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What kills fungus better alcohol or hydrogen peroxide?

Is It Safe to Gargle With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Peroxides are a group of compounds that work well as cleaning agents. Healthcare professionals have been using peroxide for various purposes for decades. In fact, dentists have been using peroxides to treat gum infections safely and effectively since 1913.

Hydrogen peroxide is the most common peroxide in use today. The handy liquid serves as a mild antiseptic on the skin to prevent infection of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, viruses, yeasts, fungi, and mold spores. Even today, dentists often recommend using hydrogen peroxide to improve oral health.

Gargling with Hydrogen Peroxide

Gargling with hydrogen peroxide can help with a number of oral issues, including gum inflammation and sore throat. Swishing with hydrogen peroxide can even whiten your teeth.

Gargling with hydrogen peroxide is easier than you might think. To maximize the effects of hydrogen peroxide – and to use it safely – you must first dilute it. The familiar brown bottle found in stores contains 3% hydrogen peroxide, which is too strong for oral use. Dilute 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1% by mixing two parts water with one part hydrogen peroxide. You can mix ½ cup of water with ¼ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide, for example, to create 1% hydrogen peroxide that is safe to use in your mouth; anything stronger is likely to cause irritation.

Next, tilt your head back and take a small mouthful of the diluted hydrogen peroxide. Gargle and swish the diluted solution in your mouth for about 60 seconds. Spit out the diluted hydrogen peroxide – do not swallow it.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Oral Health

Dentists have been using hydrogen peroxide to improve patients’ oral health for more than a century because it works – the inexpensive and stable solution safely prevents infections, reduces gum inflammation, and whitens teeth.

Hydrogen peroxide helps promote healing and prevention of canker sores and other small mouth wounds by reducing bacteria in the mouth. Simply dip a cotton swab into the diluted hydrogen and rub it gently on the canker sore or oral wound. Spit out any excess hydrogen peroxide, and be sure to avoid swallowing any.

Gargling with hydrogen peroxide can help reduce gum inflammation, especially when combined with regular brushing and flossing. When you swish hydrogen peroxide around in your mouth while gargling, the hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen that helps destroy bacteria. The presence of oxygen kills the anaerobic bacteria that cause gum disease and inflammation.

Hydrogen peroxide can even whiten your teeth. The oxygen released by hydrogen peroxide can pass easily into the enamel of your teeth, where it can break down stain-causing molecules and leave behind whiter, brighter teeth. To gain the full, long-lasting whitening effect, you will need to gargle with hydrogen peroxide consistently over the course of about three months.

For faster results, you can use whitening gels with 10% carbamide peroxide, which are significantly more effective at whitening. The best teeth whitening is done at your dentist, who can use stronger solutions and advanced procedures to white your teeth.

Hydrogen Peroxide for Sore Throat

Gargling with hydrogen peroxide helps soothe a sore throat. The antibacterial properties of hydrogen peroxide kill the bacteria that can cause sore throats. The bubbling action – caused by the release of oxygen – can help loosen mucus that often accompanies sore throats.

Risks of Gargling Hydrogen Peroxide

There are some risks associated with gargling with hydrogen peroxide. Swallowing hydrogen peroxide can irritate the tissues in your throat; swallowing undiluted hydrogen peroxide can even burn the organs of your digestive tract and cause bleeding there. Swallowing even a small amount can cause stomach pain and possible vomiting.

Gargling with hydrogen peroxide can help with a sore throat and gum inflammation, and can help whiten your teeth. For best results and safe use, dilute brown bottle 3% hydrogen peroxide with water, and never swallow the solution.

For more information about using hydrogen peroxide at home, talk with the dentists at Williams and Daily.

Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist in Raleigh, NC with a dedicated team of dentists, assistants, hygienists and administrators who are enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.

Hydrogen peroxide kills most viruses and bacteria — here’s how to use it effectively

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  • Hydrogen peroxide does kill germs, including most viruses and bacteria.
  • A concentration of 3% hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant typically found in stores.
  • Hydrogen peroxide can damage some surfaces, and is a more dangerous chemical than some disinfectants, so be cautious when handling it.
  • This story is part of Insider’s guide on How to Kill Germs.

Hydrogen peroxide is often used to clean skin wounds and prevent infection from minor cuts and scrapes.

As a household cleaner, it’s also an effective disinfectant that will kill viruses, bacteria, and other germs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here’s what you need to know about using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant in your home.

Hydrogen peroxide does kill germs and viruses

Hydrogen peroxide works as a disinfectant by destroying essential components of germ cells, and can deactivate a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores.

According to the CDC, a concentration of 3% hydrogen peroxide can inactivate rhinovirus — the respiratory virus that primarily causes the common cold — within eight minutes. In addition, a 2018 study found that hydrogen peroxide was more effective in killing some forms of bacteria than the quaternary ammonium compounds found in many household cleaning products.

When it comes to reducing the germs in your home and containing the spread of coronavirus, hydrogen peroxide is a good option to use on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass, and plastic, says Alex Berezow, PhD and vice president of scientific communications at the American Council on Science and Health.

How to use hydrogen peroxide to kill viruses

The typical 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration found in stores can be used as a disinfectant, or you can dilute it to a 0.5% concentration, which still has some effectiveness, using a mixture of 2.5 parts water and 0.5 parts 3% hydrogen peroxide.

Before disinfecting any surface with hydrogen peroxide, the CDC recommends using soap and water to clean the area. Once you’ve done so, you can pour or spray hydrogen peroxide on the surface and wipe with a paper towel or sponge.

After you’ve used hydrogen peroxide, make sure to leave it on the surface for at least one minute before drying to give it enough time to kill pathogens.

If you’re cleaning with 3% hydrogen peroxide, use caution on some surfaces — such as countertops made of marble or granite — as its slight acidity can break down the finish of these surfaces over time. It can also cause discoloration, so test it out on a small spot of a colored surface before using it on a larger area.

Be careful when handling hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use alone, but shouldn’t be mixed with other household cleaning agents, like vinegar or bleach. Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can be used on the same surface if you make sure the area dries between uses, but they should not be combined in the same container.

Mixing hydrogen peroxide and vinegar creates peracetic acid, Berezow says, which can irritate your eyes, skin, and respiratory system. «It’s not wise to mix chemicals, as a general rule,» Berezow says.

Hydrogen peroxide is highly biodegradable, but concentrations higher than 3% can be dangerous. For example, concentrations of hydrogen peroxide greater than 30% can cause explosions when combined with metals like copper and iron.

In addition, the potency of hydrogen peroxide will reduce as it is exposed to light. For optimal use, the CDC recommends storing hydrogen peroxide in a dark container to keep its concentration stable and effective at killing germs.

Related stories about keeping germ-free:

  • What temperature kills germs? How to use heat properly to get rid of bacteria and viruses
  • Does alcohol kill germs? Yes, as long as the solution is strong enough
  • Does vinegar kill germs? It isn’t the best disinfectant for viruses
  • The best disinfecting cleaners
  • Does hand sanitizer work? The difference between sanitizer and soap
  • Hand sanitizer does expire — here’s whether it’s still worth using
  • How do viruses spread and how to protect yourself against infection
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