I know that the teeth whitening gel my dentist uses is made from peroxide. Is it possible for me to just use the peroxide I have at home and swish it around my mouth every day to help whiten my teeth?
I like your “do it yourself” attitude! There are two things that will get in the way of this being an effective option for you. First is the length of time you need for this to make a difference. Our dental enamel is fairly translucent. Most of our teeth stains come from deeper in the tooth at the dentin. In order to get the peroxide gel to reach that area, you will have to keep it in contact with your teeth for a minimum of 15 minutes. That would be a miserable amount of time to keep swishing in your mouth.
To get around this issue, dentists use teeth whitening trays (pictured above). This has the dual purpose of both keeping the gel in contact with your teeth in an easy way for you, as well as protecting your gums. When you use peroxide too much on the living tissue in your mouth, as you would have to do without these trays, you put yourself at risk of developing thrush, an oral yeast infection. Rinsing with peroxide every once in a while will not be a problem. Every day will.
The second issue you will face is the strength of the peroxide. The gel your dentist would use is about a 33% concentration. Crest Whitestrips, which have very mild results and take many weeks to see a difference, have a 6% concentration. You would be using a concentration that is half of even Crest Whitestrips.
The bottom line is it will be safer and more effective if you do your teeth whitening work through your dentist.
This blog is brought to you by Ahwatukee Dentist Dr. Harveer Kaur.