Yes you can use hydrogen peroxide as mouthwash!
What you need to make sure though is having the correct concentration otherwise it could be dangerous to your oral cavity.
According to most medical sources, a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide is sufficient to help clear your mouth of plaque and reverse the earliest signs of gum disease, this is according to the national capital poison centre.
It's perfectly safe when used as directed. Professionals don't recommend you swallow the solution, it's okay if a tiny amount gets swallowed here and there.
But don't make it a habit as you might start to see redness around your gums and in rare cases stomach pain.
The safety issue really only comes into play if you decide to use higher concentrations (we don't recommend it). The solution can be irritating and cause some discomfort if not used correctly.
Plus it can do some serious damage, especially if you use an undiluted version.
It will burn your insides!
How To Use Hydrogen Peroxide As Mouthwash?
It's pretty easy and doesn't take a whole bunch of time either. Here are some simple steps to follow to get the most out of it:
- Combine 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with 2 parts water, this will make the final concentration 1% which is still powerful.
- Take a mouthful of the hydrogen peroxide mix and gargle and swish all around your mouth for 1 minute.
- Spit the solution out after gargling. Don't swallow the mixture or keep it in your mouth for longer than 90 seconds.
Benefits Of Using Hydrogen Peroxide Compared To Normal Mouthwash
The first obvious thing is the positive effect it has on the oral cavity, a 2012 study showed that hydrogen peroxide helped reduce gum inflammation when used alongside flossing and brushing.
Sore Throat Reduction
Hydrogen peroxide has antibacterial properties which may be helpful in getting rid of bacteria that cause a sore throat.
In addition, when the mucus in your mouth comes into contact with hydrogen peroxide, it creates a foam. This foam makes the mucus less sticky and easier to drain. It can also help to loosen the mucus in your throat, which can cause irritation and pain.
Teeth Whitening With Peroxide?
I've personally never used hydrogen peroxide as a whitener but know people who mix it with baking powder and brush their teeth. They have had some good success with it.
Worth a shot if you need to get your teeth pearly white.
If your wondering specifically about rinsing your mouth to get whiter teeth then a study carried out in 2015 showed that hydrogen peroxide mouthwashes need to be used consistently over many months to produce lasting results.
You are probably better off with a Carbamide peroxide based gel whitening system if your main goal is to whiten teeth.
Increased Risk Of Cancer When Using Hydrogen Peroxide?
It may seem scary but the papers that have been looking at the risk of cancer vs peroxide are mainly analysing the higher concentrations.
There is good evidence showing the safety of hydrogen peroxide when used at low concentrations on a daily basis over extended periods of time, in self-administered oral health care products such as dentifrices and mouth rinses.
These low concentrations do not damage the oral tissues nor do they have any long term effects.
It's only when you start using higher concentrations that risks start developing. we're talking like 15%+!
You shouldn't be going higher than 6% in any case if you are going to use it as an oral rinse.
Hydrogen peroxide is perfectly safe to use as a mouthwash and has some great benefits such as removing plaque (soft) from the teeth alongside having a whitening effect too. But you have to use the rinse consistently for several months to notice any whiteness.
It's pretty simple to use aswell, just combine 2 parts water to 1 part peroxide and presto, you have your own mouthwash that can be used anytime.
Just make sure not to go above 6% peroxide as it will start to irritate your oral tissue. We've also mentioned that very high concentrations may be correlated to certain types of cancer, so please make sure you read the bottle properly before using it.