Sheer White! whitestrips aim to change the game when it comes to whitening your teeth, claiming to be “the most significant advancement in teeth whitening in nearly a decade”. We’re not sure they’re quite that innovative, but they certainly are an interesting product, designed specifically to whiten teeth fast and effectively, with a more comfortable fit than their counterparts.
Whiter teeth can boost confidence and increase youthfulness, and it’s therefore no surprise that teeth whitening has quickly become an increasingly popular cosmetic treatment worldwide.
But like all cosmetic procedures, the price tag attached can be costly, with professional packages averaging $650.
Cheaper home packages – including whitening gels or strips – are available, but come with their own risks. Therefore, if you’re leaning towards the cheaper end of the scale, it is imperative that you do the necessary research and are well informed before choosing a treatment.
Whitening strips are one of the least costly and most effective forms of home teeth whitening. There are several different brands on the market, each with strips which to the unexperienced eye, appear to be fairly similar.
However, there are many key differences between both brands and specific products, including issues concerning sensitivity and general tooth health.
We’re here to help you understand if Sheer White whitestrips is appropriate for you, or if there’s something on the market that will better cater to your needs.
This article aims to unpack the facts surrounding Sheer White whitestrips, including:
- What exactly are Sheer White whitestrips?
- How do they work?
- How do I use them?
- Are they safe?
- Is there an alternative that’s better for me?
Sheer White whitestrips pros and cons
- Uses active ingredient carbamide peroxide which has been clinically shown to whiten teeth
- On balance, good value for money
- Easy to use
- Comfortable fit
- Nearly invisible when applied properly
- Longer shelf life than many other whitening strips
- Takes a minimum of 1 hour per session
- As with any whitestrips, you may experience some tooth sensitivity
- Can be difficult to remove after a short session
On the larger scale of teeth whitening treatments, whitestrips generally present themselves as reasonable value, sitting fairly centrally within this category, with other brands such as Crest providing both budget-end and pricier products.
Because the active ingredient carbamide peroxide can be slow to activate, you have to leave them in place for at least an hour. However, these strips are designed with a moldable film which can completely contour to your teeth, making them more comfortable to wear for such a long period of time. In fact, Sheer White claims that you should be able to talk on the phone, work in the office or even drink, whilst wearing the films.
Is Sheer White a common dental brand?
If you’re inexperienced in the dental world, you might never have heard of brands like Sheer White, which aren’t so easy to find in your local store. That’s because Sheer White is actually part of a larger brand: the CAO group.
The CAO group is a Utah based company which specializes in dental products, which are sold to both individual customers and dental professionals. This ranges from home kits, like whitening strips, to products which should only be used by a trained professional. They’ve been around since 2000, with their commercial LED dental curing lights putting their name on the dental map.
However, whilst the CAO group is a well established company, they do not appear to be particularly forthcoming with providing clients with information, and it is difficult to find out more about their specific products from their website alone.
What’s in the box?
Each box contains five packets of strips, consisting of:
- A small tool to help open up the packet
- A tray with two films (one for each set of teeth)
How do Sheer White whitestrips work?
All whitestrips generally work on the same principle: you apply a strip to your teeth, you leave it on for a certain amount of time, and when you remove it, you expect to see results (although in many cases, this may take several treatments to show).
Sheer White! whitestrips are no different. Each strip consists of a large, moldable film, which has been designed to follow the unique shape of your teeth. The back of each strip is covered in a whitening gel – the part of the strip that actually does the whitening – which is held in place by the film. (View details)
The active ingredient in Sheer White whitestrips is carbamide peroxide, which honestly, just sounds like a lot of jargon. So let’s unpack it.
What is carbamide peroxide?
Carbamide peroxide is a water-soluble compound made up of hydrogen peroxide and urea. In simpler terms, this means that it breaks down in water, becoming a waste product (urea) and a bleaching agent (hydrogen peroxide).
Hydrogen peroxide works by cleaning the tooth from the inside out, rather than just removing surface stains, like whitening toothpastes. However, it can be unsafe in high doses, which is why professional whitening procedures can use far greater hydrogen peroxide levels (often 25-40%) than home kits.
Using carbamide peroxide instead of just hydrogen peroxide enhances the product’s shelf life and makes it easier to store, as it is not essential to keep carbamide peroxide in the fridge. Furthermore, it reduces the chances of experiencing tooth sensitivity.
Is it safe?
The short answer is yes. Varying concentrations of carbamide peroxide (up to 35%) have been shown to be both safe and effective for treating discolored teeth. According to the study, some sensitivity was reported, but only as a short-term side effect.
However, like any product, Sheer White whitestrips are only safe when follow the instructions.
Should I expect any other side effects?
The only side effect reported by dentists and users alike appears to be potential, short-term sensitivity. Sheer White aims to decrease the likelihood of experiencing tooth sensitivity by using a slow-release carbamide peroxide compound.
However, it’s important to recognize that the whitestrips do contain a powerful compound and like with any chemical product, other side effects, while not widely reported, may occur.
If you do experience side effects, it’s important that you discuss this with your dentist, as they can advise you on your specific situation.
How long does it take to see results and how long do they last?
A full treatment of Sheer White whitestrips involves using the whitestrips for 5 consecutive days. After this, you should see substantial results. If you don’t, Sheer White recommends waiting a week before considering a top up.
The results should last 3-4 months before you need to apply the whitestrips again.
How to use Sheer White whitestrips
The box of Sheer White whitestrips comes with instructions, but even without, the concept is simple enough. Each individual packet contains two strips: one for the top set of teeth, and one for the bottom.
It’s not essential to clean your teeth before using the whitestrips, but it may produce better results.
- Attach the sticky, gel-coated side of the strip to the outside of your teeth, and then fold it underneath and back into the inner side of your teeth.
- Press all around so that it feels secure and molded to your teeth. One strip should completely cover one row of teeth – a bit like a gum shield. After 10-15 minutes the film should completely mold to your teeth. Once the strips have molded to your teeth, they should become nearly invisible. You should be able to talk and drink. As the strips cover the whole of your teeth, eating with them in place is not recommended.
- Leave the whitestrips on as you continue with your day. The Sheer White! included instructions recommend leaving the strips on for 1-2 hours, or overnight*.
- Apply daily for 5 consecutive days. After this you should see substantial results!
If you’re still struggling with applying the films, have a watch of Sheer White’s official video on how to use these strips, or head back to your dentist for advice.
*According to the manufacturer, the whitestrips work best when left on for 2-8 hours. This is because of the slow activation of carbamide peroxide. While longer applications may provide better results, you should still see adequate results after 5 consecutive days of using the strips for 1-2 hours daily.
It’s generally a matter of preference as to whether you leave them on for a few hours or more, but you’re more likely to experience tooth sensitivity if you leave them on overnight. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you cannot monitor side effects if you leave them on while you’re sleeping.
To us, it seems strange that the provider offers such variance in their time recommendations. Overall, we like it when there is a better direction from the brand on how to use their products, so that all customers can ensure they are using the whitestrips effectively.
Ease of use
Thanks to the large size of the strips, applying them to your teeth isn’t all that complicated. However, this can mean that some people may find that the strips are too large for their mouths. In this case, solutions include cutting the strips down to size (either length or width) and then applying. Once the strips are in place, they aren’t supposed to move until you pull them off: the gel is sealed in place.
This is a much easier method than products such as whitening pens, or syringes or gels as it’s much cleaner and involves less precision needed when applying. Because each packet contains strips which both directly apply the gel to the teeth and keep it there, there is no need for more complicated additions such as trays or molds.
For optimal results, dentists recommend using Sheer White! whitestrips right after cleaning your teeth.
Are there any other products I should consider?
If you’re looking for a product that involves less time investment, consider the Crest 3D White 1 Hour Express Whitestrips. Spending a little more on Amazon, you can get your hands on a 7 day whitening kit. These strips stay on your teeth for just an hour a day, and after correct use of the whitestrips for 7 days, you can expect results to last for 9 months and beyond. This is because Crest 3D Express Whitestrips contain the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide, which activates faster than carbamide peroxide.
If you struggle with tooth sensitivity, Opalescence Go may be more appropriate for you. Like Sheer White whitestrips, Opalescence contains carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient to help decrease the likelihood of experiencing sensitivity. As an extra precaution, it also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride, which both help to combat tooth sensitivity.
Sheer White remain a relatively unknown brand, under the umbrella of the CAO group. Despite this, they have become very popular, with their whitestrips being one of the most cost effective and easy methods of whitening your teeth at home. They’re a worthy competitor for drugstore brands, with a more comfortable fit than you’re likely to find on the shelves.
From a performance point of view, results are expected to last 3-4 months. It’s a reasonable length of time, but there are other home kits which produce longer-lasting results, with shorter wear times.
While I would like to see them a little more accessible to purchase, this may be a strategic move from the CAO group, who recommend that you purchase them directly from your dentist if you can.
We don’t agree that they’re “the most significant advancement in teeth whitening in nearly a decade”, but there’s no doubt that they are an effective method of whitening, and could be a good entry level whitestrip product.
1. Can these strips be worn overnight?
According to the CAO group, the whitestrips work best when left on for between 2-8 hours. The included instructions recommend using for either 1-2 hours, or overnight. They can therefore be worn overnight, but you may be more likely to experience side effects such as sensitivity if you choose to do so, so it’s worth doing a test run while you’re awake first.
2. Do I need to store Sheer White whitestrips in the fridge?
It is recommended that you store the strips in the fridge to maximise shelf life. However, because the product contains carbamide peroxide rather than hydrogen peroxide, it is not essential. You should not store Sheer Whitestrips at temperatures over 40F.
3. Can I drink while the strips are in place?
Yes, you can. Sheer White whitestrips claim to be so secure that once they’ve fully molded to your teeth (about 10-15 minutes after application) you can drink water. However, to optimize effectiveness, you should try and keep your teeth nice and dry before application: this will help them to stick better.
4. Should I clean my teeth before or after using Sheer White whitestrips?
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to cleaning teeth and whitestrips, unless the instructions specifically tell you to do one or the other – there are benefits to both. In this case, several dentists recommend cleaning your teeth before a session for optimal results.
5. Does my dentist have to recommend Sheer White whitestrips for me to be able to buy them?
While many dentists both advise about and sell Sheer White whitestrips, it is not essential for you to have a recommendation before purchasing. You should discuss with your dentist first if you are considering trying any sort of home whitening treatment, but if this is not possible for any reason, it is okay to make a purchase based on your own thorough research.
6. Can I talk when the whitestrips are in my mouth?
According to the CAO group, once the whitestrips have molded to your teeth, you should be able to continue with your normal day, including talking!