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Do Crest Whitestrips Work? All About Safety, Efficacy, and Real Reviews

Crest white strips reviews
Can Crest whiten your teeth?

Do Crest Whitestrips work? The short answer is yes, but the complete answer is much more nuanced and can even depend on the individual. Teeth whitening strips are a relatively simple and convenient way to remove surface stains, and Crest Whitestrips is the most notable brand on the market today. But is this method right for you?

Read along with us as we take a deep dive into the Crest Whitestrips line of products and investigate everything you need to know, like:

  • Are Crest Whitestrips safe?
  • Do they work?
  • What are the ingredients?
  • What are the best alternatives?
  • What are reviewers saying?

Those teeth aren't getting any whiter, so let's get started!

Why do our teeth stain?

First of all, if your teeth aren't perfectly white, that's normal! Some people may have naturally pearly whites, but for most of us, teeth tinged with yellow or grey can be perfectly healthy. That's because the enamel of the tooth is just a thin blueish-white layer and it's translucent. This makes it so some of the color 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, but your tooth color may also be caused by staining. Staining can generally be divided into three main categories. Let's have a look!

Extrinsic staining

Extrinsic stains are those that only affect the tooth's enamel. These stains are usually caused by food, drink or tobacco use. Some of the most common food and drink stain perpetrators are:

  • Wine
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Chocolate

Foods with a high acidity level like those with lots of sugar, or citric fruits create an acidic environment in your mouth and make enamel more susceptible to discoloration.

Intrinsic staining

Intrinsic staining is discoloration that is located inside of the actual tooth, not just on the surface. These types of stains can come from:

Intrinsic stains are usually more difficult to treat with over-the-counter whitening products like Crest whitening strips.

Age-related staining

Crest white strips
Teeth might yellow as you age

Just another one of the awesome perks of aging—your teeth might yellow a bit too! That's because throughout the years your enamel gradually wears away, exposing more of the yellow of the dentin underneath. Age-related staining can also be caused by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

If you want to find out more about yellow teeth and staining in general, we've got a complete article dedicated to just that. Otherwise, without further ado, let's dive into today's main topic!

What are Crest Whitestrips?

These strips are the most popular brand of teeth whitening strips on the market. They work very much like other teeth whitening strips, which are thin, usually transparent strips made from a plastic called polyethylene, which are safe for one-time use and that are coated on one side with a tooth whitening gel containing some sort of whitening agent, usually peroxide. There are two strips: one for the top teeth and one for the bottom. 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 on your teeth. Polyvinylpyrrolidone is (literally) a mouthful and may sound scary, but everyone's favorite eco product rater, the Environmental Working Group, rates it as a safe adhesive that doesn't bioaccumulate or disrupt hormones. Crest teeth whitening strips also contain carbomer, which is safe in the quantity used in the strips, to add more staying power to the gel. These adhesives can, however, cause irritation to gums in the case of overexposure.

The whitening ingredient in this brand, and indeed in many whitening solutions is hydrogen peroxide, which is effective in eliminating surface stains, and it can also even make the yellow from dentin less, well, yellow. While hydrogen peroxide is an effective teeth whitener, it has a darker side as well. Your oral microbiome comprises bacteria, some of it very beneficial to your oral and overall health, and hydrogen peroxide actually kills the beneficial bacteria.


We've gone over a couple of the ingredients in Whitestrips, but let's have a look at the whole shebang. 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)

Directions for use

Do Crest white strips work
Follow the instructions that come with your strips
  • Apply the strips: Don't brush your teeth before applying the strips; this will give them stronger sticking power. To apply the strips, peel off the liner from the back of the whitening strip, and then place the gel side of the strip along the fronts 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 white strips you are using. Some strips 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 time range for wearing can vary from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. The time usually depends on the concentration of whitening formula in your strips. Wearing your strips for more time than directed won't result in whiter teeth, but may actually cause damage.
  • Treatment time: Wear your strips for the directed treatment time. Some treatment regimens last just a week while others can last for a month.

Which Whitestrips are the best?

Crest offers seemingly infinite options when it comes to whitening your teeth with white strips. The hard part will be narrowing it down to find the strips that best meet your individual needs. Let's have a look at some of the most popular Whitestrips options and compare their similarities and differences.

Glamorous White 3D Whitestrips

crest white strips reviews
These are ADA accepted

“I liked it. It was a little strong on my gums but got the job done. I am a Dental Hygienist, and I prefer the crest to in office whitening. I think it's gentler and just as effective.”

Crest Glamorous White Whitestrips comes with 14 sets of strips (that's 28 strips total)—one for your top teeth and one for your bottom teeth. Each set is individually wrapped, taking out the guesswork of matching pairs. The bottom strip is smaller and contoured for your bottom teeth, while the top strip is long for full coverage.

The company claims that these strips will whiten 25 times better than the leading whitening toothpaste and that their Advanced Seal Technology means that the strips will stay in place, so much so that you can drink water and talk with ease while whitening.

Additionally, these strips are ADA accepted, which means that the American Dental Association has found them to be safe and effective when used according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Number of strips: 14 sets (1 upper 1 lower)
  • Length of treatment: 14 days
  • Application time: 30 minutes
  • Application frequency: Once per day
  • Whitening ingredient: Hydrogen peroxide

Vivid White 3D Whitestrips

do crest white strips work
Vivid White can remove 5 years of stains

“Excellent! No sensitivity and my teeth are whiter than ever! I’m a regular coffee and wine drinker and it removed it all.”

Crest Vivid White will remove five years of stains from coffee, wine, tobacco and other stain perpetrators. With Vivid, you get 10 sets up upper and lower strips, and you need to wear them for half an hour every day. Crest recommends this whitening kit for those who are new to teeth whitening, since it's a straightforward and relatively short regimen.

These strips use the same enamel-safe whitening agent that dentists use in-office, and they feature Advanced Seal Technology so the strips stay in place.

If you purchase this VividPlus kit you also get two 1-hour express treatments for a whitening boost.

  • Number of strips: 10 sets (1 upper 1 lower)
  • Length of treatment: 10 days
  • Application time: 30 minutes
  • Application frequency: Once per day
  • Whitening ingredient: Hydrogen peroxide

Professional Effects 3D Whitestrips

Crest white strips reviews
These get positive Crest Whitestrips reviews

“First review I’ve ever written. These are freaking amazing. Removed years of coffee and tea stains. Totally worth the price.”

Professional Effects promises to remove 14 years of teeth stains with effects that last for at least 12 months. As the name suggests, the oral health company says that these strips deliver the same level of results as professional, in-office whitening.

You'll start seeing results after just three days, with full results after 20 days. These strips are safe on enamel and have Advanced Seal Technology, which lets them stay in place even when you talk or drink water.

This kit also comes with two 1-Hour Express treatments for same-day results.

  • Number of strips: 20 sets (1 upper 1 lower)
  • Length of treatment: 20 days
  • Application time: 30 minutes
  • Application frequency: Once per day
  • Whitening ingredient: Hydrogen peroxide

Charcoal and Arctic Mint 3D Whitestrips

“Love Crest Whitestrips. They have always done my teeth so well. I have two partially fake front teeth because of a fall when I was younger that chipped them. The bondage [sic] on my teeth whitens along with the natural teeth with no issues. Highly recommend. I buy these twice a year and keeps me feeling confident and happy!”

teeth whitening strips
These have a fresh mint flavor

The Arctic Mint strips address the problem that white strips of any brand don't always taste very good. These strips whiten 25x better than whitening toothpaste and comprise 3D Whitestrips with Arctic Mint flavor serum that you can add to them before you apply them.

Arctic White comes with 28 white strips or 14 sets with top and bottom strips, with 30-minute treatment sessions per day.

The Charcoal Mint version has the same 3D base as the Arctic Mint, but the serum you apply also includes activated charcoal for its natural whitening abilities.

  • Number of strips: 14 sets (1 upper 1 lower)
  • Length of treatment: 14 days
  • Application time: 30 minutes
  • Application frequency: Once per day
  • Whitening ingredient: Hydrogen peroxide

Crest Whitestrips whitening kit reviews

Crest whitestrips whitening kit
This Crest whitening kitis fast and effective

“Great product! The strips are my go-to item for quick, whiter teeth. The mouthpiece takes the whiteness up a notch. I won't do the strips without the light from now on!”

Apart from their selection of whitening strips, Crest also offers kits with both strips and an LED light. Perhaps their best-selling Crest whitening kit is the 3D Whitestrips with Light. They claim that this is their fastest way to whiter teeth. It comes with 20 strips, or 10 sets of upper and lower strips for 10 days of treatment, and a handheld light that speeds up treatment.

To use this system, you need to apply the strips once per day for 60 minutes, and follow up with 10 minutes of light time. When done correctly, the results can last up to 36 months.

Product summary

There are a lot of options to choose from, from this brand and many others. To help you figure out which of Crest's products is best for you, have a look at the table below.

Glam White 3D Whitestrips Vivid White 3D Whitestrips Professional Effects 3D Whitestrips Charcoal and Arctic 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) 10 sets (1 upper, 1 lower)
Length of treatment 14 days 10 days 20 days 14 days 10 days
Application time 30 minutes 30 minutes 30 minutes 30 minutes 60 minutes
Application frequency Once per day Once per day Once per day Once per day once per day
Main benefit 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

Customer Crest whitestrips review

Konnor's Crest 3D Whitestrips review

“I don't know what else to say, I thought they were great!”

Konnor shows us how the first and tenth day of Crest Whitestrips treatment works. The kind that he purchased claim to remove five years of stains. Konnor has mostly white teeth with just a hint of yellow. He doesn't know why he has yellow on his teeth, because he brushes his teeth twice a day and flosses every day too. His best guess is that the yellow comes from his coffee drinking.

In his video he takes us through his first time applying the strips. It was a pretty straightforward process, but he was a bit confused about which was the upper and lower one at first.

His first impression is that says that the strips don't taste great and it's kind of difficult to talk with them in. He doesn't love that the strips don't cover all of his teeth, just the front ones. Taking them off wasn't a very pleasant experience for him either, as he felt like he had to tear them from his teeth.

His sums up his first experience with the following conclusions:

  • It's easy to put them on (as long as you know that the small one is for the bottom teeth and the longer one for the upper teeth)
  • They are difficult and quite unpleasant to take off
  • They left no uneven white spots on his teeth

10 days later, Konnor says he experienced pain and sensitivity when he ate and drank. He solved this problem by applying the strips before going to bed at night.

All in all, he thinks they worked really well. He skipped a few days because it hurt too much until he figured out that he should do the treatment before bed. He says he would use them again, but the part that's a bummer is the pain.

Watch the rest of Konnor's review in the video below:

SimplyPop's Crest Whitestrips Luxe reviews

This blogger 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 Whitestrips experience:

He 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 he cautions his viewers to be careful with coffee, wine and general oral hygiene, as it's something that needs more than just a one-time fix—you have to be dedicated to taking care of your smile.

You can watch the rest of his review in the video below:

Simply Simone's Crest 3D whitening strips review

Simone takes us through her six-day whitening journey in this Crest Whitestrips 1-hour express review. She combines a trio of products: the Crest professional Express Whitening in one-week strips, Crest Brilliance mouthwash, and Crest Brilliance toothpaste. Her process is to brush her teeth first with the toothpaste, then use the mouthwash and finish up with the strips.

She said the mouthwash didn't cause any sensitivity but the toothpaste did sting a bit. You can read more about mouthwashes and toothpastes for whitening in our full guides, but now on to the strips!

Her treatment is one week long, since it is one of the Express options. By day three she already notices that her teeth are a bit whiter. On day four she had to take a break because her teeth were really sensitive and it was too uncomfortable.

She isn't able to finish day 7 of the treatment, because her daughter stole a set of strips! But even after six days she's really happy with the difference. Watch her entire journey in the video below!

Melissa's Crest Noticeably White Whitestrips reviews

Melissa opts for Noticeably White for her whitening treatment. She takes us through putting the strips on, and timing her 30-minute treatment. She also bought 3D white toothpaste to accompany her whitening procedure, which she would recommend.

She reminds her audiences to be very careful with the whitening gel. She got it on her fingers, and afterward her hands and her thumbs had white spots on them! Also, it can burn your gums if it comes into contact for them for too long.

She says that after the 10-day treatment, her teeth looked a little lighter, but not as white as she wanted them to be. Watch her full vlog below.

Problems with Whitestrips

There's always at least some risk of causing harm to your teeth or gums with any whitening treatment, and Whitestrips are no exception.

Damage to gums

The ADA themselves, who have given their Seal of Acceptance to some Whitestrips products, caution that overuse of these products can cause tooth sensitivity and gum damage. This damage can be caused by hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide and PVP, all ingredients in these strips.

Damage to teeth

A study conducted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular 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, such whitening products may cause damage to the tooth's enamel, which can result in tooth sensitivity and pain, as well as a higher risk of cavities.

Uneven whitening

Whitestrips can only go so far to whiten your teeth; that is, they will whiten only the surfaces that they completely cover and adhere to. It can be difficult to ensure full coverage, especially when trying to get these flat strips to whiten the spaces between your teeth, or to fully cover the contours where your teeth meet your gums, without causing damage to your gums.

The result is sometimes a nice white tooth center, with edges that remain yellow or gray. It's not that the Whitestrips make the rest of your tooth more yellow, it's just that now the area that is yellow is more noticeable when compared with the whitened areas.

Disrupting your oral microbiome

Peroxide, the main whitening agent in these strips, also kills bacteria. That might sound like a good thing, but there are lots of bacteria in our mouths that we actually 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 Whitestrips

Not convinced about Whitestrips? No problem! There are all sorts of whitening methods you can try, from natural whitening remedies, to toothpaste, to professional methods.

Burst Coconut Whitening Strips

Burst white strips use peroxide to whiten teeth, just like Crest, but they also have a secret ingredient. Well, ok, not so secret since it's in the name of the strips. Yes, you guessed it, it's coconut oil! How does coconut oil help whiten teeth? Believe it or not, coconut oil has been used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling, which eliminates stains and toxins from enamel.

Burst whitening strips
Coconut oil and peroxide work together

Burst white strips combine oil pulling and peroxide for a revolutionary strip that achieves results in as few as 10 minutes per day for just seven days. These strips are so powerful, you can see results after the first use.

Burst is so confident that their strips work, that they have a 90-day guarantee. If you're not happy with these strips after 90 days, you'll get your money back.

This company also offers a sonic vibration electric toothbrush, which you can read more about in our full Burst review here. Otherwise, if you want to whiten your teeth with Burst whitening strips, just click the button below!

Snow whitening kit

Snow is an innovative system that uses a professional-strength whitening gel and an LED mouthpiece to speed up and reinforce results. There are two main product options with Snow, their Original kit, and their Wireless kit. Both kits come with an LED mouthpiece and whitening wands with advanced whitening serum, but the wireless kit is, well, wireless, so you can use it in the shower (yes, it's waterproof!) or on the go.

There are myriad reasons that make Snow our recommended at-home whitening kit, but here are just a few:

whitening strips crest
This system delivers professional results
  • Fast whitening: You only have to use your Snow kit for 9 minutes per day to see results. And full results come after the 21-day treatment period.
  • Lasting results: The whitening offered by Snow lasts for over a year.
  • Easy on gums: With Snow, you paint the whitening gel directly onto your teeth, whereas with other brands you either put the gel into trays or try to fit strips right along your gum line. Both of these methods can result in excess gel getting onto your gums and causing damage. With Snow, the gel stays where you apply it.
  • 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: Snow is one of the only at-home systems that genuinely offers professional-level results, but at only a fraction of the cost.

You can read about other at-home whitening kits here and other types of cosmetic dentistry in our guide here.


crest white strips
Enjoy life's pleasures…and have white teeth!

As you can see from these Crest 3D white strips reviews, Whitestrips can be an effective way to whiten teeth that are stained, whether from coffee, smoking, wine or you were just born that way. White strips provide a relatively simple way to whiten your teeth from home, and for a fraction of the price of professional, in-office whitening.

There is 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.

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 the Snow whitening system. Snow 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 Snow to find out if it's a good option for you.


Do Whitestrips work on yellow teeth?

It depends. If your yellow teeth are caused by surface stains, then these and similar products should be able to remove those stains and restore your teeth to their natural color. If your yellow teeth are caused by the dentin, a yellow substance that exists beneath the enamel, then this is the natural color of your teeth and can't be changed with superficial whitening treatments.

Do Whitestrips work after one use?

It's not likely that you will see noticeable results after a single use, unless you use the Express whitening strips. These work in just an hour to remove surface stains for an immediately 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 every day, once per day. In some cases, you can also use an Express whitening strip to supplement your normal treatment, but the important thing is 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.

Do Crest Whitestrips Work? All About Safety, Efficacy, and Real Reviews
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Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
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Natalie used to work as a Community Health Worker and Health Insurance Navigator. She continues to follow her passion for connecting people with the healthcare they need by writing informative content about dentistry and medicine.