Should I Dry My Teeth Before Whitening Strips?

Written by Dr. Brian Harris

August 07, 2023

Whitening strips are some of the best DIY solutions for easy and safe teeth whitening. While they are easy to use, they come with instructions you must follow closely to get the brightest smile possible.

You're not alone if you're wondering, ‘Should I dry my teeth before whitening strips?’. This is one of the most common questions among pearly smile enthusiasts looking to enhance their smiles. 

Drying your teeth will help the strips stick properly and give you the best results - but that's not all. This article discusses the best tips for keeping your teeth dry to achieve a brilliant smile with whitening strips.

What this article covers:

What Are Whitening Strips and Should You Dry Your Teeth Before Using Them?

Whitening strips are thin pieces of plastic coated in hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that removes stains from your teeth's enamel. Depending on the product and desired whitening result, it can be used in various concentrations.

Don't take any chances when looking for whitening strips to improve your smile. Go for the best brands that contain the right amount of active ingredients. 

how to keep whitening strips on teeth

These dental strips are the only whitening product patented with P3 technology. This technology works more effectively than other whitening strips, providing up to 7 shades of lighter teeth in one box. They're safe for everyone, including those with sensitive teeth.

So, do you dry your teeth before whitening strips? Yes, always dry your teeth before using whitening strips. Dry teeth equal ultra-sticky strips, which leads to amazing whitening results.

What Causes Moisture on Teeth? 

Moisture reduces the effectiveness of whitening strips, and they won’t stick to damp surfaces. So, what causes moisture on teeth?

Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing teeth right before the application can leave some of the toothpaste foam behind on the teeth. From our years of experience, we’ve found that this can prevent the whitening strips from sticking properly or even dissolve them entirely. When strips stick to your teeth unevenly, the whitening process is less effective and might cause a blotchy effect.

when should you use teeth whitening strips

Excessive Saliva In The Mouth

The most common cause of moisture on teeth is saliva. Does saliva ruin teeth whitening strips? Yes, saliva does ruin teeth whitening strips when it reacts with the hydrogen peroxide gel, which reduces adhesion and its whitening effect.

Excessive saliva is normal when you place any foreign object in your mouth. So, don't freak out when you're in the middle of your whitening session and saliva starts to form; it's totally normal.

How long do teeth whitening strips take to work? Teeth whitening strips take as little as 7-14 days to work and make your teeth visibly whiter. How long do teeth whitening strips last? Teeth whitening strips can whiten your teeth up to 7 brighter shades and last for several months at a time.

Best Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Dry While Using Whitening Strips

Let's look at some must-follow tips for keeping your teeth dry while using whitening strips.

Floss And Brush Without Toothpaste First

Flossing and brushing help get rid of dirt and plaque. When they’re trapped under the strip, they prevent the gel from permeating the enamel. From our research, we’ve found that it’s best that you don't use fluoride toothpaste during this process because it makes the strips ineffective. Use a wet brush to clean your teeth instead, then rinse with plain water.

Place Whitening Strips On Dry Teeth

Our findings show that saliva takes about 15-30 minutes to evaporate after cleaning your teeth. Wait about 30 minutes for the moisture to evaporate before applying the strips. Invest in a good-quality cheek retractor to prevent excessive drool from moistening your teeth.

Wear Them For 10-15 Minutes

The right amount of exposure makes all the difference when using dental strips. As per our expertise, wearing them for about 10-15 minutes yields the best whitening results. Ensure the strips don't touch your gum to avoid damaging its soft tissue.

Remove Whitening Strips

Take the strips off at the end of the time allotted and rinse your teeth with water. Always use dental strips in moderation and check the manufacturer's instructions for the right frequency of use. Using whitening strips too often erodes the enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to decay.

dry teeth before white strips

Brush Your Teeth With Water Afterward

After application, brush your teeth once more with plain water to remove any residual gel left on the teeth. Don't use toothpaste at this stage; it could interact with the active ingredients in the strips and render them useless.

Are teeth whitening strips permanent? Unfortunately, whitening strips aren’t permanent. But you get up to 28 whitening strips per pack. That means 14 whitening sessions from top to bottom in the comfort of your own home, which can keep your teeth sprkling for several months at a time. 


These tips will help you get the most out of your whitening strips. Keep in mind that consistent use (within reason) yields better results than sporadic use. 

Remember to also practice good oral hygiene before and after using dental strips. With patience and consistency, you'll be flashing a pearly white smile in no time. 

Looking for the best dental strips on the market? SNOW's teeth whitening strips work like magic, lightening your teeth up to 7 shades in no time.

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