A Common Household Ingredient
Hydrogen peroxide is a common household ingredient that has been around for many years. It can be found in bleaching and whitening products, as well as glow sticks and rocket propellants. (Yes, really!) It is highly reactive, which means that in the presence of light, hydrogen peroxide quickly decomposes into oxygen and hydrogen molecules. Hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous, at high levels, when contacting the human body. Therefore you should be careful when you dab it onto wounds and cuts. Yes, it effectively kills bacteria—but it also kills healthy cells.
Now, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) classifies hydrogen peroxide as a substance that impairs the body’s ability to heal. That means, if you have recently had dental surgery in your mouth, you should not put hydrogen peroxide in your mouth—harsh whitening toothpaste almost always contain hydrogen peroxide, which will slow down your body’s natural healing process. Hydrogen peroxide is irritating to your skin and eyes. Since young children have a higher risk of swallowing toothpaste, it’s better to not have hydrogen peroxide toothpaste in the household.
Once one realizes the mouth is a highly absorbent area, you too may want to minimize your exposure to hydrogen peroxide in your mouth. The harsh chemicals can be absorbed through the tissues into the bloodstream, without ingesting the product. While hydrogen peroxide is a widely-used bleaching tool, there are safer, gentler ways to whiten your teeth—even if you accidentally swallow a mouthful!
A Safe Alternative
For example, our RiseWell Natural Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste is hydrogen peroxide-free and contains silica, a trace mineral naturally found in your body, which scrubs the teeth to remove extrinsic stains, aka discoloring (usually from food, drink, and tobacco) on the enamel of your teeth. While hydrogen peroxide toothpaste changes the color of the enamel, silica gently scrubs the stains off the enamel, without the use of chemicals. A great alternative to hydrogen peroxide mouthwash is our RiseWell Alkalizing Mouthwash, which naturally inhibits the growth of bad bacteria while freshening breath and keeping your mouth healthy.
Just remember: Hydrogen peroxide can bleach hair and burn skin and eyes. Knowing this, it may not sound enticing to voluntarily put hydrogen peroxide in your mouth when you brush twice a day. Luckily, there are safe science-backed alternatives that are proven to whiten your teeth. You do not have to sacrifice vanity for safety.
About Dr. Derek
He is not only Co-Founder of RiseWell. Dr. Derek Gatta is a partner at Dr Max & Dr Gatta PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida. If you are in the area, he is your go-to dentist!