Hydrogen peroxide is a very common and highly effective active ingredient in many dental teeth whitening applications. Dental products containing peroxides (hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide) act as bleaching agents to change the color of the teeth to lighter shades. Peroxide when used properly can partially penetrate the layers of the teeth, removing compounds that cause discoloration leaving teeth whiter than before.
Hydrogen peroxide can come in various concentrations depending on the product. Store bought teeth whitening kits generally are below 10% while kits purchased thru your dentist can be as high as 40%.
Many people assume that higher concentrations of peroxide may lead to more side effects (tooth sensitivity and enamel breakdown) but this is not always the case. However, it does appear that the length of time that these products are applied on the teeth is vitally important.
Studies as recently as 2016 have shown that lower concentration gels had more negative effects when left on teeth for longer period of times. Higher concentration gels require less application time which can reduce enamel damage and tooth sensitivity. A study in the American Journal of Dentistry found that a commercial mouthwash containing only 1.5% hydrogen peroxide caused a noticeable lightening in human tooth enamel after just four (4) weeks.
People who already have sensitive teeth may want to speak with their dentist before using hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth.
There are some common risks to consider prior to using hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening.
Most common side effects of teeth whitening include tooth and gum sensitivity, as well as irritated or inflamed gums. If you experiences these symptoms during teeth whitening treatment should stop using the product and contact your dentist to discuss other options that mat be gentler on your teeth and gums.
Some people may prefer to undergo hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening in a dental office setting. The dentist will ask the person to come in for a cleaning first. A professional dental cleaning will allow the hydrogen peroxide to penetrate the teeth evenly giving a bright smile.
Also during this appointment, the dentist will check for cracks, as cracks in the teeth can allow the peroxide to penetrate further into the tooth. This is important as it can become a problem if the peroxide comes into contact with the underlying dentin as it is likely to cause irritation or sensitivity.
Common At Home Remedies For Teeth Whitening
There are many other teeth whitening solutions that people can use at home. Many are not effective at achieving the proper teeth whitening a dentist can.
Most of these home remedies for tooth whitening should be relatively safe to try, though. They include:
-charcoal and salt
-oil pulling with coconut oil
-apple cider vinegar
The American Dental Association does not recommend any of these methods for at home teeth whitening. Research also suggests that some of these methods are not effective and may actually harm the teeth or cause other adverse effects. So beware of the possible consequences. It is always best to speak to your dentist prior to attempting any of these treatments at home.
At Home Teeth Whitening Conclusion
Teeth whitening is a personal choice in many cases. It can also be quite dangerous to attempt on your own at home. Seek out professional care and advice form your dentist to ensure you achieve the results you want in a safe healthy manner.