Do you know that baking soda is actually a type of salt?
Its chemical name is sodium bicarbonate.
It is essential in bakery items to help them rise and look fluffy.
You can find it in every kitchen as it is a useful household item.
Though, people also use it for oral health purposes, especially for teeth whitening.
The question arises, it is safe and effective on teeth?
This article discusses whether you should use baking soda on teeth or not.
Well, let’s find out below!
Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening
One popular use of sodium bicarbonate is in whitening teeth.
Though you can get professional teeth whitening at a teeth whitening medical center you can also look for home remedies.
Two ways to whiten your teeth are to use an abrasive or a bleaching agent.
This helps to remove the stubborn stains on your teeth without the need for visiting a teeth whitening clinic.
Its alkaline properties help to remove discoloration because of acidic foods.
Moreover, its abrasiveness deals with the plaque on the surface of your tooth.
There are several ways to whiten teeth using baking soda. We’ll discuss more of that later.
One such way is to use a toothpaste containing it.
Either, you can make your own toothpaste or certain toothpaste available in the market also contain sodium bicarbonate.
It is a safe method to whiten teeth as its hardness is similar to dentin while it is much less abrasive than whitening options like teeth whitening kit.
However, the process will be a little slow.
It can only remove extrinsic stains of coffee, tea, smoking and soda.
You will only see results after two to six weeks.
Furthermore, they will not be as dramatic and will only give up to one shade of whiteness.
Though, toothpaste that contains sodium bicarbonate shows antibacterial properties.
Therefore, they can provide some protection against decay.
So if you are wondering whether baking soda is effective in whitening your teeth, then Yes it certainly is!
It can whiten your smile and remove the stains on your teeth.
It is generally safe to use, however, there are advantages and disadvantages of using it.
Let’s discuss them in detail below!
Baking Soda Benefits
Decreases bacteria inside your mouth
Acidic conditions such as consuming acidic food and drinks can exacerbate the damage by bacteria.
However, sodium bicarbonate is alkaline.
Therefore, using it on your teeth helps to decrease the pH of the mouth and makes it less likely for the bacteria to multiply and attack your teeth.
This is more effective when you use a mouthwash with sodium bicarbonate.
Is a cost-effective option to whiten teeth
Using sodium bicarbonate is a cost-effective way to whiten teeth.
You may have it right in your kitchen and can start using it immediately.
If not, then you can buy a box of baking soda from your nearby grocery store in a very cheap price.
However, remember to differentiate baking soda vs baking powder.
They are not the same thing!
Baking powder has acids and cornstarch. It is popularly used in baking.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate that needs acid and warm water to act as a leavening agent producing carbon dioxide for baked goods.
Moreover, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate relieves acid reflux and neutralizes stomach acids in 15 minutes.
Because of its acidic content, baking powder is not a part of toothpaste.
Therefore, be careful while you make your purchase as acidic baking powder will rather harm your teeth.
Decreases Plaque inside your mouth
Plaque attaches to the surface of your tooth hence containing bacteria that can erode the enamel.
Therefore you can develop a tooth cavity and gingivitis as plaque accumulates on teeth.
However, sodium bicarbonate is an abrasive with antibacterial properties.
Therefore when you brush with it, its grains effectively remove plaque.
Hence, that disrupt the dental biofilm containing bacteria that attach to teeth thereby, reducing bacteria.
This can prevent gingivitis, cavities and yellow teeth.
It does not pose a risk of fluoride toxicity
Fluoride toxicity is rare and is due to consuming a large amount of fluoride.
This is why parents avoid getting fluoride toothpaste for children under 6 years old.
It can cause vomiting, heart and kidney problems. Hence, it is a medical emergency.
However, if you make toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate, it will not contain fluoride.
Therefore you don’t have to worry about getting these fluoride-related risks such as fluorosis.
Side Effects of Baking Soda
Sodium Bicarbonate is generally safe to use on the enamel and dentin.
There may not be any side effects but cons of using sodium bicarbonate on your teeth instead.
What are these? Let’s find them below!
Whitening is Minimal
You will only see results after four to 6 weeks, that too is very slight.
Whitening toothpaste that contains sodium bicarbonate can only whiten teeth by one shade.
Therefore, it will not provide you the results you need fastly.
But even if you use it regularly for a long period of time then it will not whiten your teeth dramatically.
Thus there are better alternatives for whitening than this.
Does not contain fluoride
Is this both an advantage and a disadvantage? Yes, it is.
Though excess consumption of fluoride in children can lead to fluorosis and there is always a risk of fluoride toxicity, it still helps prevent cavities.
Hence, fluoride in toothpaste protects from decay and cavities.
Though, if you make your own baking soda toothpaste then that doesn’t contain any fluoride.
Sodium bicarbonate cannot give as much protection against cavities as fluoride toothpaste.
Therefore, you will become susceptible to cavities and decay.
It Tastes Unpleasant
A sodium bicarbonate homemade toothpaste has granules that account for an unpleasant texture.
Moreover, it does not taste good either.
That does not make for good toothpaste.
However, you can make your way around using them.
Add a few drops of peppermint oil to enhance the flavor of the oil and make the taste bearable.
Or you could rather use a commercial toothpaste with bicarbonate soda if both taste and texture are bothersome.
Though, using it is harmless for teeth.
How to Use it?
There isn’t one but several ways to use baking soda in your oral routine, especially for whitening.
- With water
- On toothpaste
- With hydrogen peroxide
- With coconut oil
Baking Soda with water is the most basic way to use it.
Mix equal parts water and sodium bicarbonate in a bowl to make a paste.
Or specifically, mix half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate with a few drops of water.
Next, apply this paste to your toothbrush and brush thoroughly.
Brush placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle.
Also, remember to clean the inside of your teeth and rinse thoroughly.
Though, you can also directly add it on toothpaste.
Sprinkle some sodium bicarbonate on your toothpaste to get extra whitening.
Or buy a commercial toothpaste with baking soda in it that claims to have whitening properties.
You already know that the whitening results of using sodium bicarbonate are not that dramatic.
But what if you want to increase the whiteness?
Then you can mix it with hydrogen peroxide.
Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of a 3 percent safe to use hydrogen peroxide solution.
As it becomes a paste, apply it to your toothbrush.
Brush thoroughly for 2 minutes and let it sit for a while for both the ingredients to work on your teeth.
Next, rinse your mouth completely.
Moreover, you can also mix baking soda with coconut oil to get whitening.
Oil pulling with coconut oil helps to get rid of plaque, inflammation and also whitens teeth.
Heat solid coconut oil, add 5 drops of peppermint oil and two teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate.
Pull and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes to achieve whitening using 2 whitening home remedies.
Remember, you should not mix lime or vinegar which are acidic.
Baking Soda Uses for Oral Health
Sodium bicarbonate is not only good for your teeth but also helps in some mouth problems.
As it reduces plaque and bacteria because of its abrasiveness, it prevents gingivitis.
The alkaline properties of sodium bicarbonate balance the acids in the mouth making them less prone to attack your teeth.
Furthermore, due to its antibacterial properties, it can get rid of bacteria which can contribute to bad breath.
Mix sodium bicarbonate with water to make an oral rinse and swish it through your mouth.
This will help reduce the bacteria and acidic pH of the mouth which cause bad breath and gingivitis.
Moreover, it also helps in healing mouth ulcers and sores.
Mixing about two teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate in a full glass of water makes a mouthwash.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly using it to soothe the canker sores inside your mouth.
Hence, it not only whitens teeth but is also beneficial in healing and reducing oral health problems.
Baking soda is generally safe to use however, it is:
- Not a replacement of toothpaste
- Not safe if used in excess
Even if you use baking soda paste with water, you need to brush with regular toothpaste too.
It lacks fluoride and other essential components that commercial toothpaste has.
Neglecting that will harm your oral health.
Moreover, even if it is safe to use, excessive usage can cause enamel erosion as it is abrasive.
Just use a pea size on a toothbrush and do not let it sit for long.
That said, it is still a beneficial product to add to your oral care routine.
So, if you are thinking of whitening your teeth and maintain good oral health, add some baking soda to your routine.