Does Hydrogen Peroxide Whiten Teeth? (2024)

Using hydrogen peroxide in a rinse or a paste may help whiten your teeth. But a high concentration may cause side effects, including damaging your teeth.

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Teeth whitening has become more popular in recent years as more products come onto the market. But many of these products can be quite expensive, leading people to look for cheaper remedies.

The most affordable way to whiten teeth at home — and the remedy supported by the most significant body of research — is the main ingredient from most teeth-whitening products: hydrogen peroxide.

Here’s what you need to know: Most hydrogen peroxide bottles you can buy at a drugstore or grocery store are diluted to around 3 percent. The amount of hydrogen peroxide in commercial whitening treatments varies and can be as much as 10 percent in some products.

But studies suggest dilution is a good thing when it comes to using hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening. Concentrations that are too strong can damage the enamel, or outer coating, of your teeth.

In a 2007 study, scientists applied diluted hydrogen peroxide solutions of 10, 20, and 30 percent to human teeth that had been extracted for varying amounts of time.

They found that higher concentration solutions caused more damage to teeth, as did keeping the teeth in contact with hydrogen peroxide for a longer amount of time.

This suggests that low-concentration treatments of hydrogen peroxide, applied for shorter periods, have the least potential to damage your teeth.

According to a 2004 study, scientists found that a 5 percent hydrogen peroxide solution was just as effective as a 25 percent solution at whitening teeth. But to achieve the same level of whiteness, one would need to whiten teeth with the 5 percent solution 12 times to get the same level of whitening as one time with the 25 percent solution.

This means if you’re using short, low-concentration treatments, you’ll have to perform more treatments to achieve your desired whiteness.

There are two ways: swishing it around your mouth, or mixing it with baking soda and setting it on your teeth as a paste before rinsing.

Using hydrogen peroxide as a rinse

  1. Mix equal amounts hydrogen peroxide with water, such as 1/2 cup to 1/2 cup.
  2. Swish this mixture around your mouth for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Stop and spit out the solution if it’s hurting your mouth and try not to swallow any of the mixture.

Using hydrogen peroxide in a paste

  1. Mix a few teaspoons of baking soda in a dish with a small amount of peroxide.
  2. Start to mix the soda and peroxide with a clean spoon.
  3. Keep adding a little bit more peroxide until you get a thick — but not gritty — paste.
  4. Use a toothbrush to apply the paste to your teeth using small circular motions. Brush for no longer than 2 minutes.
  5. Then, thoroughly rinse off the paste by swishing water around your mouth.

Make sure you remove all of the paste before moving on with your day.

Several studies suggest that using hydrogen peroxide — whether in a commercial product or at home — can cause damage to your teeth. The risk of damage increases when you:

  • use a very strong hydrogen peroxide solution, such as concentrations above 3 percent
  • leave the hydrogen peroxide in contact with your teeth for a long time (longer than 1 minute if swishing or 2 minutes if brushing as a paste)
  • apply the hydrogen peroxide to your teeth too many times (more than once daily)

Talk with your dentist before applying any hydrogen peroxide to your teeth to determine which strategy and application schedule makes the most sense for your situation.

Teeth sensitivity is perhaps the most common side effect of hydrogen peroxide use. You may find consuming hot or cold foods or liquids unpleasant after a peroxide treatment. Avoid doing so for as long as you experience pain.

This happens because peroxide can cause significant damage to the protective enamel of teeth if used too often or in too-high concentrations.

More serious side effects of hydrogen peroxide whitening include inflammation of the teeth roots in the gums. This problem can lead to secondary issues, such as infection, which can be expensive to treat.

Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive household product you probably have on hand right now.

When used carefully, it can be an effective way to whiten your teeth. But if used incorrectly — in concentrations that are too high or if used too often — it can cause serious and sometimes expensive tooth damage.

If you choose to whiten your teeth with hydrogen peroxide, do so cautiously. If you have any concerns, see your dentist, who can give you advice on the best way to whiten for your dental health.

In the meantime, you can preserve your teeth’s whiteness and prevent further staining by avoiding foods and drinks that can stain your teeth.

This includes:

  • energy drinks
  • coffee
  • tea and red wine
  • carbonated beverages, which may make your teeth more prone to staining
  • candy
  • berries, including blackberries
  • blueberries
  • strawberries and raspberries
  • tomato-based sauces
  • citrus fruits

If you do consume these foods and drinks, rinsing or brushing your teeth afterward can prevent staining.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Whiten Teeth? (2024)


Does Hydrogen Peroxide Whiten Teeth? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive household product you probably have on hand right now. When used carefully, it can be an effective way to whiten your teeth. But if used incorrectly — in concentrations that are too high or if used too often — it can cause serious and sometimes expensive tooth damage.

How long does it take for hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth? ›

Generally at this concentration you would need to have your teeth in contact with the 3% hydrogen peroxide for about 5 hours a day for about 2-3 weeks to have meaningful tooth whitening, which is very difficult to do with a watery liquid.

Is it safe to put hydrogen peroxide in your mouth to whiten teeth? ›

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.

Does hydrogen peroxide get rid of yellow teeth? ›

Peroxide can partially penetrate the layers of the teeth, removing compounds that cause discoloration. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in store-bought teeth whitening kits can be as high as 10%. Dentists may also offer whitening treatments with hydrogen peroxide concentrations of up to 40%.

Is it okay to brush your teeth with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide? ›

For deeper cleaning, people safely can mix baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to create a toothpaste. However, since hydrogen peroxide can sting, people with sensitive teeth and gums should discontinue using this paste if they experience pain or discomfort.

What is the best tooth whitening product? ›

The Best Teeth Whitening Kits, According to Dentists
  • OpalescenceGo Prefilled Teeth Whitening Trays, Set of 10. ...
  • Burst Prefilled Whitening Trays, Set of 3. ...
  • PhilipsZoom NiteWhite Kit, Set of 3. ...
  • Dr. ...
  • Colgate Optic White ComfortFit Teeth Whitening Kit. ...
  • Auraglow Teeth Whitening Kit. ...
  • Crest3D Whitestrips, Pack of 22.
Sep 20, 2023

What are the cons of using hydrogen peroxide for teeth? ›

This happens because peroxide can cause significant damage to the protective enamel of teeth if used too often or in too-high concentrations. More serious side effects of hydrogen peroxide whitening include inflammation of the teeth roots in the gums.

How can I naturally whiten my teeth? ›

Brush with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste:

Baking soda has teeth whitening properties; that's why it's prevalent in toothpaste commercials. It helps in rubbing off stains from the tooth surface due to its mildly abrasive nature. Hydrogen peroxide, on the other hand, is a natural bleaching agent.

How fast does baking soda whiten teeth? ›

But on average, it can start to remove surface stains within just 2 days. However, it may take as long as two to three weeks to notice small noticeable results. Severity of Stains. The time it takes to see results with baking soda depends on the severity and nature of the stains.

How do I get rid of yellow teeth ASAP? ›

Remedies for yellow teeth
  1. Brushing your teeth. Your first plan of action should be to brush your teeth more often and in the correct manner. ...
  2. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. ...
  3. Coconut oil pulling. ...
  4. Apple cider vinegar. ...
  5. Lemon, orange, or banana peels. ...
  6. Activated charcoal. ...
  7. Eating fruits and vegetables with a higher water content.

Does Listerine remove yellow teeth? ›

How to Remove Teeth Stains with a Teeth Whitening Mouthwash. Getting a bright white smile has never been easier, now with Listerine's teeth whitening range. By adding a whitening mouthwash into your daily routine in the morning and before your bedtime, you can confidently go about your day with a fresh, bright smile.

Can I brush my teeth with hydrogen peroxide every day? ›

Hydrogen peroxide removes stains from your teeth, making them feel smooth and clean. However, this can be dangerous if you use too much of the product or apply it too often. If you do this more than once a day or week, then there is a chance that your enamel can become eroded.

Is 6% hydrogen peroxide safe for teeth whitening? ›

Choose the right concentration: A low concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide (around 3% to 6%) is safe to use for teeth whitening usually without any side effects. Hydrogen Peroxide can produce certain side effects like gum or tooth sensitivity if used often in high concentration.

How to whiten teeth quickly? ›

Seven Ways to Naturally Whiten Teeth
  1. Eat Strawberries. One of the simplest ways to naturally whiten your teeth is just by eating strawberries. ...
  2. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables. ...
  3. Brush After You Eat or Drink. ...
  4. Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  5. Apply Coconut Oil. ...
  6. Brush Your Tongue. ...
  7. Use Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide.

How to make homemade teeth whitening? ›

Pinterest Tip: Mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Use a Q-tip or cotton ball and gently swab teeth. After 30 seconds, rinse and brush teeth.

What happens if you leave hydrogen peroxide on teeth too long? ›

It is not recommended that you leave hydrogen peroxide on your teeth overnight as it could cause erosion to your tooth enamel or irritation to your gums.

How to get white teeth in 1 day with toothpaste? ›

All you need to do is to put your regular toothpaste on your toothbrush and then add a little quantity of powdered milk on top of the toothpaste and then brush your teeth. Ensure to rinse your mouth properly after brushing. After a short while, you will notice that your teeth will become whiter than they use to be.

What percentage of peroxide do dentists use to whiten teeth? ›

In-office systems contain from 15% to 43% peroxide. Generally, the stronger the solution and the longer you keep it on your teeth, the whiter your teeth become. But the higher the percentage of peroxide in the whitening solution, the shorter it should stay on your teeth.

How long does hydrogen peroxide take to work? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is another antiseptic, or disinfectant, that kills viruses and various forms of bacteria. But it needs more time than rubbing alcohol does to kill germs. It needs up to 5 minutes to do its job.

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