Baking soda is considered a miracle product. Originally developed in 1843, baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a reliable cleaning agent, deodorizer, baking ingredient and home health remedy. Many people wonder whether they can safely use baking soda to brush or whiten their teeth. Here’s what you should know.
Safe, inexpensive toothpaste
Next time you brush your teeth, check the ingredient list on the toothpaste tube. It probably contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Many toothpaste products endorsed by the American Dental Association contain baking soda. So, instead of buying toothpaste containing baking soda, some people mix a paste of baking soda and water and brush with it to clean their pearly whites.
Using baking soda is less expensive and may work better at cleaning teeth than store-bought toothpaste because it’s concentrated. Some people recommend adding a few drops of peppermint oil to improve the taste of the baking soda paste. Learn six ways to take better care of your teeth.
Most professional dental products used for teeth whitening contain sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide. These products work together to clean stains on and between teeth.
Dental experts say that since baking soda is gritty and abrasive as toothpaste, it works well to remove surface stains. For deeper cleaning, people safely can mix baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to create a toothpaste. However, since hydrogen peroxide can sting, people with sensitive teeth and gums should discontinue using this paste if they experience pain or discomfort. Note: Use the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture for only one or two weeks at a time to protect tooth enamel.
Benefits vs. disadvantages
Here’s a summary of the benefits and disadvantages of using baking soda for brushing and whitening teeth:
- It’s fluoride free, which may be important for people concerned about using over-the-counter toothpaste containing this chemical.
- It’s natural and doesn’t contain dyes, flavorings or other harmful chemicals.
- Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are effective in whitening teeth.
- It cleans and removes plaque.
- It takes time to mix up the paste, and it can be messy.
- It has an unpleasant taste and gritty texture.
- It does not contain fluoride, so teeth may be more susceptible to decay.
- It’s abrasive and may wear down tooth enamel.
Another way to keep teeth and gums healthy is to eat fruits and vegetables rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, D and E. Read this blog to learn more.
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