Does Saliva Ruin Teeth Whitening Strips?

Written by Dr. Brian Harris

August 07, 2023

Does saliva ruin teeth whitening strips? Teeth whitening, like any beauty endeavor, is wrapped in a mix of fact and fiction. But don't worry; we're here to guide you through the maze of misinformation surrounding teeth whitening.  

We’ll set the record straight once and for all on foaming and excessive saliva and how exactly it affects whitening strips.

What this article covers:

The Role of Saliva in Oral Health 

Saliva might not be the topic of our everyday conversations, but it plays an underrated part in our overall oral health. Before we address whether excess saliva ruins teeth whitening strips, let's shed some light on what saliva is and what role it plays in our mouths. 

what happens when teeth whitening strips come in contact with saliva

Saliva: The Unsung Hero Of Your Mouth 

According to our research, saliva increases to perform multiple oral functions for the well-being of our teeth and gums. 

It’s a constant cleansing agent, washing away food particles and bacteria that can lead to dental issues like cavities or gum disease. Plus, it neutralizes the acids produced by the bacteria in our mouths to prevent enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Saliva also aids in digestion and prevents stomach irritation, which comes in handy in case you accidentally swallow some whitening strips. 

As you swallow saliva, its built in enzymes break down food, making it easier for us to swallow and digest what we eat. When you think about it, saliva is the unsung hero of our mouths!

Saliva: The Natural Tooth Shield 

Saliva contains essential minerals like calcium and phosphate ions to reinforce and rebuild the enamel. Think of it as a natural shield against decay and tooth sensitivity, working overtime to protect your teeth.

In the context of getting your teeth whitened, saliva's rinsing function can seem like a double-edged sword. On one side, it helps keep our mouths clean. On the other hand, foaming or excessive saliva may seem like it's interfering with the teeth whitening process.

Now that we've unraveled the crucial role of saliva in maintaining oral health, let’s bust some sensitive teeth whitening myths!

teeth whitening strips and the impact of saliva

Saliva and Teeth Whitening: Some Common Misconceptions 

This misconception might’ve originated from the experience one has when trying to apply whitening strips. It's like trying to put a sticker on a wet surface - its natural reaction is not to stick as well. 

This can lead to the belief that foaming or excessive saliva is somehow damaging or diminishing the effectiveness of the strips.

In truth, while foaming or excessive saliva increases the difficulty of applying teeth whitening strips, it definitely doesn't 'ruin' them. Nor does it diminish the whitening power of the strips. 

Let's explain it in a bit more detail. The active whitening ingredients in strips are typically held within a peroxide gel and designed to be ultra resilient. 

Yes, foaming or excessive saliva increases the dilution of the whitening gel, but the natural reaction and concentration of the active ingredient remain potent enough to adequately do their job - whitening your teeth. 

An increase in saliva is a totally natural reaction. There are techniques to minimize the slipperiness, like drying your teeth before application or keeping your mouth open for a minute after applying the strips. Remember, it's more about the application itself, not a battle against your saliva while using strips!

Tips for Effective Use of Teeth Whitening Strips 

Now that we've cracked the case on foaming or excessive saliva ruining teeth whitening strips, let's turn our attention to some pro tips to ensure you get the most out of your at-home kit. 

Understanding How Teeth Whitening Strips Work 

To get the best results, it helps to understand how teeth whitening strips work.

These small, flexible dental strips are coated with a gel that contains a whitening agent like hydrogen peroxide. As you stick the strips onto your teeth, the gel gets to work breaking down the discoloration on your tooth enamel, leading to a brighter smile. 

what happens if you swallow teeth whitening strips

Drying Your Teeth Before Application: Yay Or Nay? 

A question we often hear is, "Should you dry your teeth before applying whitening strips?" Well, this can indeed make a difference. 

As mentioned above, foaming or excessive saliva increases the slippery application process. After conducting experiments with it, drying your teeth before you apply the strips can help counter that slipperiness, making the strips adhere better.

Keeping The Whitening Strips On Your Teeth 

You may wonder, “How to keep whitening strips on teeth?” Here's a simple two-step approach: Firstly, ensure your teeth are dry before application, as we just mentioned. Secondly, apply the strips firmly and make sure they're in the right place before you close your mouth. 

The Waiting Game: How Long Do Teeth Whitening Strips Take To Work? 

A whitening treatment isn't instant. Generally, when it comes to answering the question, “How long do teeth whitening strips take to work?, you'll need to leave them on for about 30-60 minutes, according to the product instructions. 

Over several days or weeks, you'll start noticing your teeth getting whiter. Remember, consistency is key!

The Permanency Question: Are Teeth Whitening Strips Permanent? 

In case you're wondering, "Are teeth whitening strips permanent?" Unfortunately, the answer is no; teeth whitening strips aren’t permanent. Their longevity depends on your lifestyle and dietary habits. But with regular use, you can keep your pearly whites for a long time! 

The Deal With Composite Bonding And Teeth Crowns 

Planning to get composite bonding to whiten teeth? You might also be pondering, "Should I whiten my teeth before getting a crown?" The answer is yes - you should whiten your teeth before getting a crown. This is because the bonding material or crown is matched to your existing tooth color.

Since teeth whitening products work best with natural teeth, use your nifty whitening strips before any orthodontic work for the best aesthetic results. 

When it comes to teeth whitening, your saliva isn't the enemy - it's all about the technique, patience, and strength of the whitening agent. 

Pairing Strips with Other Teeth Whitening Products 

While whitening strips are undoubtedly a hero in the quest for a dazzling smile, they aren't the only tools at your disposal. You can certainly enhance your teeth whitening journey by pairing these strips with other at-home products.

The Comprehensive Teeth Whitening Kit 

does saliva compromise teeth whitening strips

A teeth whitening kit typically includes more than just strips. It's a comprehensive package designed to give you an all-round teeth whitening experience at home. 

You'll often find products like teeth whitening gels, custom-fit trays, and even an LED light to speed up the process. Combined with the strips, this kit can help you achieve professional-grade results right at home. 

The Magic Of Whitening Mouthwash 

Mouthwash for teeth whitening is another excellent companion for your whitening strips. Besides freshening your breath, a good whitening mouthwash helps maintain the whiteness of your teeth by removing surface stains. It's the perfect finishing touch after you've used your strips.

teeth whitening strips and saliva interaction

Foam And Powder: The Dynamic Duo 

Foam whitening toothpaste and teeth powder can add an extra punch to your whitening regimen. These products contain ingredients that gently scrub away stains, boosting the effects of your whitening strips. 

They're also very easy to use. Just apply them like toothpaste and let them work their magic!

The Whitening Toothbrush: Your Daily Whitening Ally 

An electric whitening toothbrush is designed to help maintain your newly whitened smile. These brushes typically come with bristles or a design that helps polish and clean your teeth more effectively. It's a daily step towards maintaining that radiant smile.

Combining strips with other teeth whitening products can help you achieve your desired results faster and more effectively. 

does saliva affect teeth whitening strips


We've successfully debunked the myth and put any uncertainties to rest: foaming or excessive saliva does not ruin teeth whitening strips. In fact, your saliva increases your chances of maintaining good oral health.

With the right technique and supplementary whitening products, you can navigate your teeth whitening journey like a pro! 

At SNOW, we're always ready to guide you on your journey to a brighter smile. So, why not start your teeth whitening adventure with us today? 

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