Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Whitening – 6 Home Remedies To Whiten Teeth

Medically reviewed by Dr. Thomas Connelly, DDS
by Pooja Karkala

The outer layer of the teeth is made up of enamel, which is mostly white. With bad dental hygiene and excessive consumption of carbonated drinks and caffeine, this layer thins away, staining your teeth and turning them yellow over time. Specialized teeth whitening toothpastes may not always live up to their claims. Even the much popular dental whitening strips could pose the risk of damaging the enamel. This is where hydrogen peroxide presents an alternative.

This simple ingredient could be used conveniently at home to whiten your teeth. In this article, we have explored the different ways hydrogen peroxide could be used as a remedy to help whiten teeth.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Good For Teeth Whitening?

Hydrogen peroxide is effective and does not cost much. Some of its key properties include:

  • It is a chemical lightening agent that helps whiten teeth by penetrating the enamel (1).
  • It possesses antimicrobial properties that can benefit people with oral ailments like plaque and gingivitis (2).
  • It can counter bad breath by eliminating the odor-causing bacteria from the mouth (3). However, do not use hydrogen peroxide directly for this purpose as it may cause mucosal abnormalities. Consult your doctor for the right method.

Thanks to its antiseptic and disinfectant properties, hydrogen peroxide has been used for ages for cleaning purposes and to heal wounds. It is getting popular as a DIY teeth whitening agent, and in the following section, we will see how it works.

How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Whiten Teeth

  1. Gargling With Hydrogen Peroxide
  2. Using Cotton Swab And Hydrogen Peroxide
  3. Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide
  4. Listerine And Hydrogen Peroxide
  5. Hydrogen Peroxide And Lemon Juice
  6. Hydrogen Peroxide And Salt

Whiten Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide Using These Methods

1. Gargling With Hydrogen Peroxide

The peroxide solution helps remove all harmful bacteria from your oral cavity and lighten the yellow stains on your teeth.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the two liquids and swish the mixture in your mouth for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with plain water.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2-3 times a week.

2. Cotton Swab And Hydrogen Peroxide

This can be an alternative to swishing the hydrogen peroxide solution in your mouth. The cleaning properties of hydrogen peroxide play a role here. However, this method may not be as effective as the hydrogen peroxide gargle.

You Will Need

  • 3% hydrogen peroxide solution
  • A cotton swab

What You Have To Do

  1. Dip the cotton swab in the solution and rub it against your teeth.
  2. Leave the hydrogen peroxide on for a minute or two and then rinse your mouth with water.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2-3 times a week.

3. Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

The coarseness of baking soda helps break down the yellow stains on the teeth. It basically acts as an abrasive agent. It also has teeth whitening properties (4).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide solution
  • A toothbrush

What You Have To Do

  1. Add enough peroxide solution to the baking soda to get a paste of medium consistency.
  2. Transfer this paste onto your toothbrush and brush your teeth with it.

How Often You Should Do This

Use this DIY teeth whitening toothpaste 2 times a week.

4. Listerine And Hydrogen Peroxide

While the hydrogen peroxide whitens your teeth, Listerine helps clean your teeth and oral cavity, thereby killing all harmful bacteria (5). This may also help whiten teeth.

You Will Need

  • 1 part Listerine mouthwash
  • 1 part hydrogen peroxide

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the ingredients and use the mixture as a mouthwash to rinse your mouth.
  2. Do not forget to do a final rinse with clean water.

How Often You Should Do This

You can use this mouthwash 3 times a week.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide And Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can act as a natural bleaching agent. Studies show that lemon extract and peel contain citric acid, which can help bleach the stains on the enamel (6).

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a few drops of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide to the baking soda.
  2. Mix everything well and apply this paste to your teeth.
  3. Leave it on for a minute or two.
  4. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times a week.

6. Hydrogen Peroxide And Salt

The coarseness of salt can help dislodge the yellow stains on your teeth and aid teeth whitening.

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the two ingredients and rub this paste against your teeth with either a toothbrush or your fingertip.
  2. Rub gently for 1-2 minutes and then rinse your mouth.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2 times a week.

Once you see some results, discontinue using hydrogen peroxide for a couple of weeks (you may resume again if needed). Continuous usage of hydrogen peroxide can harm your teeth. It can damage the oral tissues (7). Also, refrigerate hydrogen peroxide once you purchase it to keep it in its stabilized form for longer.

While hydrogen peroxide solution has the approval of the American Dental Association, and top dentists also recommend it for teeth stain removal, you need to proceed with caution (8). It can cause side effects in some people.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Using Hydrogen Peroxide On Teeth?

  • Using hydrogen peroxide solution can cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity (8). However, this may subside soon in most cases.
  • Never swallow hydrogen peroxide solution as it may interact with the stomach acids and cause gastrointestinal issues (9).
  • If ingested, hydrogen peroxide can cause injury in the esophagus (10).
  • It is not recommended to use this compound to remove stains from children’s teeth.
  • It may not be a good idea to use and combine hydrogen peroxide with OTC teeth whitening products. Doing so may result in enhanced gum irritation and erosion of the teeth enamel. There is a lack of direct evidence in this regard, so talk to your dentist.

People with sensitive teeth, bleeding gums, and existing teeth ailments must use this solution only after consulting a dentist.  Otherwise, you can try these home remedies and see how they can help you. The best way to prevent teeth stains is to wash your mouth after you consume any food. Following proper oral care can go a long way in preventing almost all tooth ailments.

10 sources

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Pooja Karkala

Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.
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