Are you looking for non-peroxide teeth whitening solutions? There are tons of ways to whiten your teeth, but if you don’t like the idea of using peroxides, what options are left and do they even work?
This article will discuss whether or not peroxide-free teeth whitening treatments work and answer the following questions and topics:
- Do peroxide-free teeth whitening treatments work?
- Is non-peroxide teeth whitening safe?
- What are the different treatment options?
- What are the best non-peroxide teeth whitening strips, kits, and gels?
- Non-peroxide teeth whitening reviews
The following table is a summary of our top picks for whitening teeth without peroxide, but you can read on to learn more about each of these:
Hismile PAP+ Whitening Strips
Active Wow Charcoal Kit
White Glo Charcoal Whitening Strips
Let’s get started with finding out whether non-peroxide teeth whitening works before we move on to the different types available.
Table of contents
Do peroxide-free teeth whitening treatments work?
There are quite a few non-peroxide teeth whitening products available on the market, and some work better than others. It really depends on the type of whitening product and the whitening ingredient.
Peroxide-free whitening products like toothpaste and mouthwash are less likely to show huge differences in the color of your teeth, whereas whitening pens, strips, and kits are more likely to noticeably whiten your teeth.
Some of the most common whitening ingredients that peroxide-free whitening products use include:
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Papain and bromelain extracts
- Phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP)
- Coconut oil
Each of these ingredients has been proven to remove stains and whiten teeth to some extent, although most aren’t as effective as hydrogen peroxide.
How does teeth whitening work?
Discoloration and staining are due to pigmented food and drink attaching to the organic matter of your teeth. To whiten and rid them of stains, there are two different methods: physical and chemical. Read more about foods that stain teeth.
Physical removal of stains involves using something abrasive on the surface of your teeth, and chemical bleaching can remove stains both on the surface of your teeth and those that are embedded a little deeper. So, chemical whitening and removal of stains is a much more effective method than just the physical removal of stains.
Chemical whitening and the removal of stains involve the oxidization of stains and alteration of the molecules that hold color. Basically, the bleaching agent enters through the enamel and breaks down these molecules. Smaller molecules are lighter in color, so this results in the overall tooth looking whiter. The common chemicals used to do this include:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Carbamide peroxide
- Phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP)
All of these chemicals remove stains and lighten teeth through oxidization; however, only the peroxides release free radicals as they do this. Free radicals can cause side effects such as tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and the demineralization of tooth enamel.
PAP does not release free radicals, and is thought, therefore, to be safer for your tooth enamel and gum tissues!
Is non-peroxide teeth whitening safe?
Peroxide-free teeth whitening treatments like PAP are considered safer than those that use peroxides because they don’t release free radicals that can cause damage.
Dentists tend to use mostly peroxide-based teeth whitening treatments in-office because professional application can help minimize damage. However, peroxides can become unsafe and have unpleasant side effects when used in at-home whitening treatments.
Peroxide-free whitening treatments may be safer than those that use peroxides because they don’t release free radicals that can cause damage.
PAP has not been explored by dentists as much as peroxide-based treatments. This could be because it is relatively new to the market and there is less research on it compared to peroxides. It also has a higher pH, which means it has a shorter shelf life.
Best non-peroxide teeth whitening treatments
Not many dentists use non-peroxide whitening products yet. However, there are plenty of at-home peroxide-free whitening treatments available on the market, including:
- Whitening strips
- Whitening kits
Here are our recommended non-peroxide whitening treatments:
Peroxide-free teeth whitening products
Teeth whitening kits are the most popular at-home solution because they are affordable and convenient and effective. In a kit, you generally get a mouthpiece and LED light, as well as enough whitening gel to last you for a couple (or more) treatments.
Our top-recommended peroxide-free teeth whitening are the Hismile teeth whitening strips.
You can also read our in-depth guide on whitening kits.
Hismile Non-peroxide teeth whitening strips
Hismile is an Australian company that has gained popularity around the world for its whitening products that use PAP+ as the active ingredient.
What is PAP+? Good question!
This unique formula features a blend of Pthalimidoperoxycaproic Acid (PAP), hydroxyapatite, and potassium citrate. PAP serves as an effective and safe substitute for peroxide in teeth whitening. Additionally, the formula includes nano-hydroxyapatite and potassium citrate, which are essential for reinforcing the tooth enamel.
These ingredients not only strengthen the enamel but also alleviate existing tooth sensitivity and guard against future sensitivity issues.
Their PAP+ formula has been proven to be effective and gentle on teeth and uses a nano-synthetic version of hydroxyapatite.
Nano-hydroxyapatite is able to replace more minerals in your tooth enamel than the regular version. Hismile’s whitening gel also includes the ingredient potassium citrate which addresses any pre-existing tooth sensitivity.
To use these strips, all you have to do is dry your teeth and apply the long strip to your top teeth and the shorter strip to your bottom teeth. Leave the strips on for 30 minutes and then remove and rinse your mouth with water.
Read our full review of Hismile's Whitening to learn more.
Active Wow charcoal teeth whitening kit
It employs sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to break down the proteins that cause stains and uses activated charcoal to draw the stains out.
It also comes with an LED light to accelerate the whitening process and make it more effective.
This kit receives overall positive reviews, with one customer saying:
“My teeth are a bit yellow from drinking a lot of coffee so I thought I would give this a try. After just 1 use, I am blown away with the results – see the pic. I LOVE this!”
White Glo charcoal whitening strips
Another option for teeth whitening without peroxide are these White Glo whitening strips. The active whitening ingredient in these strips is charcoal, and all of the ingredients are enamel-safe so you don't have to worry about sensitivity.
Although many people claim to see results using charcoal-based whitening treatments, there is very little scientific evidence to back these claims up. In fact, this study found that charcoal has no bleaching abilities at all but can absorb surface stains.
If you are looking for an enamel-friendly, peroxide-free whitening treatment then these may be for you. They are simple to use, like other brands of whitening strips, just dry your teeth and apply the strips for 30 minutes. Then, remember to rinse off all the black from your teeth after use!
Non-peroxide teeth whitening reviews
The following reviews are of Hismile products. Hismile is our top pick for its wide range of products that whiten teeth without using peroxides. Instead, they use their effective PAP+ formula — a combination of pthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP), nano-hydroxyapatite, and potassium citrate. It's a mouthful, but it's a formula proven to be a safe and effective alternative to peroxide whitening. You can read all about it in our article about PAP+ teeth whitening.
Check out this first review of Hismile teeth whitening strips — the reviewer is overall satisfied with the product, although she warns that wearing them for 30 minutes might be a bit of a struggle if patience isn't one of your virtues.
This next review is for another Hismile product — the V34 Color Corrector Serum. Now, this product doesn't actually whiten teeth – but it does make teeth appear whiter — and instantly. This makes it the perfect quick fix to use whenever you want whiter, brighter teeth and to use alongside your teeth whitening routine.
It works sort of like a purple shampoo — the purple and blue tones neutralise the yellow tones of your teeth, making them appear whiter. Check out this next video in which five reviewers give their honest take on the product:
There are a lot of different options for whitening your teeth available. And, if you aren’t keen on using ones with peroxide as the main active whitening ingredient there are non-peroxide treatments available.
While hydrogen peroxide is used widely by dentists and has been proven to whiten teeth, it can, in some cases cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. If used incorrectly it can cause enamel damage, which is irreversible.
Non-peroxide whitening treatments use a range of different ingredients, but the best non-peroxide teeth whitening gel seems to have PAP as the active ingredient.
There is not a huge amount of research behind PAP, which is why dentists still widely use peroxide-based products. However, it has proved to be effective in whitening teeth without causing the damage that peroxide can do to the teeth and gums.
Hismile uses PAP as the active ingredient in their whitening kits. They also include the ingredient hydroxyapatite, which remineralizes teeth. Hismile also uses PAP in their whitening strips that are also peroxide-free, which is why they're topping our list of peroxide-free teeth whiteners.
Does non-peroxide teeth whitening gel work?
Some non-peroxide teeth whitening gels do work, and some don't. Look for ingredients that are proven to whiten teeth, such as PAP (phthalimido-peroxy-caproic acid).
Can you whiten teeth without peroxide?
Yes, you can whiten teeth without peroxide. Some ingredients, such as PAP, are said to be just as effective as peroxide, without causing any harm to your enamel, or any tooth sensitivity.
NCBI: The effect of a charcoal-based powder for enamel dental bleaching. Consulted 29th November 2021.
ResearchGate: A bio-safety tooth-whitening composite gels with novel phthalimide peroxy caproic acid. Consulted 29th November 2021.
NCBI: Efficacy of extrinsic stain removal by novel dentifrice containing papain and bromelain extracts. Consulted 29th November 2021.
NIH: A radical-free approach to teeth whitening. Consulted 10th December 2023.