Clear hydrogen peroxide solution in a laboratory beaker, commonly used for teeth whitening and oral care.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Oral Care Benefits

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

One may recall hydrogen peroxide as a colourless liquid in a brown bottle used for disinfecting wounds and cuts. It is also used for oxidising and bleaching. If you are on a quest for quicker ways to brighten your pearly whites, you may be curious to know the use of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening.

Some people consider using hydrogen peroxide for do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth-whitening remedies. However, several concerns prevail regarding its use for oral needs. Is hydrogen peroxide safe for teeth, and are there other effective alternatives? Let's delve into gaining insights on these topics.

What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a clear liquid chemical compound of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. It is an effective disinfectant often used to sterilise wounds. Other common uses include cleaning, whitening laundry, and washing vegetables. 

In dentistry, safer concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening treatments are used. As it kills harmful bacteria, dental professionals have been using hydrogen peroxide since the early 1900s to prevent and treat gum diseases. Additionally, the bacteria-killing properties of hydrogen peroxide also contribute to effectively treating bad breath (halitosis). 

How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Whiten Teeth?

An individual’s teeth may discolour for various reasons, including age and stains resulting from poor oral hygiene, highly pigmented foods, or tobacco use. Dentists use safe concentrations of oxidising agents such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening. These agents work by breaking down the large pigmented molecules that stain the teeth into small, less pigmented ones, reducing the appearance of stains to reveal whiter teeth.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Work?

Hydrogen peroxide uses for teeth in dental care commonly includes tooth whitening. The amount of hydrogen peroxide used may vary based on the type of whitening treatment and intended use. Some people prefer to use globally available over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening kits like whitening strips, whitening pens, and peroxide mouthwashes, which usually contain low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. 

Bleaching agents used by dentists can provide noticeable and lasting whitening results. They generally use safer, higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening treatments. However, hydrogen peroxide OTC products are unavailable in India since it is highly regulated. Instead, you may consider using some of the best proprietary whitening toothpaste with similar efficacy.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe For Teeth?

Hydrogen peroxide available at the drugstore usually includes instructions for use at home. However, one may not know how to use hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening in safe concentrations. While higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide used in dental treatments are generally safe under the supervision of a dentist, at-home use requires caution. To ensure safety and effectiveness, consider using dentist-recommended over-the-counter (OTC) oral care products with lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide.  

Potentially serious implications can be prevented by cautiously avoiding the ingestion of hydrogen peroxide and exposure to larger amounts of the liquid. To avoid any possible side effects from DIY methods, it is ideal to consult a dental professional to find what works best for your unique oral health conditions, such as sensitive teeth or gum diseases.

Teeth Whitening Alternatives

While dental professionals use safer concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for in-office teeth whitening, globally available over-the-counter teeth whitening products with lower concentrations may work safely when used as directed. As these OTC products are not available in India, whitening toothpaste with active ingredients that remove tooth stains serves as a safer alternative as effective as tooth bleaching.

For instance, the Colgate Visible White O2 whitening toothpaste uses a proprietary active oxygen technology to start whitening teeth in 3 days. Its revolutionary formula releases millions of active oxygen bubbles that remove stains from the enamel surface and the deeper intrinsic stains, whitening your teeth inside out. It is gentle on the tooth enamel, which makes it ideal for daily use.

Another teeth-whitening toothpaste pick is the Colgate Visible White toothpaste, which starts whitening your teeth in 1 week. It contains mild abrasives that gently scrub away the stains from your tooth surface. It is formulated with whitening accelerators that remove stains (like tea, coffee, and wine stains) and gently polish the tooth surface while keeping the enamel safe. 


Hydrogen peroxide is both an antiseptic compound and a bleaching agent that finds its use in dentistry for teeth whitening and gum disease treatments. Under the supervision of a dentist, hydrogen peroxide can be safely used to achieve whiter teeth and healthier gums. To avoid any potential serious implications, it is ideal not to try DIY hydrogen peroxide solution or rinses by yourself. As OTC products containing hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening are unavailable in India, you may pick a proprietary whitening toothpaste to obtain similar efficacy and perfect your teeth whitening regimen.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it safe to put hydrogen peroxide directly on your teeth?

Though some people consider using DIY hydrogen peroxide toothpaste or rinse, there is little proof of the efficacy of these methods. It is best to consult a dentist to determine what works best for your needs. Unguided usage or inappropriate concentrations of hydrogen peroxide may lead to implications such as tooth sensitivity.

2. Do dental professionals recommend hydrogen peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide has antiseptic properties, so dentists have long used it to treat gum diseases. It is also a bleaching agent that helps whiten teeth by breaking down stains through oxidation. Dental professionals have been using safer, higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening treatments.

3. Is it okay to rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide daily?

Some people claim whitening results from swishing hydrogen peroxide DIY rinses prepared at home. Hydrogen peroxide OTC products, such as peroxide mouthwashes, are unavailable at Indian drugstores. Using a whitening toothpaste instead of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening is ideal, or consult a dentist to find the best solution for your specific concerns.

4. Should I use hydrogen peroxide to clean my teeth?

Professional whitening treatments may use safer concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for a lasting and noticeable whitening result. It is not recommended to opt for DIY methods using hydrogen peroxide to clean teeth. Ideally, consult a dental professional to find the best solution for teeth whitening that suits your specific oral conditions and needs.