Gargling With Peroxide

At the first sign of a sore throat, be proactive to prevent a "tickle" in your throat from turning into a nasty cold. One effective way to take preventative action is by gargling with hydrogen peroxide. It works as an antiseptic and contains extra oxygen that kills germs that cause sore throats and cold viruses.

Understand hydrogen peroxide grades

Most drugstores sell three percent pharmaceutical grade hydrogen peroxide solutions in brown bottles to minimize light exposure that breaks down its properties. Made up of two atoms of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen (H202), it's often used as a bleaching agent in toothpaste and as an ingredient in mouthwashes. Food grade 35 percent hydrogen peroxide can also be used; however, it must be diluted down to three percent by adding 11 ounces of water to every one ounce of peroxide.

About your mouth

Germs cannot live in an environment rich in oxygen. No one likes to think about the helpful, let alone the harmful bacteria that actually live inside the mouth. The food that you eat comes in contact with many things before it makes its way into your mouth. Any time you touch your hands to your mouth, those germs are also transferred. Even airborne germs make their way into your mouth and can cause sickness.

Gargling with peroxide

Don't wait until you are sick to gargle with peroxide. You can use it daily to keep your mouth and throat healthy and free from dangerous bacteria that cause illness. To gargle safely, use the following directions:

  • Use equal parts three percent hydrogen peroxide and warm water to make a 1.5 percent solution.
  • Sip a small amount of the mixture in your mouth and swish it around through your teeth for a couple of minutes to kill any lingering, harmful bacteria. The longer you can hold it, the better.
  • Take another sip and tilt back your head so that the peroxide mixture reaches the back of your throat for as long as you can. Spit out the mixture without swallowing.

Also aids other mouth conditions

In addition to preventing sore throats and as a cold remedy, gargling with peroxide is also helpful for the following conditions:

  • Bad breath (halitosis): This embarrassing condition can be caused by dry mouth, tonsillitis, gum infections and poor oral hygiene, which basically, is what leads to mouth infections. After you brush your teeth before going to bed, add an extra step and gargle with a hydrogen peroxide solution.
  • Whitten teeth: Poor oral hygiene, tobacco use and drinking too many caffeinated drinks can cause tooth enamel to turn yellow. Use once a day and you should see improvement after one week.
  • To control oral thrush: This condition is caused by an overproduction of the fungus Candida albicans. It becomes a problem for people on antibiotics for a long time, those with weak immune systems or individuals using corticosteroid inhalers. Mild cases can be helped when holding and rinsing the mouth with a peroxide solution for at least 30 seconds and repeating up to three or four times daily. Spit out the solution and don't brush or rinse with any other liquids for a minimum of one hour after treating.
  • Sterilize a toothbrush: An easy way to sterilize your toothbrush is to pour undiluted, three percent peroxide over your toothbrush bristles after use.

Always be careful to measure carefully before gargling with peroxide. While using it can be helpful, overuse can harm tooth enamel and can make your teeth feel overly sensitive.

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