The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-27-2009, 03:10 AM
Mr Buttons Mr Buttons is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2008
Better mouthwash: Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide?

By Listerine, I'm including all alcohol-based mouth rinses. Does one work better than the other, or does one treat a certain ailment better than the other? I know both are used as a mouth rinse, but never really heard any pros/cons for either product.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-27-2009, 08:18 AM
adhay adhay is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,821
I've used only peroxide since '75 on the advice of a dentist so I can't speak to alternatives.

Peroxide is more than a germ-killing mouthwash. It also oxidizes the dead skin cells which provide a home for the little suckers. I don't think of it as a mouthwash; I brush with it twice a day (not forgetting the tongue and roof of mouth) and could get by with nothing else. It leaves no odor but no odor at all.

The first time you try it, the reaction in your mouth will be violent. That's just the peroxide cleaning house. But do it regularly and you will find that Listerine (or any other) lasts longer.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-27-2009, 09:11 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
your mouth is a ecosystem with things living in it, some OK and some less so. if you use a total killer chemical then the good and bad are both wiped out. both will reestablish at different rates and may be out of balance for a while.

alcohol mouthwash will both kill bacteria and dehydrate some of your cells.

unless you used mouthwash frequently, like once an hour or more you wouldn't keep the bacteria out of your mouth. to do so isn't good anyway.

best is a way to lessen the harmful bacteria. floss daily, brush twice daily or after eating, scrape tongue. sugars and acids are bad if you have long exposure (lots of it or leaving in mouth).

above advice from dentist or media. who knows what is reality?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-28-2009, 09:18 PM
SeaDragonTattoo SeaDragonTattoo is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Chicago, Far Northsider
Posts: 5,542
The only thing with peroxide is you can't use it if you have any metal piercings. (tongue, lips, cheeks). It will corrode even stainless, and you can't always be sure other parts besides the actual post/hoop are really surgical stainless.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-28-2009, 10:16 PM
picunurse picunurse is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 11,319
H2O2 will negatively effect normal tissue after a short time.
My dentist is the dean of the University of Washington dental school. He was very unhappy with me for using it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-28-2009, 10:34 PM
Jerseyman Jerseyman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
I can't see Peroxide doing a hole lot more good than chlorine-based bleach. You'd notice the second because the taste would make you throw up. The exact distinction between Listerine and watered Whisky (even in shade) I have never quite grasped, but if you have really foul breath then there's more causing it than between tooth scrubs and if you don't then toothpaste is probably quite sufficient, especially one with [calcium] fluoride in it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:44 AM
Measure for Measure Measure for Measure is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 9,414
Another vote for a tongue scraper. I've found hydrogen peroxide to be counterproductive, YMMV.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:03 AM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Random question -- I find sometimes when I gargle with Listerine it makes my tonsils kind sting all over. Is that a sign of infection or tonsillitis?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:37 AM
Washoe Washoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by picunurse View Post
H2O2 will negatively effect normal tissue after a short time.
Could you explain this more fully?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:13 AM
Magiver Magiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Washoe View Post
Could you explain this more fully?
I couldn't find anything on the net but my Dentist told me that gargling with hydrogen peroxide wasn't good over long periods of time. Something about destroying good bacteria. Can't remember.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-31-2009, 08:38 AM
Philster Philster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I've gotten strep throat a number of times, and the common link before strep infection was use of hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash.

Anecdotal evidence, etc.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.