Hydrogen peroxide is often an ingredient in mouthwashes and teeth-whitening products due to its antimicrobial properties. The following write-up elucidates the benefits of gargling with a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a compound that is made up of two atoms of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen. It is often used as a bleaching agent and a cleaning agent. It is commonly used in oral rinses and teeth-whitening products. Since H2O2 can be very caustic and volatile in its concentrated form, FDA has given the approval for the use of 3% H2O2 as a mouthwash. A 3% pharmaceutical grade H2O2 is easily available at pharmacies. Since the constitution of this compound is such that it breaks down quickly on being exposed to light, it is sold in opaque brown bottles that minimize its exposure to light. You can also use 35% food grade H2O2, but make sure that you dilute it down to 3%. An ounce of 35% food grade H2O2 can be diluted by adding 11 ounces of distilled water.
Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mouthwash
If you intend to use a H2O2 mouthwash, make sure that you dilute the pharmaceutical grade 3% H2O2 before use. Adding water is essential because H2O2 is an acid, and you might get a burning sensation in your mouth if you use it directly. Once you have diluted it, swish it around your mouth so that it comes in contact with your gums and teeth thoroughly. While gargling, tilt your head backwards. Be careful and keep exhaling with your mouth open. Do this for about 10 minutes.
Halitosis or bad breath can be a cause of embarrassment for many. Bad breath could be caused due to tonsillitis, sore throat or gum infections. Dryness of mouth can also cause bad breath. Since poor oral hygiene leads to gum problems and infections, you must brush your teeth and use an antibacterial mouthwash before you go to bed. This is to prevent the vigorous bacterial action that takes place when bacteria start acting on the food debris that may be stuck in your teeth. Bacteria thrive on decayed food when there is a lack of oxygen. This causes bad breath.
What You Can Do: If you suffer from bad breath, do gargle with diluted H2O2 after brushing your teeth at night. You can add a tablespoon of 3% H2O2 to a cup of water for using it as a mouthwash. This is definitely worth a try.
Sore throat can be caused due to common cold, flu or strep throat. Besides viral or bacterial infections, sore throat could also occur due to acid reflux disease, which is a condition characterized by the backflow of the gastric juices to the esophagus.
What You Can Do: If you have a sore throat, you could combine H2O2 with listerine and use this like any mouthwash. If you have used it before and didn’t like the aftertaste, you could use another mouthwash after you finish gargling with diluted H2O2. If you dislike its taste, you can gargle with salted lukewarm water. Just add a pinch of salt to lukewarm water and gargle for 10 minutes. This will surely help.
Discoloration of teeth can be caused due to a wide range of reasons, the most common reason being poor dental hygiene. Tobacco use and excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks can also cause development of stains or yellowing of teeth.
What You Can Do: Your dream of getting pearly white teeth is no longer distant, just remind yourself to use H2O2 mouthwash. Take a tablespoon of peroxide in a cup and swish this around in your mouth for a minute. It begins to bubble due to the reactions that take place between hydrogen peroxide and food debris. This is a great way of getting rid of the germs that might be attacking your gums and teeth. You will surely notice a difference in the color of your teeth after some time.
Though H2O2 can help in whitening teeth, you must never overuse it in an enthusiasm to whiten your teeth quickly. It should never be swallowed. It can harm the enamel coating of your teeth and make them over sensitive.
Gargling with H2O2 is definitely a simple and inexpensive way to improve your dental health. Since germs can easily find their way into your toothbrush, you can soak your toothbrush in a solution of diluted H2O2 for a few minutes. This is to get rid of germs that may be clinging on to your toothbrush. So, use it wisely and get ready to flash your pearly whites with full confidence.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.