Is It Safe To Brush Your Teeth After Using Whitening Strips?

At-home whitening products are a popular way to combat discoloration of the teeth. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a tooth that's white or yellowish-white in color indicates a healthy tooth. However, external factors such as smoking, or drinking dark beverages like coffee or tea, can further yellow or darken our teeth (via Live Science). But staining doesn't just occur from the outside in. It can also occur from the inside out. Genetics, and even the use of some medications such as certain antibiotics, antihistamines, and antipsychotic drugs can also lead to staining as a result of internal structural tooth damage, depending on your age (via theĀ Cleveland Clinic).

Whitening strips act as an adhesive containing either hydrogen or carbamide peroxide that bleaches the surface of the tooth (via Together Dental). Some people report seeing results in as little as one week, making whitening strips an easy, affordable way to tackle whitening at home.

While brushing beforehand is encouraged, gentle brushing afterwards is ok too

Because many dental professionals suggest using whitening strips before bedtime, it can be difficult to know how to best incorporate the rest of your nightly hygiene routine such as brushing or flossing (via Smile Brilliant). Due to the interference that plaque and other buildup can cause by acting as a barrier between the tooth enamel and the whitening strip, it is generally advised that brushing take place before a whitening treatment (via Best Health).

Does that mean it's unsafe to brush after having used whitening strips?

Because sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening, experts at Senova Dental Studios suggest holding off on brushing right after usage in order to avoid any additional discomfort. However, there is no harm in brushing as long as it's done gently (via Crest). Additionally, dental experts suggest using a toothbrush with soft or extra soft bristles in order to safeguard against the risk of gum recession (via News Medical). While brushing is mostly encouraged before whitening, in the event that you should forget, there is no harm in a gentle brushing a few minutes after the fact.