How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Brushing?Faizan Khan
As Hollywood smiles have come into popularity, so has hydrogen peroxide.
This is the case because many people cannot afford expensive teeth-whitening treatments and tend to gravitate towards teeth whitening hacks, which most popularly involve hydrogen peroxide.
Who says that beauty has to be expensive? I am sure you already have a 3% hydrogen peroxide brown bottle in your cabinet ready to be utilized to sort out your teeth.
Before you begin questioning hydrogen peroxide’s authenticity in the teeth-whitening department, let me reassure you that it is one of the key ingredients used in tooth whitening products.
Why Do Teeth Develop a Yellow Tinge
The sad reality is that often a yellow hue can overcome even those teeth that are brushed regularly. This goes to prove that it is necessary to take on teeth-whitening treatments from time to time.
However, to some extent, you can take precautions like avoiding foods that tend to stain your teeth.
These foods mainly include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, coffee, energy drinks, tea and red wine, candy, tomato-based sauces, citrus fruits, and carbonated beverages.
It wouldn’t make sense to abandon these edibles, many of which are healthy. However, rinsing or brushing your teeth afterward can work in your favor.
Moreover, yellow teeth are a result of hard enamel eroding. This hard enamel is the outermost part of your teeth. The erosion of hard enamel leads to the underneath dentin being revealed. Dentin is the naturally yellow, bony tissue that is found underneath the enamel.
Also, when plaque builds up in your teeth, it can add to the yellow hue.
Hydrogen Peroxide Used in Teeth Whitening
Let’s address the elephant in the room- is hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent, even safe for your teeth?
The answer is that yes, when it is used appropriately, it is an easy and inexpensive way to brighten your teeth.
However, suppose you use it carelessly, at too much of a high concentration, or for a duration that is not recommended. In that case, you will likely notice some severe deteriorations in the conditions of your teeth.
These deteriorations can be very serious and expensive to treat, eliminating the core benefit of using hydrogen peroxide- which happens to be the economical price of the bleaching agent.
If you have susceptible teeth, it would be best to consult your doctor before drawing up your hydrogen peroxide concoctions.
Which Concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide Is Appropriate for Teeth Whitening
It is important to know that hydrogen peroxide comes in many different concentration levels, many of which are not safe for oral and dental use.
You may have scoured the information provided on your toothpaste and may have discovered that it contains 10% hydrogen peroxide. Now, before you go off to use a 10% hydrogen peroxide on your teeth, do note that scientists do not recommend it.
The brown bottle found in your cabinet is usually a 3% diluted hydrogen peroxide and is appropriate for at-home teeth-whitening to avoid enamel damage.
A 2007 study tested out different hydrogen peroxide concentration levels of 10%, 20%, and 30% on human teeth extracted.
Researchers found that higher concentration levels imposed more significant damage to the teeth. They also noticed that the longer the teeth were exposed to the hydrogen peroxide solutions, the level of damage imposed increased.
Moreover, a 2004 study revealed that a 25% and 5% hydrogen peroxide solution were equally effective in whitening teeth. However, to get the same result, one would have to use a 5% hydrogen peroxide treatment 12 times to acquire the one-time-use result of a 25% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Therefore, a 3% hydrogen peroxide treatment, used for a shorter duration, has the lowest possibility of damaging your teeth.
Hydrogen Peroxide as a Gum Disease Treatment
When bacteria occupy the gum lines, it creates a soft, sticky, colorless film called plaque. This then causes gum diseases to spread within your mouth and teeth.
A study by the Journal of Dental Research disclosed that nearly half of adults over 30 in the US bear some form of gum disease.
A cause of worry is that if ‘Gingivitis,’ the early and curable form of gum disease, is not treated, it can turn into ‘Periodontitis,’ a more severe form of gum disease and can cause teeth to fall out or loosen.
Hydrogen peroxide can break up plaque and kill bacteria. For this reason, hydrogen peroxide has been used by professional dentists since the early 1900s to treat periodontitis.
The hydro-miracles don’t end there. Suppose you suffer from ‘Halitosis,’ which in simple terms is bad breath. You will be relieved to know that hydrogen peroxide has the potential to get rid of that as well.
Hydrogen Peroxide To Rinse Your Teeth
This is the simplest way to use hydrogen peroxide, a teeth-whitener.
- All you have to do is combine an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide with water- ½ a cup of each is recommended.
- Then follow up by swishing it around your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Once the timer is up, spit the solution out, and avoid ingesting the mixture.
This easy-to-use solution is suitable for those who follow a busy lifestyle.
Hydrogen Peroxide as a Paste for Your Teeth
To brighten your teeth using hydrogen peroxide toothpaste, we would advise that you partner up with baking soda as well!
This is because baking soda is mildly abrasive and aids in rubbing off stains from the tooth’s surface.
To create the perfect teeth whitening toothpaste, follow the steps below.
- Start by adding a few teaspoons of baking soda along with hydrogen peroxide in a bowl.
- Give the two substances a good mix using a plastic spoon or wooden spatula. Avoid using any metal instruments to sidestep any unwanted chemical reactions.
- Keep adding hydrogen peroxide until a thick paste has been created.
- Scoop up a bit of paste using your toothbrush and apply it to your teeth.
- Brush your teeth in circular motions for up to 2 minutes.
- Swish some water around your mouth, and thoroughly rinse your teeth until the paste is all gone.
Make sure to use your hydrogen peroxide toothpaste daily for the most pristine results!
How To Soothe Gum Irritation or Inflammation
There may be instances when your hydrogen peroxide treatment goes wrong. According to a Cochrane study, gum irritation and tooth sensitivity are common among teeth whitening treatments.
The first warning sign of a bad reaction will be a burning sensation in your gums, gum inflammation, as well as white spots forming in your gum. Alternatively, parts of your gum could also turn white.
Act fast by removing the paste or tray of hydrogen peroxide- do not harness fake hopes of the hydrogen peroxide getting better results the longer it stays on.
Immediately after you have done so, rinse your mouth with warm salt water to eliminate any remaining hydrogen peroxide solution. The warm salt water will also ease any irritation.
It is usual for gum irritation to go away after a few days. During this time, you must continue with the saltwater rinses. Moreover, if you direly need to get rid of the pain, you may take some painkillers.
If your injuries or burns do not seem to be getting any better- or perhaps seem to be getting worse, it would be advised to consult your dentist immediately.
Your dentist may provide you with proper treatment or may recommend some at-home care techniques.
Side Effects of Using Hydrogen Peroxide on Your Teeth
There are three conditions that you must monitor when using a hydrogen peroxide teeth whitener.
- The concentration of hydrogen peroxide. The higher the concentration- the higher the health risks.
- The duration for which hydrogen peroxide is in contact with your teeth- longer than 1 minute while swishing or 2 minutes, if you are using it as a paste, will be harmful.
- The number of times the treatment is used- more than once a day will be harmful.
According to a 2006 study, 15-78% of patients undergoing external teeth bleaching will experience tooth sensitivity. This is caused when the protective enamel of your teeth is damaged. Consequently, you may have to dodge hot or cold foods after the treatment until the pain subsides.
Hydrogen peroxide whitening can also result in inflammation of the teeth roots in the gums. This can then lead to infections developing, which are not cheap to treat.
A bit of hydrogen peroxide ingestion is not likely to cause severe damage. However, according to the National Capital Poison Center, ingestion of a hydrogen peroxide solution can cause stomach aches or vomiting.
If you consume large amounts of this solution, there could be severe breathing problems and stomach bleeding.
Hollywood Smiles on Display
Statistics reveal that 2015 was the year in which Americans spent $11 billion on teeth whitening. This figure also included $1.4 billion that Americans spent on at-home whitening products.
You will be glad to know that you have obtained the same results using a cheap hydrogen peroxide bottle that was stored away in your cabinet.
For this win alone, you must fire away a dazzling smile!