I have had a few questions from patients as to what mouthwashes will help protect against the coronavirus.
At this point, there is no evidence that mouthwashes protect you from Coronavirus. Some people are thinking that Listerine with alcohol will help. However, this is not true as the only 60% alcohol content will kill the virus. But please don’t rinse with alcohol or rubbing alcohol or any of those.
The other question from patients who have had gum disease is : does peridex, the prescription mouth rinse we use after a scaling work. There is no evidence that it works against viruses as it is designed to work against the gum disease bacteria.
However, it appears from a recent study, that 1% hydrogen peroxide will reduce the salivary load of the coronavirus. The American Dental Association is recommending dentists have patients rinse with 1% hydrogen peroxide before we start any dental procedure on them.
One of the most encouraging aspects of the COVID-19 is that it is an enveloped virus. This means that it has a weak fatty envelope, which is easily broken down by most disinfectants.
Hydrogen peroxide easily attacks the envelope lining and destroys it by chemical action.
Thus at home we recommend you disinfect your toothbrush with hydrogen peroxide; even soak your mouthguard and retainers in it for 5-10 minutes. If you use a waterpik, fill it with hydrogen peroxide and irrigate your mouth with it instead of just water. You can even rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide for 60 seconds.
However, the concentration most commonly sold in the pharmacies is 3% hydrogen peroxide. If you want to use it as a mouthwash, dilute it 1:2. This means 1 part of hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts of water.
I hope this helps, stay safe!
(A preoperational antimicrobial mouthrinse is generally believed to reduce the number of oral microbes. However, as instructed by the Guideline for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (the 5th edition) released by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, chlorhexidine, which is commonly used as mouthrinse in dental practice, may not be effective to kill 2019-nCoV. Since 2019-nCoV is vulnerable to oxidation, preprocedural mouthrinse containing oxidative agents such as 1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone is recommended, for the purpose of reducing the salivary load of oral microbes, including potential 2019-nCoV carriage. A preprocedural mouthrinse would be most useful in cases when rubber dam cannot be used.)