Most teeth whitening treatments that are available both over the counter and through your dental office contain the active ingredient carbamide peroxide.  Carbamide peroxide produces free radicals that remove pigmentation found in dark or stained teeth.  It does this by breaking down into hydrogen peroxide.

So if hydrogen peroxide actually does the whitening, why use carbamide peroxide?

Carbamide peroxide tends to be much more stable and easier to work with than hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening.  Despite this fact, hydrogen peroxide is still found as the active ingredient in many teeth whitening treatments.  What’s even better is that hydrogen peroxide is very inexpensive and can be used for homemade teeth whitening, also!

Creating homemade hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening is simple.  You begin with some baking soda, which is also very inexpensive and can be found at any grocery store.  Take a tablespoon or so of the baking soda, and add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to create a paste.  Then carefully brush the paste on your teeth, avoiding your gum tissue as much as possible, and allow the paste to remain on your teeth for a few minutes before thoroughly rinsing.  Perform these steps three to four times a week for best results.

Things to note:

If the hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening mixture does come into contact with your gums or other soft tissues, you may experience some discomfort, tingling, and/or a change in color of the gum tissue.  These are indicative of minor burns and are very temporary.  It should also be noted that this mixture is for whitening only, and should not be ingested.

The most common side effect of this mixture and teeth whitening products in general is increased sensitivity of the teeth.  Like the others, this side effect is temporary and should be relieved within a few days.  A sensitivity toothpaste can be used to help relieve this discomfort.

Although you will likely see some results from homemade hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening, the results will usually not be as noticeable as results from over the counter whitening products.  Consider pre-packaged strips and gels for faster and more drastic results.  The greatest results, of course, will be through in-office whitening procedures performed through your dental office.  These procedures can be quite costly, but they will often provide immediate results.

No matter which whitening method you choose to pursue, however, you should always consult your dentist first.  In all cases, whitening is most effective immediately after regular dental cleanings.  Your dentist will also be able to identify any cavities or broken fillings that could be adversely affected by whitening treatments.  Once you get approval from your dentist, use your whitening method of choice as directed and enjoy a brighter, whiter smile in no time!