Lora Cook, RDH
Is using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse safe?
Many commercial mouth washes and whitening strips have hydrogen peroxide as one of the key active ingredients. However many are using straight hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash to kill germs. Is this a safe and effect practice?
Hydrogen peroxide is compose of water and oxygen that works to kills germs and bacteria, and helps to whiten teeth. It comes in either 1% or 3% concentrations. You can even see it in action! When it foams in your mouth you know that it is working at killing bacteria. It also can be used to clean your night guard, retainers, or even soak your tooth brush in. Best of all it is inexpensive.
However this is not the magic cure all, there are some strong precautions that I would like to share with you. While there are many benefits it can be harmful on gum tissue if used in too strong a solution or too long. It is very drying to the tissues. This will also work to kill good bacteria in the mouth. This will leave opportunity for yeast infections of the mouth to flourish, also called thrush. Candidiasis is a fungal or yeast infection of the mouth or throat. Candida yeast that normally live in the mucosa membrane will flourish causing a over growth of candida, commonly called yeast infections.
This can be a relatively safe practice by following a few guidelines; dilute peroxide with 50% water, and do use every day. If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry mouth stick with a over the counter rinse formulated for dry mouth sufferers.
Want to learn more? Visit us at