A great, cheap product to add to your oral hygiene routine is hydrogen peroxide, which can be used in a number of ways to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Hawkins Family Dentistry loves providing our Midlothian, VA patients with tips to protect and maintain the beauty and health of their teeth that they can do from home. Just remember to check with us before you try these or any other new treatments, to make sure they are right for your individual needs.
What is hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a common household product that can be found for very cheap at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Chemically, it is two hydrogen molecules with two oxygen molecules, and it appears as a clear liquid with about the consistency of water. In the solution you find in stores, it is diluted with water to only 3%.
1) To Ease a Toothache
If one of your teeth starts to hurt and you can’t make it to our Midlothian, VA office right away, try putting a capful of hydrogen peroxide in your mouth and holding it there for 10 minutes, then spitting it out. This can be repeated several times a day until the pain subsides.
Much of the pain people experience in toothaches is caused by swelling and infection, which hydrogen peroxide helps fight. However, remember that this should only be used as a short term solution and you should see Dr. Hawkins as soon as possible.
2) To Help Treat Gingivitis
Hydrogen peroxide is a great way to kill germs, and germs are the force that leads to gingivitis. After you floss and brush your teeth, vigorously swish with an ounce of hydrogen peroxide, making sure to get all of the gum lines, including behind the upper lip. Swish for 5 or 6 seconds, then spit the chemical out and rinse with water.
3) To Clean Your Toothbrush
Once a week or more, soak your toothbrush bristles in a freshly poured cup of hydrogen peroxide. After about five seconds, watch it bubble as it kills the germs!
Leave your toothbrush in the cup for a few minutes to ensure it is properly cleaned, then rinse it off with water. Make sure to always use a fresh cup of hydrogen peroxide, as the chemical degrades when it’s exposed to light.
4) As a Toothpaste Substitute
Ever forget to buy toothpaste and find yourself without even that last little bit? Mix together one part hydrogen peroxide to four parts baking soda and brush your teeth with that. It may be a little grittier than you’re used to, but it works in mostly the same way.
Don’t forget though, that hydrogen peroxide degrades with light, so you can’t make large batches of this solution to store for later use.
5) To Propel a Rocket
Okay, so you can’t actually do this with the diluted, 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide that is sold at stores. And you certainly shouldn’t put rockets in your mouth. But the chemical was used at 70-98% concentrations to propel rockets during World War II, and is still used for some satellites. How cool is that?
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