Does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth? – The honest answers
Why do so many people want to know the answer to the question “does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth?”? We all know that first impressions count – a friendly smile can be the first thing that other people notice about us. But many people have yellow or stained teeth, and are afraid to show their smile for fear that other people will react badly.
White teeth are a sign of good personal hygiene and grooming. Studies have shown that people with very white teeth are regarded as friendlier, more professional, healthier and even wealthier. Many people would like to whiten their teeth, but professional dental treatments are expensive. This is why many people want an answer to the question “Does peroxide whiten teeth work?”
Part of good dental hygiene is regular brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist. You can have clean and healthy teeth, though, and they can still be discolored.
Mark is 22, and worried about meeting girls.
“My Mom always taught me how to brush my teeth and floss regularly, and I do it religiously. But my teeth still aren’t really white. I’m just starting out as a sales rep, so I earn okay, but not enough to go and get expensive dental treatment. Does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth? I’m worried that girls will be turned off by my teeth.”
Discolored teeth can be caused by drinking coffee, red wine or other dark-colored drinks. The discoloration can also be caused by smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes causes teeth to be stained a yellow color. Many people who drink coffee or alcohol, or who smoke regularly, want to know – does hydrogen peroxide really whiten teeth?
It’s not just these groups at risk, though. Young people, people of any age who don’t drink coffee or alcohol, and non-smokers may also have discolored teeth. They are among an increasing number of people worried about their dental hygiene and health of their teeth, and asking the question “does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth, safe?”
The answer is – yes. Most professionals emphasize the importance of diluting this solution when using it to whiten teeth. The peroxide solution at full strength can damage the sensitive mucus lining of the mouth. In addition, it can erode enamel. It can also be highly corrosive. Does hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening work? Yes, but make sure you use it properly.
Conveniently, there are preparations of this whitening agent that come in gel form, and are already pre-diluted and part of any at home teeth bleaching kit. They come in a package, available from most supermarkets. The teeth bleaching gel form of hydrogen peroxide is generally available in 10, 16 and 22 per cent concentrations.
To use it in gel form, place the gel in a mouthguard, which is usually provided in the package. Let it sit on your teeth for approximately five minutes. Most brands recommend doing this twice a day for two weeks. A good way to check whether it’s working is to only use it on the top or bottom row of teeth. Then you can compare the color of your teeth after the first couple of weeks. It works!
But what if you have dentures? Dentures are expensive, and it’s important to keep them in good condition. It’s also important to keep them clean and hygienic.
Georgia, 68, has had her dentures for over a decade. “I’m worried that when people look at me, they just see an old woman. I look after myself, and take care of my appearance. But my dentures are starting to yellow, and I can’t afford to replace them. I keep asking myself, can I whiten my teeth with hydrogen peroxide? It would be something I could pick up from the store.”
There are special formulations for dentures, also available from the supermarket. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to soak dentures, but be sure to dilute it first! A solution of one part hydrogen peroxide to four parts water should work wonders. Leave your dentures to soak in this solution overnight. Repeat this process over the course of a fortnight, and yellowing dentures will be a thing of the past!
What about braces, though? Many teenagers are self-conscious about wearing braces, and are very careful to keep their teeth clean and white. They are among the increasing number of people asking “does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth you have braces?”
Luckily, this solution, if diluted, won’t damage braces. One option is to rinse your mouth out with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide, about one part to four parts water. You can use the regular sets sold at supermarkets, too!
Do not forget, it is a chemical solution, and should be treated with caution. Keep it away from any children in the house. When diluted, however, it is a perfectly safe and effective option for whitening teeth and dentures. Does hydrogen peroxide whiten teeth? You bet. You can try it for yourself.