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Hydrogen Peroxide is it safe?

It’s a common theme today for people to seek healthier gums or to whiten their teeth. Most people are familiar with common fluoride based toothpaste and alcohol based mouthwash. They use these products in hope of whitening their teeth, reduce bad breath, and to strengthen the gums. Although most people have less than stellar results after using dental products recommended by dentists.  Another problem people  have is not frequently visiting their dentists to keep their dental health in check.  This is commonly caused no medical insurance or never realizing the negative effects of bad teeth.  It is cheap and abundant in stores, so it’s a great alternative for people who need to treat their mouth. So, let us discuss the benefits and negatives of using a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash.

Hydrogen Peroxide MouthwashIt is a healthy habit to rinse our mouths after eating. After eating our mouth may get slightly acidic which helps in digestion. This is one reason why it is important to drink water  during a meal or soon after.  This is also why eating processed food, candy, or drinking sugar drinks causes many dental problems. After consuming these foods drinking a glass of water would help reduce the slow corrosive damage to your enamel.  Although rinsing with water is beneficial, rinsing with mouthwash should be limited to 2 times daily.

The way it is commonly used is either as a toothpaste, whitening agent, or a oral rinse.  Generic store brand products use variations of hydrogen peroxide in toothpastes and whitening products.  Research shows that these products bring in a lot of money while these products can be primitively recreated at home. The whitening agent can be recreated with simply baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and salt.  This also is an equivalent substitute to toothpaste with equal results to someone’s dental health. Lastly it can be used as a mouthwash but only in concentrations under 3%. Overall hydrogen peroxide  can cheaply substitute brand products with the same results.

Hydrogen Peroxide Benefits

  1. Helps kill bad bacteria which causes bad breath.
  2. It does the same job as alcohol based mouthwashes
  3. Can be combined with baking soda to make a primitive toothpaste, which is just as effective as store brand toothpaste.
  4. It can help whiten teeth on its own or using baking soda to make a paste.  This paste can be left on your teeth for a few minutes which will whiten your teeth.
  5. It may help keep away oral sores and helps disinfect minor cuts (opinions vary on this)

Potential Negative Effects

While the majority of users recommend using hydrogen peroxide  there are people suggesting the potential negative effects.  Using it at as a mouthwash does have it’s cons, one would be the odor of the solution.  Not only the smell, but the bitter taste left in the mouth might be unpleasant to some people.  This contrasts with the flavored alcohol based mouthwashes which mask the smell of the alcohol.  A new habit of chewing gum or sucking on mints would correct this slight negative effect.  These are only minor inconveniences so let’s move onto the more controversial negative effects.

Different doctors will have wide and opposite opinions on effects that haven’t had much proper scientific research.  Most of their opinions are based off of patients they were in contact with or personal experience.  You can find doctors on both sides of the fence with this topic. Some view hydrogen peroxide  beneficial while not harming the user in any noticeable way. The rest argue potential long-term effects it could have which may lead to several health problems. The only way to definitely know the right answer would be new studies into the positive or negative benefits of hydrogen peroxide. A quick search on the web shows little information on the harmful effects while more positive testimonials are abundant. This leads to the lack of ground that the claims have.

Consult your dentist before daily use

If you are not sure about which type of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash to use and the number of times one can use it a day, then it is best to consult your dentist. Also a dentist can recommend to you the brand of mouthwash which is most effective and how to correctly use it. People should also consult the dentist if this should be used by small children.

If you are not completely aware about the types which are present in the market, it is always best to go in a drug store, where you can find a pharmacist who can guide you on which type to buy. Although hydrogen peroxide is the most preferred choice by many people,  you can also ask other people’s opinions and buy the one that suits you the most.

Tips

Hydrogen Peroxide will break down in the presence of light to water (H2O2 -> H2O).  That’s why the bottles are dark color, commonly brown,  which blocks light from entering the bottle.