Most of us know Hydrogen Peroxide as the liquid in the brown bottle used to clean out cuts and scrapes after a fun day outside. Did you know it also has dental benefits? Hydrogen Peroxide has been used by dentists since 1913 to help treat gum disease, as well as reduce the amount of plaque on teeth.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a liquid that contains oxygen and hydrogen molecules. There are two reasons it works in treating gum disease. First, oxygen helps eliminate pathogens, as well as makes it difficult for anaerobic bacteria to survive. Second, is its ability to break through the barrier that protects the biofilm on your teeth, allowing it to destroy bacteria cells walls.
In addition to helping treat gum disease, Hydrogen Peroxide can also be used as a whitening agent, help sooth a sore throat, as well as heal minor mouth sores. For best results and safe treatment, whitening should be done professionally to get excellent results fast. Many over the counter toothpaste and rinses help prevent daily staining but be aware they can increase sensitivity, and harm your tissues. If you have a sore throat or mouth sores; gargle and swish with diluted hydrogen peroxide. It will decrease the bacteria in the mouth allowing infection or sore to heal faster.
If you are going to gargle and swish Hydrogen Peroxide its important you know how to use it properly for it to be effective:
1. Mix 2/3 water with 1/3 - 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
2. Swish around entire mouth
3. Gargle- tilt head back and gargle for 30 seconds
4. Spit it all out
· To avoid irritating gums only do this a few times a week
Hydrogen Peroxide is safe to use, if used properly. This means not using it to often, or using a concentration that is too strong. A concentration of 3% is what is recommended for proper use. If you use a concentration that is too high, or you use it for a prolonged duration it can cause damage to your tissues. It’s not recommended to swallow any as it can cause and upset stomach and vomiting. Children should not be encouraged to use Hydrogen Peroxide in their oral hygiene routine unless they are really good at spitting it out.
Talk to your dentist at your next appointment to see if adding a little Hydrogen Peroxide occasionally into your oral care would benefit you.