The FDA has approved ordinary three percent hydrogen peroxide for use as a mouthwash, but European authorities will only approve one percent hydrogen peroxide for this purpose. Hydrogen peroxide will work to whiten teeth, but it works slowly, tastes terrible and dissolves enamel.
Hydrogen peroxide as a tooth whitener
- Use hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash, rinsing with it for about 30 seconds.
- Spit hydrogen peroxide out into the sink, and rinse thoroughly.
Why It Works
Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach. Almost all tooth whitening products contain it. Dentists use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide (25-35 percent) in the office for bleaching teeth. Hydrogen peroxide works by degrading the molecules out of which the stain originally formed.
Hydrogen peroxide is safe for topical use, but should not be used internally. Using hydrogen peroxide in the mouth is believed to be safe, if you are careful to rinse it out thoroughly. However, if you have any small wounds in the mouth, such as bleeding gums or canker sores, hydrogen peroxide will sting. It can cause gum sensitivity, and using it over a long period of time can cause the enamel of the teeth to erode. Because of the possibility that some small amount might accidentally be ingested, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use hydrogen peroxide orally. Always consult a dentist before putting anything into your mouth.