You could put it on Hollywood and Instagram for this however the reality is that everyone wants to have a beautiful white, healthy smile. This has led to an increase in the quantity of teeth whitening , or “bleaching” products on the market with a lot of them containing hydrogen peroxide.

“Hydrogen peroxide has been utilized in teeth-whitening treatments and dental care products such as the mouthwash and toothpaste over a long time,” says Chris Strandburg DDS. He is a dental professional as well as Waterpik spokesperson.

For those who are searching for that perfect Hollywood smile How safe is the substance, and what is its effectiveness as a whitener for teeth?

What exactly is hydrogen peroxide what is it and exactly how can it work to whiten teeth?

Hydrogen Peroxide, an acidic chemical substance having the formula H2O2. It is a light blue liquid , in its purest state. It is commonly employed as a household cleanser, bleaching agent or as an antiseptic, as well as products for oral hygiene.

Despite possessing only one extra oxygen molecule, which is smaller than water (the H2 element that makes up its chemical formula) Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with very distinct properties. When used in high amounts it’s an extremely potent antioxidant that could harm your eyes, the skin and the respiratory system. Therefore, it is recommended to use care for both animals and humans.

The bleaching power of hydrogen peroxide have made it a staple ingredient in products for teeth whitening. “By dissolving the stain caused by polymers, using an oxygenation process, hydrogen peroxide sparkles and whitens teeth by the chemical process” UK dentist Dr. Lisa Creaven, co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care, tells Health. “It helps to eliminate staining from teeth whitening treatments. This allows teeth to be whitened safely and gently without harming the health of your teeth.”

However, since hydrogen peroxide can be an extremely bleaching agent it is usually combined along with an whitening agent such as baking soda in order to protect the gums and enamel.

Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide to clean your teeth?

If used in the form of toothpaste or other products such as a gel that’s pressed into an elastic tray that wraps around the teeth of the user, or strips of teeth whitening and is completely safe. The products allow hydrogen peroxide to come in directly contact with surface of the tooth and break down staining, as well as improving the overall color. “Hydrogen peroxide has a long history of safety to whiten teeth without compromising the strength of enamel,” explains Dr. Strandburg.

However, it is possible you can overindulge and cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums. The levels of hydrogen peroxide in tooth products for whitening range between 3% and 20%. In the dental office, the levels are much greater. For instance, the majority of toothpastes and mouthwashes have less hydrogen peroxide, which makes the bleaching properties less effective and thus more secure for use over the long term. In these situations hydrogen peroxide is used for another purpose. It helps in the elimination of harmful bacteria that cause gum disease, which results in improved the health of your gums.

Gels or strips for teeth whitening are, however contain more hydrogen peroxide, and should be avoided more frequently. “Long-term whitening using these high levels of hydrogen peroxide, particularly when used for several days in a row” Dr. Strandburg advises, “may result in gums that are extremely inflamed as well as dental sensitivity.”

Based on the advice of Dr. Strandburg, an initial treatment should be limited or fourteen sessions. Giving your gums and teeth an extra day between treatments is a more secure option. Because of the slightly acidic properties of high levels of hydrogen peroxide if are undergoing greater than twenty bleaching treatments a year, you could be damaging the strength of your enamel. Based on Dr. Strandburg, most patients “get an increase in their brightness, without enduring adverse effects” when they follow his advice.

Heather Kunen, DDS, MS cofounder and founder of Beam Street Orthodontics, cautions not to use any hydrogen peroxide-based whitening solution more than two or three times per year. “Wait at minimum six to twelve months before using the same solution again after you’ve achieved the amount of whitening that you would like to achieve (over the period of 3 to 10 weeks),” she advises Health.

You can purchase hydrogen peroxide at the store or on the internet. However, when you create your own combination of teeth-whitening at home, be sure to exercise cautiousness. “If the bleaching chemical content is excessive, it could hurt your gums and cause damage to the enamel of your teeth,” Dr. Kunen suggests. If you’re creating your own solution, she suggests using a minimum of a 1:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide to water However, always check with your dentist before making any changes.

Are there alternatives to hydrogen peroxide in teeth whitening?

There are more tooth whitening ingredients other than hydrogen peroxide. While baking soda isn’t considered an actual bleaching agent it is a good way to remove the stains off teeth and give them a lovely gleam as per the Dr. Kunen. Another option for bleaching is phthalimido peroxycaproic acid (PAP). “Other whitening companies are starting to move away from classic peroxides and toward new, gentler formulae like pthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP),” she says. “Because PAP is less harsh on gum and enamel tissue than hydrogen peroxide it could be more popular in the near future for different brands.”

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