What else can hydrogen peroxide do?
September 9, 2006 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Beyond helping canker sores heal faster, does swishing and gargling with hydrogen peroxide have any other dental / oral hygienic properties?
posted by bjork24 to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes. It causes cancer.
My dental hygenist told me it was a bad idea.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:30 AM on September 9, 2006

Although this says the opposite.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:33 AM on September 9, 2006

Stop breathing. There are particles in the air that can cause cancer!

Swishing with hydrogen peroxide before brushing can help whiten teeth.
posted by chrisroberts at 10:59 AM on September 9, 2006

Most otc toothpastes which advertise teeth whitening use hydrogen peroxide as a whitening agent. The on H2O2 states that the practice is FDA approved.

I gargle with it before flossing... the foaming action seems to dislodge gunk which is hard (or painful...) to get at with flossing.
posted by nathan_teske at 11:16 AM on September 9, 2006

The problem with hydrogen peroxide is it may kill TOO MANY microbes. There are colonies of good microbes (resident flora) that live on your skin and in your mouth that prevent the bad ones (pathogens) from taking up residence. You kill the good ones, you leave room for the bad ones to move right on in. If you're going to use it on canker sores it should at least be diluted 1 to 1 with water.
posted by dog food sugar at 11:23 AM on September 9, 2006

If you have a painfully inflamed tooth, h2o2 can be a temporary remedy while you wait to see the dentist.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:30 AM on September 9, 2006

You can use it to bleach hair too, right?
posted by Rhomboid at 11:59 AM on September 9, 2006

I should've specified that I always use a 1 to 1 solution with water... never straight-up H2O2.
posted by bjork24 at 12:18 PM on September 9, 2006

Oh sorry - I hope that didn't come out sounding all corrective and obnoxious - but I see that it kinda is. Sorry about that.

It's not orally related but I use 3% H2O2 to get the animal pee smell out of my rug when the pets have an accident. I also use it to clean the floor sometimes so their little paws arn't walking all over a bunch of icky chemicals. I love how it breaks down to water after it dumps that extra oxygen off.
posted by dog food sugar at 4:13 PM on September 9, 2006

On bleaching your hair: don't use regular household hydrogen peroxide. Get a commercial bleaching kit, and read up on it first. The linked page has tons of clear info about how to bleach, and do weird colors including silver.

Snopes urban legends reference pages debunks some myths about hydrogen peroxide as home cure.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:17 PM on September 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

A while back I told my dentist that I did the same thing and he said "that's a bad idea"

thats all
posted by comatose at 9:27 AM on September 10, 2006

Hydrogen peroxide *is* a mutagen, but you would need higher concentrations than the 3% off-the-shelf H2O2 in order to do yourself damage. When doctors recommend using H2O2 for a mouthwash they always say to dilute it to 1.5% (1:1 peroxide:water) just to be safe.

I would think that daily H2O2 rinse is unwise, but if you need to keep your mouth clean before/after surgery it would be okay for a few days.

I use the 3% stuff as an antiseptic on wounds that I can't clean. It was really useful when I had a frozen wart and it was difficult to clean under the dead flesh. Helped with some eczema(?), but I'm not sure if it was a good idea or just an old wife's tale.
posted by Mozai at 7:15 AM on October 2, 2006

« Older NYC Bars Similar To Orchard Bar   |   Need US-based Lawyer and Accountant... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.