Understanding the pros and cons of hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening

Understanding the pros and cons of hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening

Teeth whitening has become a common desire for many people seeking a brighter smile. Often, hydrogen peroxide, a key ingredient in many commercial teeth whitening products, is also considered a viable home remedy. However, it's important to understand the associated risks and rewards. Here's an insight into hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening, with a focus on the science behind it, the potential risks involved, and the best practices for usage.

How Hydrogen Peroxide Works

Hydrogen peroxide whitens teeth by breaking down the stains through an oxidation process1. It can partially penetrate the layers of the teeth and remove compounds causing discoloration1.

Risks of Hydrogen Peroxide

Despite its whitening capabilities, hydrogen peroxide may pose certain risks. The website Dentaly.Org stated the following "The dilution of hydrogen peroxide considered safe to use is 3%. Any higher, and you could risk damaging your enamel for good. Even then, using it for prolonged periods of time can still cause damage. Your enamel is not something you can grow back once it is gone, so be careful not to damage it"2.

Who Should Avoid Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with dental restorations, such as fillings, crowns, or veneers, may not experience even whitening or any whitening at all. People with oral health issues like cavities or gum disease may find that hydrogen peroxide exacerbates these conditions.

The Role of Professional Whitening Treatments

For those seeking teeth whitening, it's recommended to consult with a dental professional. Dentists can evaluate oral health and propose suitable options, whether it be a professional treatment or a suitable home remedy. They can also monitor the whitening process, adjusting the concentration and duration of hydrogen peroxide exposure as needed 3.

What To Use Between Professional Visits?

At Waken we choose alternatives to hydrogen peroxide and instead use a combination of plant enzymes, pyrophosphates and zinc citrate. In combination, these ingredients can help break down stain-causing proteins, prevent tartar buildup, and fight plaque, together contributing to a cleaner, whiter smile. In independent tests, Waken's Whitening Toothpaste cleaned up to 8 shades whiter when used twice a day for 2 weeks and Waken's Whitening Mouthwash cleaned up to 5 shades whiter over the same period. Results will vary based on individual differences.