Hydrogen peroxide, known widely as a bleaching agent, is a highly reactive, pale blue colored liquid with the chemical formula H2O2. It is also the natural by-product that is produced during oxygen metabolism within the body of almost all living organisms. Due to its strong oxidizing properties, H2O2 has found wide range of applications in the industrial and medical sectors. H2O2 mouthwash is such a product, that is widely used for maintaining dental and oral hygiene.
Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mouth Rinse
H2O2 can be used directly as a mouthwash, or you can use a commercial mouthwash with H2O2 as an active ingredient. But getting it from a medical store, and using it as a mouthwash is a much less expensive option than commercial mouthwash products.
- When used as a mouthwash, it can kill the germs and bacteria inside the mouth to eliminate problems like bad breath and gingivitis.
- It is excellent for destroying the germs and bacteria that cause plaque and caries.
- Gargling with it can effectively reduce the incidence of common dental diseases such as trench mouth, mouth sores and ulcers.
- Along with killing harmful bacteria and microorganisms, H2O2 can also bleach or whiten the teeth, due to its strong bleaching properties. So, you can use it for mouthwash to not only enhance oral hygiene, but whiten your teeth as well.
- 3% H2O2 solution can be mixed with baking soda and water to make a homemade toothpaste. To prepare mouthwash with H2O2, you can mix it with equal parts of water.
Is It Safe to Use Hydrogen Peroxide As Mouth Rinse?
As H2O2 can easily break down when exposed to sunlight, it usually comes in a brown bottle, which can filter out the sun's rays. H2O2 is usually available in most of the medical stores as a 3% solution. Generally, a 3% H2O2 solution is considered safe to be used for health purposes. However, some people think that a 3% solution is too strong to be used inside the mouth, and that a 1% solution would be more suitable to be used as a mouthwash. Thus, many suggest diluting H2O2 before using as a mouthwash.
In general, a 1% to 3% H2O2 solution is considered safe to be used as a mouthwash, and for cleaning cuts and wounds. It is also important not to use a very large volume of H2O2 at one time, as it foams inside the mouth, expanding its volume.
It is recommended to check the label of the bottle to ensure that you are buying a 3% or less solution, marked for home use and not industrial use. This is because using concentrated or a high strength solution can be very dangerous. Again, though many think dilution is not required, it is advisable to dilute even the 3% solution of the product for use inside the mouth. After using the mouthwash, do not forget to flush your mouth properly with clean water.
H2O2 is a common household product with numerous uses. Here are some of the common uses:
- It is an excellent disinfectant and antiseptic that can be used for skin infections, including minor cuts and wounds. It can rid the infected skin of germs and microorganisms.
- It can be used to cure cold sores, insect bites and pimples as well.
- In the industrial sector, H2O2 is a bleaching agent that can be used as a substitute for chlorine-based substances. Sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate are the two most widely used bleaches in laundries, and both of them are manufactured from H2O2.
- It is also used to remove odor, especially in the industries for metal oxidation and corrosion, and to sterilize surgical and medical equipment.