Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
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Hydrogen peroxide (HP) is the main ingredient in most teeth whitening products. It's used in professional, in-office treatments and over-the-counter teeth whitening products.
HP is also used in:
According to science, hydrogen peroxide is safe for your teeth when used correctly.1, 2, 4, 6, 7
At a low concentration of 2 percent or less, hydrogen peroxide does not damage hard or soft oral tissues.11 You can use it daily in self-administered oral health care products like mouth rinses.
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At-home teeth bleaching products typically contain 5 to 10 percent hydrogen peroxide or 35 percent carbamide peroxide. They are applied for 10 to 30 minutes for multiple days in a row.
In-office treatments contain 25 to 40 percent hydrogen peroxide and stay on your teeth for a shorter time.
Hydrogen peroxide whitens your teeth by oxidizing them. It does not cause significant changes in tooth enamel.2
However, sometimes tooth whitening can cause sensitivity. This risk is increased if you have to leave the serum on your teeth for a long time or there is a very high concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the teeth whitening product.3, 4
The two main ingredients you will see in teeth whitening products are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. They are both effective ingredients for teeth whitening.
Carbamide peroxide is a water-soluble, white crystalline solid compound. It is made of carbamide, also known as urea, and hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent, antiseptic, and oxidizer. In its purest form, it's a light blue liquid with the chemical formula H2O2.
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of hydrogen peroxide whitening solutions.
Other potential side effects include damage to the enamel surface and gum irritation. But these two side effects are rare.3, 9, 10
The risk of adverse effects is increased if:
See NewMouth’s top 10 teeth whitening products of 2022.
Here are some ways to whiten your teeth with hydrogen peroxide:
NewMouth doesn't recommend DIY teeth whitening. These methods can be effective if done correctly. However, there is a much higher risk of adverse effects.
We recommend using over-the-counter treatments or commercial teeth whitening at a dentist’s office.
Two ways people use hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth themselves are:
To make a hydrogen peroxide rinse at home, follow these steps:
Accidentally swallowing household hydrogen peroxide might cause:
Swallowing a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide can cause severe stomach irritation and burns that require possible hospital admission.
You can make hydrogen peroxide paste by following these steps:
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), using a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash with a concentration higher than 3 percent is not safe. It can be irritating to the soft tissues in the mouth.
Hydrogen peroxide rinses and pastes can be too strong, potentially causing adverse reactions like:
Gas embolism can also occur. It occurs when a person ingests a high volume of hydrogen peroxide and the resultant air bubbles block the blood vessels.
Though very rare, this condition can be life-threatening. Emergency medical attention is required.
There are several methods for whitening your teeth at home that are safe and effective. Always consult your dentist beforehand and follow the instructions for each product carefully.
These products include:
When using a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, make sure it contains a concentration of 3 percent or less to avoid adverse effects like burning or pain.
If you have sensitive teeth, LED whitening kits may be a better option. They typically stay on your teeth for less time.
Your local dentist probably offers teeth whitening treatment.
The main difference between in-office treatment and over-the-counter products is that your dentist will use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide.
This means you will need fewer treatments. However, it will likely cost you more money.
If you’re considering in-office teeth whitening, call your dentist for professional advice.
NewMouth recommends over-the-counter products for whitening teeth. They are effective and affordable.
Professional whitening treatments are also extremely effective. You'll see results almost instantly.
However, professional whitening is more expensive than self-administered products.
These two methods produce identical results, according to multiple scientific studies.1, 4, 7, 8 But at-home options need to be used more often to achieve the same results.
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