Hydrogen Peroxide Toothpaste: Four Common Questions

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common ingredients used in tooth whitening, both by dentists and in at-home whitening kits. Hydrogen peroxide toothpaste is therefore a great way to whiten teeth every day. It's available over-the-counter for those who are especially concerned about tooth surface stains. Can you benefit from it? Here are four things people often wonder.

How Does it Work?

Hydrogen peroxide has a long history as a bleaching agent, particularly in hair lightening products. In whitening toothpaste, peroxide combines with ingredients like baking soda to polish the teeth's surfaces and gently remove common food stains. These two ingredients can make a big difference when it comes to brightening your smile. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), because it acts as a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide actually changes the color of the enamel on the surfaces of your teeth by cleaning the extrinsic stains that discolor the outside of the tooth.

Where Do These Stains Come from?

With a normal routine, teeth can take on shades of yellow or brown over time. Dark-colored residue from food or other substances fill the pores in your tooth enamel, dulling its appearance.

Surface staining most often occurs because you:

  • drink coffee regularly.
  • drink tea regularly.
  • smoke cigarettes.
  • drink wine or dark fruit juices.

Foods and drinks that are served very hot or very cold can also have an effect on tooth color, according to 1-800 Dentist.

Why Use Whitening Toothpaste?

Some types of stains are especially resilient to tooth whitening toothpastes because it becomes part of the internal structure of the tooth. Conditions such as fluorosis appear as faint white streak marks, explained by the ADA, and result from an overexposure to fluoride in kids whose teeth are still developing. But if you use a whitening toothpaste, you will you see most extrinsic stains diminish, and you'll know your teeth are clean and fresh every day.

A whitener alone, such as whitening strips or a whitening pen, is not designed to keep your teeth clean and free of plaque. This type of product only contains whitening ingredients, and not the dentifrice included in toothpaste to remove plaque and prevent cavities. A whitening toothpaste is formulated to clean and protect the teeth while reducing or even removing stains at the same time.

Is it Safe?

According to the ADA, peroxide is safe to use on the teeth when used properly. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, however, suggests that younger patients shouldn't use teeth whitening products since the enamel on baby teeth is thinner than that of permanent teeth, and could produce uneven results.

Using hydrogen peroxide on your teeth can have side effects, but these are generally minor and temporary. The most common side effect is increased sensitivity. Whitening toothpastes like Colgate® Optic White®, however, do not cause sensitivity. The product still contains hydrogen peroxide to thoroughly reduce surface staining on adult teeth and restore your confidence in your smile by more than three shades lighter.

If you're concerned about stains on your teeth, hydrogen peroxide toothpaste can restore your bright, white smile and give you back your self-confidence while keeping your teeth healthy and cavity-free.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration After TEETH WHITENING

Once you’ve completed a whitening treatment, there are a few steps you can take to maintain your whiter smile.

  • Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages – coffee, tea, wine, sports drinks, hard candy, berries and tomato sauce are all foods that can cause tooth discoloration.
  • Use a straw – when drinking beverages, use a straw to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth.
  • Quit smoking – smoking tobacco can cause teeth to become discolored. Eliminating tobacco can help keep your teeth bright.