Crest Professional Effects vs. Advanced Vivid
Tooth Bleaching/Whitening Strips Compared
Whitening one’s teeth used to be an affair requiring a visit to the dentist. With such a whitening currently costing about $600, there’s no wonder the market for DIY whitestrips has exploded over the last decade.
Many companies produce such products, including Listerine and Remembrandt, but at the forefront of this home-whitening trend are the products produced by Crest. Pioneers in this market, they’ve been producing whitestrips since 2001. But they’re not doing themselves any favors with their confusing marketing terms in describing their product line. They offer at least six different whitening strips (Vivid/Advanced Vivid/Professional Effects/2-Hour Express/Stain Shield/Gentle Routine), and that doesn’t even include older strips that were introduced years earlier but the company has since stopped marketing on their website (but they’re still available online).
Personally, we think this is ridiculous. Their website describing their products are full of non-informative marketing-speak and looks like it was designed solely to make it look as fancy and flashy as possible. What could “3D” possibly mean when you’re describing white strips?!
We’ve decided to take a look at Crest’s top two products, and by top we mean their most expensive (and what we’re assuming therefore their most effective) strips: Advanced Vivid and Professional Effects.
But first, a little background and history on the theory of tooth whitening:
How Tooth Whitening Works
There’s no secret formula to whitening a tooth. What you’re doing is bleaching it with hydrogen peroxide. Crest tries explaining that bleaching is effective for whitening stains beneath your enamel, while they recommend their (of course) extensive line of other whitening products, such as toothpastes and mouthwashes, to whiten stains on your enamel. We won’t go into how dubious we are of this claim, but the method of bleaching is what we’re concerned about here rather than these ancillary products.
That is, we’re going to ignore that Crest claims that bleaching doesn’t whiten above your enamel, and we’re going to focus on the core whitening method – bleaching.
The idea is that you buy a plastic strip that has hydrogen peroxide on one side, apply it to your teeth for about 30 minutes/day, and the hydrogen peroxide will gradually over time bleach your those teeth white.
Whitestrip Products in General
Knowing the basis of how a white strip works, we can then focus our attention on how whitestrip manufacturers offer these strips. They are often described as coming in pouches, but all this means is this: you naturally need two strips, one for your lower teeth, and one for your upper teeth. A pouch just refers to a pair. So if the box says it comes with 20 pouches, it means you’re getting 40 strips, but it would be good for 20 applications since you would usually apply them to both your lower teeth and upper teeth at the same time.
Each of the silver packets is a “pouch”, and in each pouch is a “count” of two whitestrips of different sizes.
On the other hand, when they refer to “count”, they’re talking about the specific number of strips, regardless of their shape or size. So each pouch has a count of 2, although those two strips aren’t interchangeable because their shapes are different. Also, what makes it confusing is that, as you can see in the pictures below, strips always come in pairs on a sheet, so the number of “sheets” of whitestrips you’ll get is always half the “count”.