Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid substance used in various products, varying from bleach to rocket fuel. It is extremely effective in eliminating bacteria, making its use in mouthwashvery common. But is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide mouthwash? What pros and cons does it have? Continue reading to find out.
What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide has many everyday uses due to its strong oxidizing properties. It works to destroy bacteria via oxidation damage. This oxidation creates free-radicals which can ultimately destabilize the molecular structure and cellular strength of the bacteria cells, leading to their demise. Hydrogen peroxide is usually a blush and pale liquid, but it is colorless when diluted.
Is It Safe to Use Hydrogen Peroxide as Mouthwash?
The amount of hydrogen peroxide you use determines the safety of the mouthwash. Typically, most bottles of hydrogen peroxide that are bought at a store have a concentration of 3%. When mixed equally with water, it can be used as a mouthwash without irritating your gums.
Hydrogen peroxide is also used in teeth bleaching agents to whiten your teeth. However, this does not mean that hydrogen peroxide will be effective at whitening your teeth.
How to Safely Use Hydrogen Peroxide as Mouthwash
Ensure that you stick to low concentrated version of hydrogen peroxide when using it as a mouth wash. Also, make sure that you mix it with an equal amount of water before use. Ensure to spit the liquid out once you have cleaned your mouth and rinse thoroughly with clean water. The use of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash can leave your mouth feeling dry. Rinsing your mouth with water afterwards not only helps to remove any hydrogen peroxide left behind, but also helps to keep your mouth moist.
Pros and Cons of Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash
Pro 1: It Kills Germs
Perhaps the best positive point of using hydrogen peroxide as mouthwash is its ability to kill germs and bacteria in the mouth. This can help dramatically in preventing tooth decay, infection and bad breath. One study showed that the use of hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash prevents the buildup of plaque and bacteria, both of which contribute to gingivitis.
Pro 2: It Comes in Handy
Another pro is the fact that hydrogen peroxide is often readily available. Due to its various applications, it is a substance that many people have in their homes. Hydrogen peroxide also costs less than most established brands of mouthwash.
Con 1: It Has Unpleasant Flavor
Many people find the taste of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash somewhat repulsive. This means that you may have to rinse your mouth out numerous times to eradicate the taste and you may experience difficulty using the mouthwash due to your gag reflex. Infusing the mouthwash mixture with mint may help to avoid this.
Con 2: It Is Harmful When Ingested
Although it is generally safe when used in low quantities, hydrogen peroxide can be fatal if ingested in large amounts. Some people find that the chemical causes irritation when it makes contact with their skin. Some users have noticed redness, irritation and stinging at the site of application. If you have used hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash and have experienced an adverse reaction that has remained persistent or worsened, contact your health care professional as soon as possible.