ScienceDirect: A bio-safety tooth-whitening composite gels with novel phthalimide peroxy caproic acid. Consulted 8th February 2022.