Teeth Whitening and Hydrogen Peroxide | Sherwood Dental Care (2024)

Does gargling with hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth and would it affect any fillings that I have?

Teeth Whitening and Hydrogen Peroxide | Sherwood Dental Care (1)The short answer is “No, it will not whiten your teeth and it will not harm well-fitting permanent fillings.”

What are my options for Teeth Whitening?

Interestingly, many take home whitening gels are 10% carbamide peroxide gel which breaks down to 3% hydrogen peroxide in your mouth. It is the 3% hydrogen peroxide that does the bulk of the whitening. Over the counter hydrogen peroxide solutions are also usually 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Unfortunately, with over the counter hydrogen peroxide solution it is virtually impossible to keep active hydrogen peroxide on your teeth for long enough to whiten them. 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. Your body makes an enzyme called hydrogen peroxidase which quickly inactivates hydrogen peroxide.

10% carbamide peroxide whitening gel is designed to keep releasing hydrogen peroxide and hold it against your teeth for 5+ hours. Whitening gels also generally have a desensitizing agent since hydrogen peroxide in contact with your teeth for that long can temporarily make them sensitive.

There are substantially higher concentrations of whitening gel available, but often temporary sensitivity can be a problem. The advantage of higher concentrations is they allow you to whiten your teeth in less time (faster).

Rather than gargle with hydrogen peroxide you could get Mentadent toothpaste which has hydrogen peroxide in it, but again don’t expect any meaningful whitening.

Before you get your chemistry kits out, you can buy whitening touch-up kits in our office (if you have trays) with Zoom whitening gel (which I feel is the best money can buy) currently for $19 if you are a patient. You can have molds made and custom trays made with whitening gel currently for $98.

Probably the best over the counter option is Crest Whitening Strips which do work, but are not as effective as custom whitening trays.

Teeth Whitening and Hydrogen Peroxide | Sherwood Dental Care (2024)


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.

What are the negatives of hydrogen peroxide on teeth? ›

Risks of Hydrogen Peroxide

The website Dentaly.Org stated the following "The dilution of hydrogen peroxide considered safe to use is 3%. Any higher, and you could risk damaging your enamel for good. Even then, using it for prolonged periods of time can still cause damage.

How much hydrogen peroxide do dentists use for teeth whitening? ›

In accordance with EU law, over the counter home whitening kits in the UK contain too little hydrogen peroxide (0.1%) to noticeably lighten the teeth. The legal limit for a dentist to use is between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide.

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

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.

How to whiten teeth without damaging enamel? ›

Here are six ways for you to naturally whiten your teeth without the use of any harmful chemicals:
  1. First things first, brush your teeth regularly: ...
  2. Oil pulling: ...
  3. Brush with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste: ...
  4. Rub banana, orange, or lemon peels: ...
  5. Take a diet rich in fruits and vegetables: ...
  6. Go to the dentist:

Is hydrogen peroxide good for dental health? ›

Hydrogen peroxide helps kill the bacteria responsible for gum disease in two ways. First, it releases oxygen. If you've ever noticed that peroxide bubbles, that's because it's releasing oxygen gas. Oxygen can help eliminate pathogens in the most aggressive forms of gum disease.

What happens if you use hydrogen peroxide on your teeth everyday? ›

"Prolonged bleaching with these high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, especially when used multiple days in a row, can lead to highly irritated gums and sensitive teeth," Chris Strandburg, DDS, a dentist based in California, told Health.

What do dentists use to whiten teeth? ›

Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are commonly used in whitening interventions and can readily permeate dental hard tissues. Temporary tooth sensitivity and gingival inflammation are the most common adverse effects of vital tooth whitening.

Is it safe to rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide everyday? ›

But limit its use to a few times a week to avoid irritating your gums. Negative reactions like chemical burns can occur to your oral cavity if you gargle with 3% hydrogen peroxide for more than 2 minutes.

Why is hydrogen peroxide banned in the UK? ›

Creams containing these substances are illegal to be sold in the UK and Europe, because of the damaging and unpleasant side effects that can occur from prolonged use. to contain illegal and dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide, in as much as 300 times the safe, legal limit.

What is the best DIY teeth whitening? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach that can help to whiten stained teeth . For optimal whitening, a person can try brushing with a mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for 1–2 minutes twice a day for a week.

What are the rules for teeth whitening? ›

You should not eat, drink or smoke whilst wearing the trays. The whitening process works at different rates for each individual, but most patients report that a noticeable effect after just four treatments. Sufficient gel is given for the initial process to work.

Is it safe to use straight hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth? ›

For the past 60 years or so, swishing with hydrogen peroxide has been a “whitening fad” in oral health regimens. Usually store-bought hydrogen peroxide has a concentration of about 3%, so it's safe for your mouth. At only 3% hydrogen peroxide and 97% water, it's so unstable that it can just turn into water over time.

What percentage of hydrogen peroxide is best for teeth whitening? ›

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.

Can you leave hydrogen peroxide on your teeth overnight? ›

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.

Is it harmful to rinse mouth with hydrogen peroxide? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is used widely in professionally and self-administered products. Hydrogen peroxide is a highly reactive substance which can damage oral soft tissues and hard tissues when present in high concentrations and with exposures of prolonged duration.

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

Gargling with undiluted hydrogen peroxide can lead to chemical burns in the mouth and throat, severe irritation of the oral tissues, abdominal pain, and vomiting if swallowed. It can also disrupt the natural balance of oral flora and potentially cause other oral health issues.

What are the side effects of hydrogen peroxide toothpaste? ›

5.1 The two most common side effects of using tooth whitening products containing hydrogen peroxide are mouth irritation and increased tooth sensitivity to temperature changes. Both effects are temporary.

What is the best mouthwash for whitening teeth? ›

Colgate Optic White Whitening Mouthwash is renowned for its strong formula and quick results when it comes to achieving a whiter smile. It contains 2% hydrogen peroxide, offering effective teeth whitening properties. It's recommended by dentists for its ability to deliver professional-level whitening at home.


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