Do Whitening Strips Work on Yellow Teeth?

Written by Dr. Brian Harris

August 07, 2023

Do whitening strips work on yellow teeth? This is a common question.  

We're here to shed light on the science behind yellow teeth and the magic of whitening strips. Ready for a journey into the heart of a brighter, whiter smile? Let's dive right in!

What this article covers:

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

Yellow teeth are caused by a number of factors. Let’s look into the top three below.  

Part Of The Natural Aging Process

First off, it's essential to remember that tooth yellowing isn't entirely unnatural or alarming. Our teeth are made up of layers, the outermost being the tooth enamel, which has a naturally bright, white shade. 

Below that is dentin, a yellowish-brown substance. As we get older, the enamel gradually thins out, making the dentin more visible—et voila, this results in a yellow tinge on your teeth. 

teeth whitening strips and their impact on yellow teeth

Diet And Lifestyle Choices 

A significant part of yellowing teeth can be attributed to our diet and lifestyle choices. 

Consuming foods and drinks with high staining potential (think coffee, tea, red wine, soda, berries, or curry) can leave their mark over time. 

The tannins present in some of these items can cause color compounds to stick to your teeth, leading to gradual discoloration. 

Smoking or chewing tobacco is another lifestyle choice that significantly contributes to yellow teeth. These products contain nicotine and tar, notorious for their staining abilities.

Poor Oral Hygiene 

Failing to brush and floss regularly can lead to plaque build-up, which not only harms your oral health but also has a yellowing effect on your teeth.

While all this might sound disheartening, especially if you're asking yourself if strips work on yellow teeth, don't worry. With a comprehensive selection of at-home products specifically designed to whiten teeth and help you combat tooth yellowing, you’ll be flashing your smile in no time.

teeth whitening strips vs yellow teeth

Understanding Teeth Whitening Strips 

Do whitening strips actually work on yellow teeth? Let's delve into what these potent little helpers are and how they can reinstate your smile's brilliance. 

What Are Teeth Whitening Strips? 

Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible pieces of plastic designed to bind to teeth and tackle surface stains and discoloration. The American Dental Association (ADA) reported in a study that whitening strips containing hydrogen peroxide can effectively lighten and whiten teeth.

How Do Teeth Whitening Strips Work? 

The magic of a whitening strip lies in the hydrogen peroxide. When applied to the teeth, it breaks down into tiny oxygen molecules that penetrate the enamel and dentin. These molecules break apart the compounds causing discoloration, thereby lightening the color of the tooth overall.

Now, you might be wondering, "How long do teeth whitening strips take to work?" Typically, noticeable results can be seen after a few days, but teeth whitening strips often take about two weeks to take full effect. 

Are Teeth Whitening Strips Permanent? 

In answer to the question “are teeth whitening strips permanent?”, the answer is no. While they can effectively lighten your teeth, teeth whitening strips aren't permanent. 

Over time, lifestyle factors (like the food and drink we mentioned earlier) can re-stain your teeth. That said, with good oral hygiene and periodic touch-ups, you can maintain your whiter smile.

Tips For Applying Whitening Strips 

Now, "Should your teeth be dry when applying whitening strips?" The answer is yes, your teeth should be dry when applying whitening strips. A dry surface allows the strips to stick like glue. 

And speaking of what affects dry teeth, "does saliva ruin teeth whitening strips?" Saliva won’t ruin teeth whitening strips, even with a lot in your mouth. All you need to do is dry your teeth with a cloth and then apply the strips.

"Do whitening strips work on bonded teeth or crowns?" Whitening strips work best on natural teeth in comparison with bonded teeth. They aren't as effective on bonding materials or crowns, as they don't respond to bleaching like natural enamel does. 

If you’re still wondering “Should I whiten my teeth before getting a crown?, it’s best to whiten teeth first to match the shade you’re looking for after getting dental bonding or crowns.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Whitening Strips

Are you ready to venture into the world of tooth whitening strips, and eager to answer the question, "Do whitening strips work on yellow teeth?" 

how teeth whitening strips work

Let’s take a look at how you can get the most out of your whitening strips. 

Prepping For The Process 

First and foremost, start with a clean canvas. Brush and floss your teeth to remove any food debris and plaque that could hinder the whitening process. However, to avoid gum irritation, wait for about 30 minutes post-cleaning before you apply the strips. 

The Art Of Application 

Here's where precision matters. Align the strip carefully with your gum line, then press it onto your teeth, smoothing out any bubbles. Use one strip on your top teeth and another on the bottom. 

Fold the excess strip behind your teeth for a secure fit, then wait for it to dissolve. Don't eat or drink anything for 15-30 minutes after they dissolve.

Remember: dry teeth are your friends. The drier your teeth, the better the strips will adhere, giving the hydrogen peroxide a better chance to work its magic.

Timing Is Key 

How long does it take for teeth whitening strips to work? While it varies by brand and the level of discoloration, you’ll notice results within just a few days and significant improvement after two weeks.

We determined through our tests that you should resist the temptation to leave the strips on longer than directed, thinking it'll speed up the process. This can cause gum irritation and heightened tooth sensitivity. Rather follow the package instructions for optimal results. 

Consistency Counts 

Regular and consistent use (as per the packaging instructions) is crucial when it comes to your treatment plan. For the best outcome, ensure to stick to the guided application timelines. 

Post-Whitening Care 

Once you've completed your whitening session, avoid eating or drinking staining foods and beverages for 15-30 minutes. This gives the enamel time to remineralize and can help maintain your results for longer.

do whitening strips work on yellow teeth

Our expert tip? If you experience any tooth sensitivity, try using a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth. It can be a total game-changer! 

Complimentary Products for Whitening Strips

We’ve learned that whitening strips tackle surface stains and can substantially whiten teeth, but they may not fully eliminate deep, stubborn stains. Furthermore, whitening strips usually can't alter the color of dental restorations like crowns, veneers, or bonded teeth. 

If whitening strips aren't quite hitting the mark, you don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet with professional teeth whitening treatments. 

Instead, there’s a convenient and comprehensive range of tooth whitening products below designed to complement your tooth-whitening regimen. 

  • Whitening Mouthwash: This whitening mouthwash not only freshens your breath but also contains active whitening agents to further aid in eliminating stains, reducing tooth sensitivity, and maintaining your teeth's brightness.

teeth whitening strips for yellowish teeth

  • Teeth Whitening Kit: This all-in-one whitening kit includes a powerful gel and LED mouthpiece to speed up the whitening process. It's particularly effective for tackling stubborn stains that strips alone may not fully remove.
  • Teeth Whitening Foam: Highly effective for sensitive teeth, this foaming teeth whitening solution gently lifts stains without causing discomfort, making it a fantastic alternative or supplement to whitening strips.
  • Teeth Whitening Powder: Made from natural ingredients, this ultra-gentle teeth powder polishes your teeth and helps eliminate surface stains, enhancing the whitening effect when used alongside the strips.

do teeth whitening strips help with tooth discoloration

Whitening strips are most effective when combined with the extensive range of teeth whitening products listed above, turning yellow, discolored teeth into a brighter, whiter smile.


In answer to the burning question: "Do whitening strips work on yellow teeth?" It’s a resounding YES! With their potent bleaching abilities, they can make a significant difference in the color of your teeth. 

While they have some limitations, especially for deep, stubborn stains or dental restorations, whitening strips certainly pack a punch with combating mild to moderate discoloration. Consider using a range of products for a desirable whitening result.   

At SNOW, we offer whitening strips plus a wide range of products catered to your specific teeth-whitening needs. Whether it's our teeth whitening kit for a comprehensive treatment or our gentle whitening foam for sensitive teeth, we've got your smile covered!

Embark on a journey with us towards a brighter, whiter, more confident smile.

Did you find the blog beneficial? If so, consider exploring our other guides.