Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Whitening: Is It Safe? [Expert Tips]

If you’re considering brightening your smile, you’re probably questioning, ‘is teeth whitening safe for teeth?’ Many teeth-whitening products use hydrogen peroxide as the active whitening agent, which is found to be safe and effective in whitening teeth when used appropriately. Hydrogen peroxide toothpaste and hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening gel are commonly found over-the-counter. In this article we will explore hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening.

Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Whitening

What is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening is safe and effective when used at appropriate concentrations and according to manufacturer’s instructions. Hydrogen peroxide helps break down stains on teeth through a chemical oxidation process. It can penetrate through the dental enamel external surface stains and internal stains. Hydrogen peroxide also acts as a mild antiseptic agent, which makes it effective in combating microorganisms.

Do Dentists Recommend Hydrogen Peroxide?

Is hydrogen peroxide safe for teeth? According to the American Dental Association (ADA), hydrogen peroxide is generally considered safe when used in over-the-counter products at concentrations no greater than 3.5%. One of the safest ways to use hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening is through your dental professionals. It is also recommended to use ADA-approved whitening products, which signify that the product has been tested for safety and efficacy. The ADA cautions that whitening products should only be used according to the instructions of your dentist or the product manufacturer.

Science Behind Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening

Using hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening has been thoroughly researched. The mechanism of action of hydrogen peroxide involves a chemical process of oxidation. Hydrogen peroxide permeates into the dental enamel and dentin. Teeth bleaching occurs when the reactive oxygen molecules from hydrogen peroxide interact with colored compounds and break them down.

Safety Profile of Hydrogen Peroxide for Oral Use

Hydrogen peroxide gel for teeth whitening and the use of hydrogen peroxide in other products is considered safe when used appropriately, according to the ADA. Currently, the FDA approves hydrogen peroxide for use as an oral antiseptic agent, but has not yet classified its use in whitening products. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) cautions against use of teeth whitening for children with remaining baby teeth. Common adverse effects of teeth whitening include tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. These issues often resolve on their own after teeth whitening is stopped.

How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide for Teeth Whitening Safely

Wondering how to use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth? You can easily find hydrogen peroxide in mouthwashes, toothpaste, gels, pens, strips, and other whitening products. Using these products is fairly simple and the instructions are generally easy-to-follow. Whitening toothpastes and rinses often have low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and should be used at least twice daily for two minutes.Research reports that whitening products and treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations over 6% should only be used under the supervision of a dental professional.

Brushing Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide Toothpaste

If you are looking for a hydrogen peroxide toothpaste, choose one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. When used as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions, hydrogen peroxide toothpastes can be safe and effective in removing external stains. You should brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums, gently applying back-and-forth strokes. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes per session.

Swishing With Hydrogen Peroxide Solutions

Guide on how to prepare a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution for swishing, including duration aIt can be easy to find over-the-counter mouthwashes that contain on average 1.5%-3% hydrogen peroxide. Look for rinses containing the ADA Seal of Acceptance. At-home preparations of hydrogen peroxide can be riskier. You may be more subject to adverse complications including chemical burns, gum irritation, and tooth sensitivity. If preparing your own solution at home, use no more than 3% hydrogen peroxide. Prepare a cup with half part water and half part hydrogen peroxide to swish around with and spit out, using two times a day.

Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening Gel Application

Once you have seen your dentist and are approved for teeth whitening, your first step before applying the whitening gel is to brush and floss your teeth. Next, try in your trays without any whitening gel to ensure good fit. Fill the trays with the whitening gel according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In general, only a small drop of the teeth whitening gel should be placed on the inner front part of the tray per tooth. It is often only recommended to bleach the visible front teeth. Next, insert the trays and press firmly against your teeth. Quickly wipe off any excess gel from your gums to avoid irritation and be careful not to swallow any of the solution. Leave the trays on for no longer than the recommended time, which can differ based on the type of whitening and manufacturer. Once the time is up, remove the trays and thoroughly rinse your mouth. Clean your whitening trays and store in a cool dry place.

Potential Side Effects and How to Mitigate Them

Like any procedure, there are potential side effects. Common side effects include tooth sensitivity to cold, hot, or sweet foods and beverages, and gum irritation, which tend to go away when teeth whitening is discontinued.

Luckily, your risk of experiencing these symptoms can be reduced. One of the best ways to lower your risk of experiencing side effects from teeth whitening is to see a dental professional before teeth whitening. Your dentist will ensure that you are a candidate for teeth whitening and can offer the best guidance for safely whitening your teeth. In addition, regularly using a toothpaste that contains fluoride and is geared to provide relief for sensitive teeth can help mitigate tooth sensitivity from teeth whitening.

If you experience discolored gums or gum soreness after a whitening procedure, it is important to follow up with your dentist. Protective gels or covers can be used over the gums to prevent bleaching material from contacting the gums. Be sure to only apply the recommended amount of whitening solution to your teeth to avoid damage to your teeth and gums.

Comparing Hydrogen Peroxide to Other Teeth Whitening Solutions

Whitening AgentEffectivenessSafetyCostRecommended Usage
Hydrogen PeroxideHighly effective in removing intrinsic and extrinsic stainsApproved by the ADA when used under specific concentrations and following manufacturer and dentist guidelines$10-$50Search for products containing the ADA Seal of Acceptance and use per product manufacturer instructions
Baking SodaEffective in removing extrinsic surface stainsNot approved for use alone as a teeth whitener by the ADA< $10Search for products containing the ADA Seal of Acceptance and use per product manufacturer instructions
CharcoalSome research reports efficacy in removing extrinsic surface stainsNot approved for use alone as a teeth whitener by the ADA$10-$50Search for products containing the ADA Seal of Acceptance and use per product manufacturer instructions
Professional TreatmentsThe most effective way to whiten teeth due to higher concentrations of whitening agents and under the supervision of a dental professionalSafest method of teeth whitening is under the supervision of a dental professional$300-$500Use according to dental professional guidelines.

Find Your Brightest Smile with Gentle Dental

Gentle Dental provides effective and safe teeth whitening services to enhance your smile and accomplish your smile goals. Schedule a consultation appointment with our team of dental experts for your best whitening treatment options. Gentle Dental offers a wide range of in-office teeth-whitening products including Zoom, Glo Whitening, Ultradent and Colgate that provide safe and fast results.

Quick Review

So, is hydrogen peroxide good for teeth whitening? The ADA promotes the safety and efficacy of hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening when used under the supervision of a dental professional or according to ADA approved manufacturer’s guidelines. Hydrogen peroxide makes teeth whiter by removing external and internal stains through the breakdown of tooth-staining compounds. Hydrogen peroxide can be provided by your dental professional via in-office teeth whitening or found in over-the-counter toothpastes, mouthwashes, gels, bleaching kits, and other popular products. Speak with your dental professional to determine if you are a candidate for teeth whitening and the safest options to do so.