Regular flossing and tooth brushing can help to prevent your teeth from becoming stained. But if you’re not satisfied with the results and wish to restore the whiteness of your teeth without visiting your dentist for professional teeth whitening, you can use two common household ingredients, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, to further help in removing surface stains and lighten teeth, respectively.
Although brushing doesn’t completely change the color of your teeth, it assists in removing small stains, which makes your teeth appear whiter in the long run.
Some stains are, however, more difficult to remove by merely brushing with a regular toothpaste, though it’s possible to use a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make your teeth whiter.
- Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach that can lighten teeth by breaking down surface stains
- Baking soda has abrasive properties that can help remove surface stains and plaque.
Hydrogen peroxide only
Your teeth can be made whiter with hydrogen peroxide. It works as a bleaching agent to get rid of stains and restore the whiteness of your teeth. It is advisable to first dilute concentrated hydrogen peroxide with an equivalent amount of water (1/2 cup of hydrogen and ½ cup of water) because it can harm your enamel in concentrated form.
After 30-seconds to one minute of swishing in your mouth, spit out the mixture and thoroughly rinse your mouth with water. Repeat the swirl at least a few times per week because diluted hydrogen peroxide is less effective than concentrated hydrogen peroxide, but avoid doing so too frequently because it could harm your teeth.
Spit out the mixture immediately if you feel any discomfort, and try to avoid swallowing it.
Baking soda + Hydrogen peroxide
Since baking soda is abrasive and helps remove surface stains from teeth, it also makes teeth look whiter. Baking soda, however, does not assist in removing the permanent stains. Consequently, combining it with hydrogen peroxide is more effective for teeth whitening.
You can prepare a paste by mixing a few teaspoons of baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide in a dish. Keep adding peroxide until the result is a thick paste that is not gritty.
- Apply the paste to your teeth using a toothbrush.
- Use small circular motions and brush for 2 minutes at most.
- Rinse well with water after brushing
Repeat the procedure regularly to make your teeth whiter.
Tips for DIY teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide
- Start by brushing your teeth
- Place a small bead halfway up the front surface of the whitening tray to load it.
- Put the bleaching trays over your teeth and firmly push them in place. Spread the gel by gently pressing each tooth’s front surface.
- Use a tissue or a soft toothbrush to wipe away any extra gel that may ooze out of the tray’s edge. Rinse with water gently, but avoid swallowing.
- The recommended wear time for 6% hydrogen peroxide, is 1.5 hours a day.
- Hybrid treatments that combine hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide should be worn for 3 to 4 hours each day,
- Treatments with 10% and 16% Carbamide Peroxide should be worn for 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Clean your teeth after each whitening session. Use a soft toothbrush and cool water to clean your whitening trays.
Make sure to store your kit in the refrigerator or a cool, dark cabinet while not in use, and the syringes in a box to prevent exposure to heat and light since it may activate the gel.
How to maintain the whiteness of your teeth
After using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for teeth whitening, it is important to take steps to preserve the results. Here are some tips:
- Avoid foods and drinks that stain teeth:
- Brush and floss regularly
- Use a whitening toothpaste
- Touch up as needed:
- See your dentist regularly for professional cleaning
Caution when using hydrogen peroxide + baking soda for teeth whitening
While hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can be effective in removing surface stains, it is important to note that overuse can lead to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.
It is also important to consult with your dentist before attempting any at-home teeth whitening methods, especially if you have existing dental problems or sensitive teeth.
Additionally, pregnant and nursing women should avoid using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for teeth whitening as the safety of these ingredients during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not well-established.
Is 6 hydrogen peroxide safe for teeth whitening?
The amount of carbamide peroxide (10%) that the FDA and ADA have deemed safe and effective for tooth whitening is comparable to 3.6% hydrogen peroxide.
Most bottles of hydrogen peroxide that you’ll find at a drugstore or grocery shop are diluted to about 3 percent. Commercial whitening procedures contain varying amounts of hydrogen peroxide, up to 10% in some cases. Dentists may also provide bleaching procedures that contain up to 40% hydrogen peroxide.
However, research indicates that when using hydrogen peroxide for tooth whitening, dilution is a good thing. Too-strong concentrations can cause negative effects, such as tooth sensitivity and enamel erosion, however this isn’t always the case. What really matters though, is how long these products are left on the teeth for.
In a 2007 study, researchers treated human teeth that had been removed for varied lengths of time with diluted hydrogen peroxide solutions of 10, 20, and 30%. They discovered that leaving teeth in contact with hydrogen peroxide for longer periods of time and using solutions with higher concentrations both led to more damage to the teeth.
This means that treatments using low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for shorter times have the least chance of harming your teeth.
How long does it take for hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth?
In a 2004 study, researchers discovered that a 5 percent hydrogen peroxide solution was just as efficient in whitening teeth as a 25 percent solution. However, to acquire the same level of whitening as one treatment with the 25 percent solution, one would need to whiten teeth with the 5 percent solution 12 times.
This means that if you’re employing short, low-concentration treatments, it will take more treatments to get the whiteness you want.
10% carbamide peroxide typically requires you to wear whitening trays for 4-6 hours at night, while 6% hydrogen peroxide whitens your teeth with only 1.5 hours wear per day, which is ideal for people who don’t want to wear appliances while they sleep.
Depending your sensitivity to the treatment, you can repeat the procedure every day for two weeks.
What are the side effects of Hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening?
When done correctly, whether at home or in the dentist’s office, tooth whitening with either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is a very safe procedure. There are a few steps you can take to go around these problems and get the best possible outcome.
1. Extreme sensitivity
Sensitivity is the most common adverse effect of any whitening technique. Up to 75% of people report experiencing some form of tooth sensitivity in varied degrees. Sensitivity might range from mild discomfort to pain that prevents you from continuing the treatment.
To reduce the risk of excessive sensitivity, you should:
- Undergo a complete dental examination before starting the whitening treatment
- Ask your dentist to give you the photographs with shade records and time stamp for your treatment’s expected outcome
- Cover any exposed root surfaces with fillings and other sensitive spots.
- Ask your dentist for a chair-side desensitizing agent on any sensitive places.
- Use whitening with Sensodyne toothpaste trays for three nights, overnight.
- Use Boutique Biomin toothpaste for two weeks – both before and after the whitening treatment.
- If the sensitivity continues, consult your dentist on the use of a gentler whitening gel
Lastly, you may consider bleaching every other day if the discomfort continues. Then you can use the Sensodyne toothpaste overnight on the days between.
2. Gum irritation
Gum (gingival) inflammation is another potential side effect of the whitening treatment. Gum irritation tends to occur when the whitening gel has remained in contact with the gums for an extended period. This can be prevented by simply filling the dosing dots on the tray without any excess.
By doing this, you eliminate the risk of extra gel seeping out of the tray and irritating the gums. Furthermore, when putting the trays in the mouth, any extra gel should be wiped away with a fresh tissue or a soft toothbrush.
3. Poor outcome
One whitening kit may not necessarily produce the best or even the expected results because tooth whitening is not an exact science. In such situations, you likely need to continue with the treatment.
Evidence suggests that peroxide will almost always whiten teeth.
So prolonging the time for bleaching is the solution if you find that your teeth are not as white as you wanted within a given time frame.
Keep in mind that people who grind their teeth may have subpar results if they use an overnight approach. The teeth-whitening trays will flex as you clench and grind your teeth, prompting saliva to wash the gels away. In such situations, you should discuss with your dentist about using a day-whitening technique.
Most dentists recommend the use of a fluoride toothpaste that both strengthens and prevents tooth decay, in addition to brushing your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day to prevent the buildup of plaque and keep your teeth white. Regular flossing is also important as it aids in removing plaque from in between teeth, preventing stains from developing at the borders of your teeth.
Your dentist may also recommend that you use Biomin toothpaste from Boutique, which releases calcium, phosphate, and fluoride ions that help to fortify tooth enamel. When you clean your teeth with BioMin, the main ingredient adheres to the enamel so that these minerals can be released over the next twelve hours to remineralize and safeguard your teeth, while also reducing sensitivity and increasing resistance to acid attack.
Biomin toothpaste offers several benefits including:
- Reducing Sensitivity and stopping the progression of early tooth decay
- Extend the time that teeth whitening lasts.
Biomin should be used for a period of two weeks, both before and after the teeth-whitening procedure, morning and night. You can even use Biomin as your regular toothpaste going forward.
O Zuabi. “Teeth whitening with 6% hydrogen peroxide vs. 35% hydrogen peroxide, a comparative controlled study.” 2015 Jan. 32(1):38-44, 62. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25799793/