It is a no-brainer that everyone wants to have pearly white teeth. White teeth improve one’s physical aesthetics, not to mention their boosted self-confidence. Teenagers are known to follow the crowd, especially where the latest trends are involved. They may also want to have brilliant smiles, like one they saw on a social media post or on someone else.
One of the most popular ways used by most people is whitening teeth with hydrogen peroxide. This method has been known to offer results to some users. But is hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening recommended for teenagers? Is it safe?
Let’s find out more.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening?
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the main ingredients found in teeth whitening solutions. It can be found in teeth whitening toothpaste, strips, gels, trays, and even used by dentists during in-office teeth whitening.
One of the biggest differences between all these teeth whitening products is the concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Some of the solutions have lower concentrations, like strips and toothpaste, while gels and in-office treatments have higher concentrations of the product.
Besides using over-the-counter and in-office teeth whitening options, some people opt for DIY solutions. Hydrogen peroxide plays a big role in DIY teeth whitening. This means that commercial hydrogen peroxide is used to achieve whiter teeth.
But is this recommended?
Let’s find out by checking out some advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening.
- Hydrogen peroxide is readily available in local shops or medical centers.
- There haven’t been reports on adverse effects from hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening.
- Hassle-free as you don’t have to make any visits to the dentist.
- One of the most affordable teeth whitening options.
- There’s a possibility to increase teeth sensitivity.
- Treatment is unregulated and unsupervised by dental professionals.
Is peroxide whitening recommended for teenagers?
Scientists generally agree that it is okay to use hydrogen peroxide as a DIY method to whiten your teeth. In-store peroxides have concentrations that range between 3% and 10%. Such products are okay as long as you learn the best way to whiten your teeth at home when using peroxide.
On the other hand, dentists use higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide during in-office teeth whitening. The concentration can be upward of 20% up to 40%. Such concentrations can be quite harmful to your teeth and oral health if not applied by a professional.
Regardless of the peroxide concentration, this product is not advisable to most teenagers, especially those that are yet to shed off all their deciduous teeth. Such teeth still have thin enamels and much of the dentin exposed. Hydrogen peroxide is a reactive chemical that might affect the teeth, causing issues like increased sensitivity and gum diseases.
Generally, peroxide teeth whitening for teenagers is not recommended to pre-teens or those under 14 years.
Nevertheless, teens that have shed off most of their deciduous teeth may be ideal candidates for peroxide teeth whitening. However, they should still do so under the direct supervision of their guardians or parents and after consultation with a dentist.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe For Your Teeth?
Hydrogen peroxide is generally safe for your teeth. According to scientific findings, much of the store-bought and commercial peroxides have concentrations ranging from 3% to 10%. This is a safe concentration for home use when trying to whiten your teeth. You can use the product for about 10 – 30 minutes every day until you achieve your desired results.
Even though teeth whitening is safe, it is still recommended that you proceed with caution when using the product as long-term usage may bring forth dental issues, such as sensitivity.
The hydrogen peroxide used by dentists during in-office treatments can have concentrations of up to 40%. This product is not readily available to the public as it only can be administered by trained dental professionals.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide teeth whitening Safe for Teenagers?
Hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening is only safe for teenagers that have already grown and matured their adult teeth. Those that still have deciduous teeth are not ideal candidates for the product as their enamels are still too thin to handle the chemicals.
Besides opening them up for increased teeth sensitivity, exposing deciduous teeth to hydrogen peroxide may bring forth gum-related concerns.
Does Hydrogen Peroxide Actually Whiten Teeth?
Hydrogen peroxide has been used for decades as an effective teeth whitening solution (the positive Snow teeth whitening reviews can be proof of that). Besides, this is one of the main ingredients found in most teeth whitening solutions, including at the dentist’s office.
Hydrogen peroxide whitens teeth by oxidizing them. This means it becomes effective in removing stains on your teeth, leaving you with a whiter, brighter smile.
Ways to Whiten Your Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the main ingredients found in teeth whitening products and solutions. It can also be used as a standalone solution during your DIY at-home teeth whitening.
Here is how to use hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening:
There are basically two ways to use hydrogen peroxide during at-home teeth whitening: as a rinse and as a paste.
Hydrogen peroxide rinse:
(1) Mix hydrogen peroxide with water at a 1:1 ratio
(2) Swish the mixture in your mouth for about 1 minute
(3) Spit out the solution
Hydrogen peroxide paste
(1) Mix two teaspoons of baking soda in a bowl with a splash of hydrogen peroxide
(2) Stir the two ingredients
(3) Keep adding either of the two ingredients until you get a thick paste
(4) Using a toothbrush, rub the paste directly on your teeth in small circles for 1 - 2 minutes
(5) Let it settle and rest on your teeth for about 5 minutes
(6) Rinse off the paste by swishing water in your mouth
Although the hydrogen peroxide you’ll use has smaller concentrations, do not leave it in for too long as it may bring forth adverse effects like sensitivity and enamel erosion.
There are various teeth whitening options that you can purchase from your local pharmacy or dental clinic. They include:
1. Teeth whitening strips and pens. Here are some of the best teeth whitening pens that you can consider.
2. Hydrogen peroxide gel for teeth whitening. Some of them are pretty effective. Check out our Laughland teeth whitening review.
3. Whitening mouthwash with hydrogen peroxide.
4. Whitening toothpaste.
In-office treatments are done at the dentist’s office. The hydrogen peroxide used during such treatments is much more concentrated and gets you results almost immediately. Fewer sessions are needed, but it will cost you more than the other teeth whitening methods. At times, your dentist may use peroxide-based gels combined with laser teeth whitening to give you better results.
Hydrogen peroxide solutions expire at some point. Be vigilant whenever you purchase hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening products and check their expiry dates. Do not buy one that’s expired or about to.
Hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening can have side effects, including increased sensitivity, eroding of the enamel, and gum-related issues.
How often you use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth depends on the method you’re using and also your dentist’s instructions. For instance, DIY and over-the-counter methods can be used for about 5 – 10 minutes every day for about a month or so. In-office treatment only requires one-off treatments.