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Thursday, 27 June 2013

My $3 teeth whitening solution

 There is a chance that I have a mild Diet Coke addiction. It's terrible for you, and I know full well I should not drink it.  It is also not a frugal choice by any means.  Yet I suppose everyone has their vice and if mine is a soft drink....well it could be worse.
Except if you ask my teeth.  Little is worse for your teeth than drinking can after can of diet cola. And I started to feel bad for my poor yellowing teeth.

My teeth have been very good to me throughout my life.  Never braces or night time head gear or even a simple retainer was needed in my youth. My teeth just happily did their bit for me.  So I thought I owed these good sports some whitening.
However, when I asked my dentist about teeth whitening procedures he told me I was looking at a cost of just over $200. Hahaha! (Am I the only one who sees the price of things as an attempt at humour? It routinely cracks me up!) Then the dentist said that because peoples teeth accept the whitening process differently he could only "guarantee" an improvement of two shades.  When he showed me the shade chart I was less than impressed.   So I figured teeth whitening was not going to happen for me.  And since there is no foreseeable future in which I would give up Diet Coke, my teeth were condemned to everlasting yellowness.  I accepted it and put the whole thing out of my mind.

Until about a month ago when I was online looking up some good homemade floor cleaners. I saw a recipe for one that included hydrogen peroxide.  The writer of the webpage was praising the many uses for hydrogen peroxide- including teeth whitening. That made sense, it was something I had always kind of "known" but needed to be reminded about.  So I started looking up peroxide a a tooth whitener trying to make up a pros and cons list.

After a bit I decided it was worth a try. So I took a before photo.
Then every night before bed I brushed my teeth.  We use a fluoride free toothpaste. I don't know if that makes a difference but I thought it worth mentioning.
Next I flossed.
Then mixed together 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxide. (I used one finger amount of each in a smallish plastic cup I have in the bathroom for this purpose alone).
I used the mixture as a mouthwash, only swishing around in the front of my mouth.
Do not gargle with this mixture or swallow it. And again for good measure and just to be clear: Do not swallow this mixture. Are we good on that? Everyone is clear? Let's move on then.

Swish around in your mouth for about 30 seconds per mouthful.  It will get foamy as it reacts will all the business inside your mouth. Spit out your mouthful and then do another until your glass is finished. Then spit out your final mouthful.  Then spit again. Go ahead and do it one more time. As any residual peroxide continues to react inside your mouth it will continue to foam. Since you mustn't swallow it, just keep spitting until your mouth does not feel foamy anymore.   Do not use water to rinse your mouth.  In fact, stay away from food and drink for at least half an hour.  But since I recommend doing this as part of a bedtime routine, going without until morning is a pretty good idea.

I had read about other methods also using peroxide to whiten teeth.  The mouthwash method was the only one I found that did not pose a risk to your gums.  The other methods have you mixing peroxide with toothpaste or baking soda or both, then brushing onto your teeth.  But all that abrasion can be very hard on your gums, so please move cautiously if you decide to go that route.

That Guy asked me if it tasted gross, so I thought I should address that.  It, in fact, almost tastes like nothing. But there was a very very light lingering taste that reminded me of something....  After a few days I placed the taste! It tastes EXACTLY like Crest White strips back when I used those in my late teenage years. Which makes perfect sense since the main ingredient in those is...Peroxide!

Except my mouthwash version costs $3 for the whole bottle of peroxide, and the strip version was setting me back $50/box. (Yes, this was years before my frugal living came into play).
These photos have been cropped so you better see my teeth but have not been edited in any other way so that I could show you the truest results.  I even refrained from wearing super red lipstick in my after photo like all the advertisements do.

I have to say, I am very happy with the results.  These are better results than what I had been guaranteed by my dentist at a laughable fraction of the cost and without any major time commitment at all! 

Score one for frugal living! :)


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Rylan! Hydrogen peroxide can be useful in making the teeth a few shades whiter. And while it could have varying results, it’s nice to know that it did wonders for you. As for other whitening solutions, just make sure to consult with your dentist first, so you at least know that the product won't be harmful to your teeth. All the best!

    Lindsey Hubbard @ Team Green Dentistry

  2. Yes hydrogen peroxide can be useful in making the teeth a few shades whiter. This is my dentist at told me.

  3. Nice post!!! Few days ago I went to Torrance dentist for my teeth whitening and got great advice for teeth whitening. He gave a teeth whitening kit that really helped me to have bright white teeth. And a beautiful smile too.