Qwerty’s quandry: I spoke with someone who said they use OxiClean and water to make a watery paste to brush their teeth. They said this whitens their teeth. They said it does taste awful but it keeps their teeth looking white. My first thoughts were to ask was this safe. Does it harm the tooth enamel or gums? Can it mess up your dental work? Others said it is the same as peroxide and they brush or gargled 10 mins daily with peroxide. Then I read it can loosen the gums. So what is the truth. Can OxiClean be used to brush your teeth to make them whiter? Is it effective? Safe? Damaging? How often?
The Beauty Brains respond
Let’s take a look at the ingredients in OxyClean.
OxyClean Versatile Stain Removing Powder Ingredients
Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Percarbonate , Alcohols C12-15 Ethoxylated, Silicic Acid disodium salt pentahydrate, Polyacrylic Acid, Fragrance
When Sodium Percarbonate is mixed with water it will release hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide can certainly be used to bleach teeth but if not used properly it can damage your gums.
The problem with peroxide
One important question is how much hydrogen peroxide OxyClean generates. Over the counter oral products use very low levels because the peroxide can come in contact with tissue (rather than just tooth enamel) and cause damage. Dentists can use higher levels because they can more carefully control the application. We assume that OxyClean may be generating a level that is fine for cleaning purposes but that is far higher than what’s safe for contact with oral mucosa.
The ingredients are not necessarily cosmetic or food grade so they are not established as safe for use in the mouth, especially in the case of accidental ingestion. There are far far different standards for household cleaning products versus cosmetic & dental products.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
Don’t by an Oxy-Moron. Therefore there’s no reason to take the risk and use a product like this when so many safer alternatives are available. (A tip of the hat to Alchemist for help on this post!)
Image credit: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/