Hydrogen peroxide is that clear liquid that is used to cleanse wounds. While this is the common use of the solution, some people do not know that it can also be used as a mouthwash. Before people start gargling with anything marked hydrogen peroxide or H2O2, it is important to know the different forms. Not all solutions with this compound is safe for use as a mouthwash. First off there is such a thing as food grade hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid that is produced naturally as a by-product of any oxidation metabolism among animals and even plants. It also occurs in the atmosphere where oxygen from water combines with sunlight. The human body naturally produces it as a defense against infection. Its chemical composition is H2O2, which means it has two atoms of hydrogen and oxygen.
H2O2 has a lot of uses and applications from disinfecting, bleaching, and cleansing, to being used as an oxygen source in rocket fuels. There are many types of it which differ by grade of purity. The most common is 3.5% pharmaceutical grade which is used as disinfectant. Among its other formulations and uses include: 6% grade used by beauticians for hair coloring, 30% reagent grade used for scientific purposes as stabilizers, 35% food grade used for production of eggs, and 90% grade which is used for rocket fuels.
Its Dental Uses
Although it is a known oxidant or oxidizer, it is considered safe for use as a mouthwash at 3% or lower. Many have been using it as a substitute for oral hygiene products that contain sodium fluoride which has been recently regarded as a dangerous chemical compound unfit for human use. Dental health products consist of only about 3% concentration. This solution is already strong enough to kill bacteria inside the mouth.
Food grade h2o2 can be used to fight bad bacteria inside the mouth. This can be an effective way to cure canker sores. The solution is also regarded as an effective chemical compound to whiten the teeth. Most known chemical compounds that whiten teeth commonly have compounds that release H2O2. Some examples of these compounds are sodium carbonate peroxide in toothpastes and carbamide peroxide in teeth whitening gels. The peroxide released by the chemical compounds acts as a bleaching agent for the teeth. Although some say that this compound is known to strengthen teeth, many studies showed no significance of using it in strengthening the enamel or the outer surface and hardest part in the teeth. It does not alter enamel porosity as well.
H2O2 in Dental Products
The number of uses of hydrogen peroxide is vast and still currently increasing. This makes it one of the most practical chemical compounds to date. Its dental benefits, specifically in teeth whitening, are fast gaining recognition. Alternative mouthwashes and dental products are becoming popular alternatives to dental products that contain sodium fluoride. Thus far, these H2O2 mouthwashes and dental products have exceeded the expectations of consumers in terms of effectiveness and cost.