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.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Whiten Teeth? (1)Share on Pinterest

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? ›

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.

Can you just use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth? ›

A simple hydrogen peroxide mouthwash may help remove mild stains. However, a person should avoid leaving hydrogen peroxide solutions on their teeth for extended periods. For people who have darker stains, stronger whitening options are available both over the counter and from a dentist.

Is 6% hydrogen peroxide strong enough to whiten teeth? ›

Conclusions: Tooth color shade can be substantially improved using a dedicated device with 6% hydrogen peroxide only.

How much hydrogen peroxide is good 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 long does hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening last? ›

It can last from a few months to up to 3 years – it varies from person to person. The whitening effect won't last as long if you smoke or drink red wine, tea or coffee, which can all stain your teeth.

How long does 6% hydrogen peroxide take to whiten teeth? ›

Boutique Whitening by Day is a 6% hydrogen peroxide gel. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down very quickly and most of the whitening e ect takes place in the first half an hour, but in order to get the full e ect of the gel, we recommend at least 1.5 hours of wear time.

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

How long does 3 hydrogen peroxide take 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.

What happens if you use too much hydrogen peroxide on teeth? ›

When used in high concentrations over an extended period of time, hydrogen peroxide can damage the protective enamel on your teeth and lead to problems such as: Teeth sensitivity. Cavities and tooth loss. Irritation and inflammation in the teeth and gums.

What level of peroxide do dentists use? ›

Tooth whitening products containing or releasing between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide can ONLY be sold to dental practitioners; For each cycle of use, the first use can ONLY be carried out by dental practitioners or under their direct supervision, if an equivalent level of safety is ensured. whitening.

Can I brush my teeth with hydrogen peroxide everyday? ›

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.

Should I brush my teeth with hydrogen peroxide everyday? ›

If you do this more than once a day or week, then there is a chance that your enamel can become eroded. A thin enamel is at risk of developing cavities because of the bacteria and acid solution in the mouth. It's important to note that it is a bleaching agent and can cause tooth sensitivity if used too frequently.

What happens if you don't dilute hydrogen peroxide for mouthwash? ›

Although hydrogen peroxide can be beneficial for certain situations, you should only use it a few times a month. Rinsing with undiluted hydrogen peroxide can burn your organs and cause internal bleeding.

How do people get their teeth so white? ›

The most common approach dentists use for brightening teeth is professional teeth whitening. It entails bleaching teeth enamel to remove surface and intrinsic stains.

How to get super white teeth? ›

For your benefit, we've provided you with seven different ways to naturally whiten your teeth.
  1. Eat 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 permanently whiten teeth? ›

One of the most effective ways to whiten teeth permanently is through professional teeth whitening procedures performed by a dentist. These treatments use potent bleaching agents that penetrate deep into the enamel, breaking down stains and discoloration.

How long does it take to whiten teeth with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda? ›

For minor stains, you may see results after just a few days. More severe stains could take up to two weeks to see noticeable results. However, if you continue using baking soda regularly, your teeth will eventually become noticeably brighter and whiter.

How to make teeth whiter in 3 minutes? ›

Rub banana, orange, or lemon peels:

Plus, it doesn't involve any harmful chemicals, so why not? To perform this “trick,” take a banana, orange, or lemon peel and gently rub it on your teeth. Keep rubbing it for about 2 minutes, then thoroughly wash your mouth and brush your teeth.


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