Household bleaches used for laundry purposes should not be put on the teeth because these substances can cause harmful side effects. Chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite that are contained in household bleach can damage the tooth’s enamel. If accidentally ingested, the bleach may also cause significant damage to internal organs.
Many companies have developed products that produce a bleaching effect on the teeth. The United States Food and Drug Administration considers an oral product a bleaching product if it makes teeth significantly whiter than their natural color. For example, products that contain hydrogen peroxide often have a bleaching effect. More basic whitening effects can often be achieved through products ranging from baking soda whitening toothpastes to malic acid-rich strawberries.