Is it Safe to Whiten Teeth with Hydrogen Peroxide?

woman with a bright white smile -is hydrogen peroxide safe to whiten teeth

Is it Safe to Whiten Teeth with Hydrogen Peroxide?

A bright smile begins with strong dental care. That means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once daily, and visiting the dentist at least twice a year. But no matter how good your daily routine may be, there are many reasons that you might not have as white of a smile as you would like. Many foods and drinks can stain your teeth, or you might have discolored enamel from poor oral care when you were younger.

If you want to whiten your teeth, it is essential that you choose the safest methods. There’s a lot of advice and fads for whiter teeth on social media that can actually cause permanent damage to your teeth. Some substances, like hydrogen peroxide, may whiten your teeth, but can also harm your gums, enamel, and health if used incorrectly. In this blog, we’ll explore whether whitening your teeth with hydrogen peroxide is actually a good idea. 

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Whiten Your Teeth?

Hydrogen peroxide is a staple in many households. It has a variety of uses, from getting wine out of fabric to sanitizing surfaces. Just like it can remove a wine stain from a tablecloth, hydrogen peroxide can also whiten stained teeth. It oxidizes the stain, breaking it apart and lifting it out of your enamel. 

For this reason, hydrogen peroxide is often used as the active ingredient in commercial tooth whiteners, and studies have shown it to be remarkably effective in safe concentrations. Keep in mind, however, that although hydrogen peroxide is effective on surface stains, it will not affect internal stains, like the discoloration of a dead or dying tooth

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe for Whitening Your Teeth? 

Hydrogen peroxide can be damaging to your gums, your tongue, and your tooth enamel, leading to painful decay that could be costly to repair. Like many chemicals, hydrogen peroxide is only safe in small doses. 

While hydrogen peroxide is generally recognized as safe for whitening, the key lies in using it in appropriate concentrations. Anything stronger than a 3% concentration is dangerous, and many whitening products dilute the solution even further. Hydrogen peroxide’s effectiveness at breaking down stains and other matter is what makes it dangerous for your body at higher concentrations. 

The longer hydrogen peroxide stays in contact with your teeth, gums, or tongue, the more damage it can cause. That is why whitening treatments that contain hydrogen peroxide are only applied for a limited amount of time. Most products recommend a maximum time of 1 – 2 minutes, once or twice a week. 

3 Ways To Use Hydrogen Peroxide 

If you would like to add hydrogen peroxide to your oral health routine, make sure to consult with your dentist first. The use of hydrogen peroxide can damage your teeth and your gums. Your dentist will be able to help you safely determine if your teeth are healthy enough for these whitening methods involving hydrogen peroxide: 

  1. Commercial Products: Choose an over-the-counter whitening product that lists hydrogen peroxide as one of the main ingredients. Be sure to follow all instructions and warnings on the package. 
  2. Oral Rinse: Dilute some hydrogen peroxide in a 1-to-1 ratio with water (¼ cup of peroxide to ¼ cup water). Rinse as you would with mouthwash for a minimum of 30 seconds, but not longer than 1 minute. DO NOT SWALLOW.
  3. Paste: Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to form a paste. Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush for 1 to 2 minutes. Rinse your mouth thoroughly. DO NOT SWALLOW.

Safe Teeth Whitening in Prescott, Arizona

If you are looking for safe, effective teeth whitening in the Prescott area, look no further than Hicks Dental Group. We have friendly, knowledgeable staff who will guide you along your whitening journey. Using only the finest, safest products, our team will deliver the results you desire. Contact us today to schedule a teeth whitening consultation. 


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/10/23). Photo by Matthew Moloney on Unsplash.