I have learned that the whitening gel that dentists use to whiten your teeth is simply hydrogen peroxide. If that is the case, why can’t I whiten my teeth by rinsing with the peroxide I have at home every day?
While I love your “can-do” spirit, there are some differences between the peroxide you have at home and the peroxide your dentist has at his or her disposal. Your household peroxide is 3%. The peroxide your dentist will use is 25 – 33% hydrogen peroxide. That is a huge difference. To give you some idea. Crest Whitestrips, which you can buy over-the-counter only contains 6% peroxide and provides only the mildest whitening, used over a long period of time. Even that is twice what you can achieve at home with serious persistence.
A second consideration is how to get it to soak into your teeth. Most of the staining in your teeth is internal, with the dentin. The enamel itself is translucent. The peroxide needs to be in contact with your teeth a minimum of about 15 minutes in order to soak in and reach those internal stains. I do not know many people who can stand to rinse with peroxide for that long.
Truthfully, your most effective and safest option is to do your teeth whitening through your dentist who can provide you with custom-fitted trays that can reach all of your teeth while protecting your gums.