One question we get often, and we suspect other dentists get it as well, is when people ask if they can bleach their teeth at home with their Clorox bleach. There are various variations of proposed methodologies, from “painting” it on to swishing it in their mouth every morning. While we don’t recommend it, there is an interesting story about it.
A well-known cosmetic dentist, Dr. David Hall, reports on his blog at mynewsmile.com that he had a patient once who told him that she was swishing each day with Clorox to keep her teeth white. He said that she was an attractive young woman who did have beautiful white teeth. And, in spite of dire warnings that we hear from some quarters, she wasn’t dead or even ill.
Household bleach is a strong base, like lye. Yes, as the warnings go, it can burn living tissue if it is in contact from long enough. Plus, in contact with some other chemicals it can release chlorine gas, which can kill you. But if you swish briefly and spit and then rinse, it probably won’t harm you. But then, I’m really doubtful that it does actually whiten your teeth any, simply because bleaching your teeth requires contact with a bleaching agent for long enough that the peroxide (the normal teeth bleaching agent) can soak into your tooth.
So no, I wouldn’t swish it. It’s risky and won’t really bleach your teeth.
The safest way to whiten your teeth is through a dentist. If cost is the issue, there are affordable dentists who will be willing to work with you. Many of them have payment plans that will allow you to pay out your treatment in increments you can afford.
This blog is brought to you by Ahwatukee Dentist Dr. Harveer Kaur.
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