hydroperoxide teeth whitening
How long it takes hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth depends on the teeth condition, the reason for discoloration, and the type of treatment used.

The duration hydrogen peroxide takes to whiten teeth depends on three things, including:

  1. Condition of the teeth
  2. Reason for discoloration of the teeth
  3. Type of treatment you want (at-home kits or in-office treatment)

Sessions conducted at a dentist’s office depend on the concentration of hydrogen peroxide.

  • The more the concentration, the fewer the sessions required.
  • However, more concentration is associated with a risk of greater damage.
  • Instead, experts recommend using lower concentrations and shorter treatment times to avoid damage to the teeth.

Professional teeth-whitening treatment typically takes three to four weeks to whiten your teeth.

For over-the-counter and in-home teeth-whitening kits to work, it will take at least a month of wearing mouthpieces every night before the whitening effect sets in. The duration of obtaining results depends on how white your teeth are when you initiate the treatment.

How do you use hydrogen peroxide as a teeth whitener?

You can either use homemade mouthwash recipes using household ingredients, try over-the-counter whitening kits, or get teeth whitening done from a dentist.

Homemade mouthwash recipes involve swishing hydrogen peroxide solution around your mouth or applying a paste of hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda on your teeth followed by rinsing it off. You must, however, exercise caution because this may damage your dental enamel.

Homemade hydrogen peroxide mouthwash

  1. Mix three percent hydrogen peroxide (one part) and water (two parts).
  2. Shake the ingredient mixture thoroughly and use it as a mouthwash.
  3. Spit it out the moment you feel a burning sensation and take care not to swallow the solution.

Hydrogen peroxide paste

  1. Take one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide in a dish.
  2. Mix the soda and peroxide with a spoon.
  3. Apply the paste to your teeth in a circular motion with the help of a toothbrush for two minutes.
  4. Swish water around your mouth until the whole paste is rinsed off completely.

Additionally, there are plenty of store-bought options, including:

  • Teeth-whitening kits
  • Teeth-whitening strips
  • Teeth-whitening pens
  • Teeth-whitening mouthwash
  • Teeth-whitening toothpaste

Most of these options contain hydrogen peroxide diluted to about three percent. The amount of hydrogen peroxide in office-based whitening treatments varies, with the maximum concentration being 10 percent.

If you want quicker results than the above two methods but maintain good oral health, you always have the option of getting tooth whitening treatments from a professional.

Are there any side effects of teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide?

Although hydrogen peroxide can make your teeth a few shades whiter, you must know the risks before you opt for any of the methods of using it.

Teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide can produce side effects such as:

Some of these side effects, such as enamel and tooth damage, are usually because of using a higher concentration. Always be careful while handling hydrogen peroxide of any concentration. 

Side effects such as tooth sensitivity can be caused with any concentration. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, discontinue using hydrogen peroxide and contact your dentist.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/11/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Alkahtani R, Stone S, German M, Waterhouse P. A review on dental whitening. J Dent. 2020 Sep;100:103423.

Sulieman M, Addy M, MacDonald E, Rees JS. The effect of hydrogen peroxide concentration on the outcome of tooth whitening: An in vitro study. J Dent. 2004 May;32(4):295-299.