Can You Brush Your Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide?

This blog post will address the question, “can you brush your teeth with hydrogen peroxide” and cover topics like what is hydrogen peroxide, what research says about hydrogen peroxide as a whitening product, safety of hydrogen peroxide in children and adolescents, side-effects and its prevention and ways to naturally whiten teeth.

Can You Brush Your Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen Peroxide is very effective in teeth whitening when used in proper concentrations and correct frequency.

Improper high concentrations and too frequent use of hydrogen peroxide can damage your teeth and irritate your gums and may lead to serious oral damage.

What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent, is the main whitening component in most tooth whitening products used in-office or at-home or as DIY.

Hydrogen peroxide is commonly found in your first aid kits as it is a natural bleaching agent, antiseptic, and oxidizer.

Hydrogen peroxide is available in many forms such as toothpastes, mouth rinses, over-the counter gels and teeth whitening strips.

Hydrogen Peroxide In Teeth Whitening: What Does Research Say?

A study published in the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry investigated the tooth whitening effects of various concentrations of carbamide peroxide (CP) gels and 6% hydrogen peroxide (HP) whitening strips.

The study concluded that carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide containing home-use bleaching systems can achieve considerable tooth whitening outcomes.

The amount of whitening depends on the concentration and duration of exposure, the study reported.

Results from a study published in Journal of Dentistry recommended using low concentration of hydrogen peroxide, and shortening treatment time to achieve desired result with less damage to enamel. 

Another new clinical research confirms that teeth whitening strips containing 6.5% hydrogen peroxide are effective in lightening the tetracycline stains when used daily for 1 month.

Research studies indicate that hydrogen peroxide is effective in whitening teeth and can be safely used at low concentrations and required frequency.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe For Use In Children And Adolescents?

A clinical trial study evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of tooth whitening in children and adolescents aged 10 to 18 years with all permanent anterior teeth erupted.

5.3% or 6.5% hydrogen peroxide gel polyethylene strips were administered to the study subjects for 30 minutes two times a day.

Study concluded that hydrogen peroxide produced significantly effective teeth whitening and was well tolerated with minor tooth sensitivity and oral discomfort.

Do Hydrogen Peroxide Have Any Side Effects?

Yes. Hydrogen Peroxide does have some minimal side effects and can cause gum irritation and oral discomfort if not used as per instructions on the label.

The severity of side effects depend on several factors:

  • peroxide bleach concentration 
  • how long your teeth are exposed to the whitening strips
  • tooth sensitivity history

It is recommended to read and follow the instructions printed on the label and not to use the whitening products containing hydrogen peroxide longer than suggested. 

Some side effects that may result if instructions are not followed as recommended:

Tooth Sensitivity

Hydrogen Peroxide, is a bleaching agent and therefore creates micro-pores in the enamel and may reach your dentin causing sensitivity and discomfort by irritating the nerves.

Gum Irritation

If you use hydrogen peroxide for a longer time than recommended, peroxide may irritate your gums.

However, the gum irritation is temporary and will disappear in a few days after stopping or completing treatment.

Tooth Damage

Tooth damage occurs mostly when the hydrogen peroxide is overused, resulting in demineralisation and erosion of the layers of the teeth.

How To Prevent Or Reduce The Side Effects Of Hydrogen Peroxide?

Tooth sensitivity and Gum irritation are two common and temporary side effects of hydrogen peroxide that disappear within one to three days of stopping or completing the treatment.

Tooth sensitivity and gum irritation usually occurs due to overuse or not proper use of hydrogen peroxide.

You can prevent or reduce the side effects of hydrogen peroxide by following the below mentioned instructions:

  • Reduce the time of using hydrogen peroxide and products containing it. 2 minutes if using as a toothpaste and 1 minute if using as a mouth rinse.
  • As soon as you notice teeth sensitivity, stop the whitening for 2-3 days.
  • Get a high fluoride-containing product from your dentist or pharmacist and apply it to the tray and wear it for 4 minutes before and after using hydrogen peroxide. This will help remineralize the teeth.
  • Use an anti-sensitivity toothpaste that will help soothe your sensitivity
  • Ensure that you are using a safe whitening product

How To Ensure That You Are Using A Safe Whitening Product?

Teeth whiteners are not drugs and therefore not regulated by the FDA. 

Some whitening products have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, which confirms that the product meets ADA guidelines for safety and effectiveness. 

According to the ADA, professional consultation is important to ensure safe and effective use of teeth whitening systems.

Ways To Use Hydrogen Peroxide For Teeth Whitening

Hydrogen Peroxide As Mouth Rinse

To use hydrogen peroxide as mouth rinse, you need to dilute it with water at a 1:1 ratio.

Swish the diluted mixture for 30 seconds to 1 minute in your mouth and then spit out the solution.

Hydrogen Peroxide As Toothpaste

To whiten teeth quickly you can use homemade toothpaste containing 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide that helps to reduce yellowing of the teeth.

It is advised to use the homemade paste combination only a few times per week to avoid erosion and weakening of your tooth enamel.

Hydrogen Peroxide In Whitening Products

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips are an over-the-counter, very thin and invisible teeth whitening product containing peroxide-based whitening gel.

It takes a few days for the initial results to appear and almost 4 months for the final results.

Depending on the product’s peroxide concentration and also exposure time printed on the label, you might have to wear the strips for 30 minutes once or twice a day and repeat the process for 14 days or more as instructed.

Whitening Toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes remove surface stains and lighten the tooth color by one shade.

Over-The-Counter Whitening Gels

Whitening gels are peroxide-based gels applied directly to the teeth surface with a small brush. 

Whitening Rinses

Whitening rinses are among the newest whitening products available.

Whitening rinses apart from whitening the teeth, also results in fresh breath and prevention of plaque accumulation.

Tray-based teeth whiteners

Tray-based teeth whitening systems can be purchased either over-the-counter or from a dentist, 

It is similar to a mouth-guard tray but has peroxide as a bleaching agent.

How To Whiten Teeth Naturally?

Oil Pulling

In India, Oil pulling has been practiced traditionally since ages to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body.

The practice of oil pulling involves swishing oil, sunflower or coconut oil, around in your mouth, keeping it for a few minutes and then spitting it out.

Yes it is traditional and now backed by several scientific studies.

A study concluded oil pulling using coconut oil to be an effective procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque induced gingivitis.

Similarly other studies have also found oil pulling to be an effective and safe procedure to reduce plaque accumulation.

As oil pulling controls plaque buildup, it helps to get rid of yellow teeth and give you a safe, bright smile.

Homemade Toothpaste Containing Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

Homemade toothpaste containing 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, helps to reduce yellowing of the teeth.

A study reported toothpaste containing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to be effective in reducing tooth staining and improving whiteness.

Vitamin C

Some studies have reported vitamin C to reduce periodontitis and thereby reducing discoloration of teeth. However, further research is required to confirm these reports.

Add Fruit Enzymes To Toothpaste

According to a study, papain enzyme from the papaya fruit and bromelain enzyme from pineapples play a significant role in reducing tooth stains when added to toothpaste.

Whitening Effect Of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar when used in small quantities may prove to be an effective whitener for your teeth.

However, in large quantities or regular use may harm the tooth by eroding away the enamel.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

Daily brushing your teeth at least 2 to 3 times can help whiten your teeth by reducing or removing plaque accumulation.

Visiting your dentist every 6 months will also help you to keep check of all your oral problems and conditions that can lead to yellowing of your teeth.

Follow the correct tooth brushing technique to get maximum benefits and naturally white teeth:

  1. Use a small amount of water to lubricate your brush. 
  1. Put a small, pea-size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush head.
  1. At about a 45-degree angle to your gums , place the toothbrush into your mouth 
  1. Use gentle, short strokes to brush your front teeth.
  1. Brush the outside surfaces as well as the back molars and upper areas of your chewing surfaces.
  1. Brush the inside surfaces of both top and bottom front teeth by flipping your toothbrush upside down.
  1. Brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria or plaque.
  1. Spit out the remnants of toothpaste, saliva, and water into a clean sink. 
  1. Rinse your mouth with cold water and you are done.


This blog post addressed the question, “can you brush your teeth with hydrogen peroxide”. We understood that low concentrations and limited use of hydrogen peroxide is safe for getting white teeth, what research says about safety and efficacy of hydrogen peroxide, side effects of using hydrogen peroxide and ways to prevent them. 

The article outlined ways to use hydrogen peroxide as rinse, toothpaste and as other whitening products and some natural methods of getting rid of yellow teeth.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS): Can You Brush Your Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide

Is it safe to brush your teeth with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda?

Yes, it is safe to brush your teeth with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

Baking soda being abrasive helps remove stains from the surface of your teeth, making them appear whiter. 

Mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide gives the mixture a paste-like consistency, stays on your teeth while brushing and helps whiten your teeth.

Should I swish hydrogen peroxide before or after brushing my teeth?

You should swish hydrogen peroxide after brushing and flossing.

Doing so, hydrogen peroxide makes better contact with your teeth surface, bleaching is much more effective and also reduces bacterial accumulation to prevent gingival and periodontal diseases.

Care must be taken to cover your gum lines.

Why did my gums turn white after using peroxide and baking soda?

Your gums turned white after using a peroxide and baking soda mixture because of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in your mixture. 

Hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations irritate and chemically burn the oral soft tissues and causes white spots.

How often can I use hydrogen peroxide as mouthwash?

You can use diluted hydrogen peroxide rinsing for one minute up to four times daily.

Exceeding the frequency or the quantity can be dangerous and may chemically burn the soft tissues of your mouth leading to irritation of gums and white spots on cheeks and gums.

What is the best way to whiten teeth?

To whiten teeth quickly you can use homemade toothpaste containing 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide that helps to reduce yellowing of the teeth.

It is advised to use the homemade paste combination only a few times per week to avoid erosion and weakening of your tooth enamel.

Other FAQs about Teeth brushing that you may be interested in.

Disadvantages of brushing teeth twice a day

Brushing teeth 5 times a day

Can not brushing teeth cause a sore throat?


  1. Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening. (2021)
  1. Does Hydrogen Peroxide Whiten Teeth? (2021)
  1. Hydrogen Peroxide and oral care benefits. Colgate. (2021)
  1. Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening. (2021)
  1. Bistey, Tamas, et al. “In vitro FT-IR study of the effects of hydrogen peroxide on superficial tooth enamel.” Journal of dentistry 35.4 (2007): 325-330.
  1. Sulieman, Munther, et al. “Tooth bleaching by different concentrations of carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide whitening strips: an in vitro study.” Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry 18.2 (2006): 93-100.
  1. Teeth Whitening. (2019)
  1. Teeth Whitening Strips And Dental Health

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