Hydrogen peroxide rinsing: What you need to know

You’ve heard us say over and over again that your smile is often the first thing people notice about you. And in the pursuit of a perfect smile, many often turn to hydrogen peroxide. But is it safe to use? We asked the experts what we should know.

It must be used in the correct concentration

“Using properly diluted peroxide can certainly help maintain gum health and can slowly whiten teeth,” said Jason Kasarsky, DDS, a New York cosmetic dentist. “It kills bacteria and even has the power to help cure mouth ulcers and disinfect your toothbrush. But the key thing to remember is that you have to use it properly and dilute it to a safe percentage. ”

Dr. Kasarsky says that the “one third, one third and one third” rule must be followed when diluting. This means that the mixture you use should contain equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, water and Listerin. If you are unsure of your mixing ability, you can use a product called Peroxyl, which contains a safe amount of hydrogen peroxide.

“There are no bad effects that can occur if you dilute it properly,” says Dr. Kasarsky. “If it is No when properly diluted, you can create tooth sensitivity and whiten gums, although the negative effects usually do not last too long. As for the rumor that rinsing with hydrogen peroxide can cause cancer, it’s a myth because it’s not a known carcinogen. “

Los Angeles cosmetic dentist Rhonda Kalasho, DDS, adds that when properly diluted, hydrogen peroxide can be effective against disease. “Hydrogen peroxide has recently been used as a therapeutic treatment for COVID-19,” he says. “Studies from hindawi investigated the effect of peroxide rinsing and disease severity, and hydrogen peroxide at 3% concentration was shown to reduce hospitalizations. In short, peroxides are very safe to rinse if you just swing and spit and use a low concentration, below 3 percent. ”

“While dilute concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are sold and sold professionally over the counter as a mouthwash, there are some concerns about its use,” said Fort Washington, PA, prosthetist Glenn J. Wolfinger, DMD. “The main problem arises in the patient’s ability to accurately dilute solutions and monitor use to a safe level.” Dr. Kalashho adds, “Because mouthwash tends to flow through the mouth, high-contraction peroxide can cause chemical burns to the mouth.”

It kills bacteria in your mouth

On the contrary, Beverly Hills, cosmetic dentist Kourosh Maddahi of California, DDS, says the problem with mixing hydrogen peroxide is killing good bacteria in your mouth. “I’m definitely against rinsing my mouth with hydrogen peroxide,” he notes. “It kills all the bacteria, which means 98 percent of the good bacteria in our mouths that help protect us from disease and infection.” It can also damage the enamel over time and cause tooth and root sensitivity, along with gum irritation. ”

It is not an alternative to other whitening methods

“Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of using hydrogen peroxide mouthwashes for teeth whitening,” says Dr. Kalasho, who adds that most studies did not show any significant difference in tooth color. “Gels, either hydrogen peroxide or urea peroxide, have been found to do better teeth whitening and improve overall brightness.”

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