Hydrogen peroxide is a cheap and common antiseptic liquid often found in the home first aid kits and medicine cabinets. When poured over a minor cut or burn, it helps to prevent the development of infection. In addition to being an effective antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide can also eliminate stains by breaking polymers (chains of molecules) into monomers (smaller units of molecules). Hydrogen peroxide — especially when combined with a whitening substance like baking soda — is a common homemade option for bleaching hair and even teeth. Using hydrogen peroxide out of the bottle to whiten your teeth, though, is potentially dangerous and harmful. Here’s what you need to know about how hydrogen peroxide is and can be used to whiten teeth.
How to whiten your teeth with hydrogen peroxide
A standard bottle of hydrogen peroxide you might buy in a drug store for your first aid kit will be at a 3% concentration. Teeth whitening kits that you can buy in the same drugstore — teeth whitening strips, for example — typically hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of up to 10%. Dentists use bleaching compounds that also contain hydrogen peroxide, but those professional bleaching compounds use concentrations of up to 40%. That’s why you can obtain the best result for teeth whitening in Dryden from a dentist rather than by using over-the-counter DIY strips.
Can you make your own whitening compounds using hydrogen peroxide?
You can make a teeth bleaching compound using hydrogen peroxide that you purchase at drugstores and found at home — even at a concentration of just 3%. A lot of people assume that using a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide will be safe because it’s relatively weak, but that’s not entirely true. The potential harm that comes from using hydrogen peroxide comes from leaving hydrogen peroxide on your teeth for too long in addition to what concentration of hydrogen peroxide is used. Higher concentrations generally don’t need as long to have a whitening effect, meaning they cause less harm to tooth enamel. A concentration as weak as 1.5% can even produce whitening effects after just four weeks of use.
How to make a safe hydrogen peroxide solution at home
When it comes to making a safe hydrogen peroxide solution at home, you’ve got a couple of choices: mouthwash or paste. To make a hydrogen peroxide-based mouthwash, combine two ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 ounces of water in a small cup. Simply swish that solution in your mouth for two to four minutes, then spit it out. Don’t swallow it.
To make a hydrogen peroxide-based toothpaste combine one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to gradually to a small amount of baking soda gradually until you’ve made a smooth and thick toothpaste-like substance. Use your toothbrush to apply that paste to your teeth, then let it sit on your teeth for a few minutes before rinsing your teeth thoroughly without swallowing it.
Using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth can cause sensitive teeth and gums and some gum irritation and inflammation. If you experience those or other symptoms, stop using any hydrogen peroxide solution and contact a dentist near you for advice.
As you can see, you can use hydrogen peroxide at home to whiten your teeth, but that doesn’t mean that you should or that you need to. To obtain faster, whiter and brighter results more safely and more comfortably, make an appointment at a dental clinic in Dryden and ask them to professionally clean and whiten your teeth. The staff at a dental clinic near you will use compounds that contain or produce hydrogen peroxide, but at stronger concentrations along with specialized equipment to produce quick and transformative results.