Should You Brush Your Teeth After Whitening Strips?


What are whitening strips? 

Whitening strips are thin rectangular pieces of plastic coated with a peroxide gel, which you apply directly to the teeth. The strips sometimes contain other ingredients, such as fluoride or wax, to help make them easier to use. You wear each strip for about an hour (or longer if directed by your dentist). Then you remove the strip and discard it.

Whitening strips are used by placing the strip on your teeth for about an hour. Some manufacturers recommend wearing the whitening strip overnight while sleeping. The chemical bleaching agent in these strips can cause mouth irritation and therefore should not be chewed or eaten while the product is on your teeth.

Whitening, is a common cosmetic procedure. Many people who want their teeth to be a shade or two whiter go through with this treatment -- sometimes even undergoing it more than once.

Whitening strips are usually safe, but some people may experience mild side effects such as tooth sensitivity or gum irritation. 

While teeth whitening can be very effective, there are some side effects associated with undergoing the treatment. One such side effect is tooth sensitivity others include gum irritation and dry mouth. 

Is it okay to brush your teeth after whitening strips have been used? 

If you've just had teeth whitening done, then your dentist will usually instruct you to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Why? Because the chemicals in whitening products can make enamel more susceptible to damage from the abrasive nature of toothpaste and even water. 

There have been several debates on this topic. Some people say, "Yes, you can brush your teeth immediately after using the strips because peroxide is stronger than toothpaste, and it will kill all the bacteria. And, since brushing your teeth would get rid of the bacteria, you can whiten better. 

On the other hand, some people say, "No, you cannot brush your teeth immediately after using the strips because bleach kills bacteria but it also damages enamel. Thus if you brush your teeth right away with toothpaste containing fluoride, which is the same thing as the bleach in strips, it will destroy enamel." 

However, recent studies have shown that there's no need to wait before brushing your teeth after the whitening treatment. The exact opposite may be better for your teeth because it helps remove any loose particles from the whitening product. Since brushing alone isn't enough to remove these particles, dentists recommend water picks as an extra precaution. 

Reasons why you should brush your teeth after whitening strips

  • Brushing your teeth after whitening strips helps remove any excess whitening gel left behind.
  • It promotes a more efficient rinse with water to ensure all the whitening solution is gone from your teeth and not lingering in between your teeth or under your gums which can cause irritation or damage if left to sit for too long.
  • Whitening toothpaste was specifically designed to dissolve food residue along with a plaque for them to be easily brushed away. It will stick on top of your teeth surface if it is still there, so brushing immediately after whitening strip usage can help you get rid of all unwanted stuff.
  • If you don't brush your teeth immediately after whitening strips, the chemicals will start to evaporate and leave your enamel exposed.
  • The longer you wait to brush your teeth after using the strip, the less fresh breath you will have as saliva neutralizes the harmful elements in the mouth after a few minutes of brushing.
  • If you don't brush your teeth after a whitening strip session, the food might remain there for a longer period and serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • If you don't brush your teeth after a whitening strip session, the chemicals might harm your gums.
  • If you wait too long to brush your teeth, the saliva will start to interact with the chemicals and form a thick yellowish-brown substance called dental plaque.
  • If you wait too long to brush your teeth, the enamel will start to re-oxidize and bleach again, which might result in gum irritation or pain.
  • If you don't brush your teeth after a whitening strip session, the chemicals will harden into tartar build-up on your enamel after it is exposed for too long. 


Brushing your teeth after whitening strips can help you get any excess chemicals off while also helping to protect your enamel and gums. If you wait too long to brush, the saliva will neutralize some of the harmful compounds in the mouth, but it can also lead to tartar build-up or gum irritation if left too long.

It is generally recommended to brush your teeth after whitening strips as soon as possible since toothpaste helps remove any remaining harmful elements from the whitening process and prevents tartar build-up or gingivitis. It is also beneficial to use a water pick before brushing your teeth to ensure no leftover particles from the whitening process. 

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