Is It Safe to Brush Teeth with Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening?

brushing teeth with baking soda

Who does not wish for a beautiful, dazzling smile! It not only boosts your self-confidence but also helps you to create a great first impression. And the usage of baking soda for the coveted beautiful white smile is quite a common thing to do.

The sodium bicarbonate or baking soda happens to be a kind of domestic product that is used for multiple purposes starting from cleaning carpets, baking and clearing drains and preventing the bad odour. And among the various other things, it also helps to do away with your teeth stains.

The baking soda is used so extensively for this purpose that many of the products of tooth-whitening as well as toothpastes contain baking soda these days.

Here an attempt is being made to understand how safe it is to use baking soda for brushing and what can be done to make it a safer practice.

Hazards of Baking Soda Usage

If you are using baking soda for cleaning and teeth whitening, then it is a must that you be knowledgeable about the possible hazards associated with it.

  • Abrasive Agent – Baking soda is a composition that can be quite abrasive, and it is this feature that makes it a proficient agent of cleaning. Therefore, if your brush vigorously with baking soda on a daily basis it can take a toll on the enamel of your teeth which makes your pearly whites more sensitive as well as susceptible to teeth cavities. The glaze of the porcelain crowns is also worn away by baking soda.
  • Not Capable of Preventing Cavities – Research has shown that baking soda is not able to prevent cavities as it lacks the ability for killing the bacteria that will eventually lead to the formation of plaque. It also falls short of the adequate amount of fluoride content that is essential for preventing cavities.
  • Cannot be Used with Certain Dental Materials – If you wear braces or have retainers, it is recommended to not use the baking soda. The reason for this is that baking soda weakens the adhesive or the glue that is used for fitting the dental fixtures like braces and retainers and creates dark spots. Hence people using braces should stay away from baking soda.
  • Generates Aftertaste that is Uncomfortable -The baking soda often feels gritty and does not come with the best taste. In order to prevent the after test, the experts suggest mixing the baking soda with the toothpaste or trying to use it in combination with flavours like strawberry, glycerine or peppermint.

Benefits of Using Baking Soda

Now that you know the risks, let us take a look at the benefits of baking soda on the oral health and dental aesthetics. Just take a look.

  • Supports a Better pH Level – The pH level of the mouth plays an important role in assessing the amount of bacteria influx in the mouth. Usually, the lesser the oral pH level the more the risk of tooth decay. This is because the demineralisation of the enamel occurs at pH level of 5.5 or below. The baking soda assists in boosting the alkaline pH of the mouth as this product itself has a 8.3 pH level that boosts the setting of the mouth to become more alkaline.
  • Whitens the Teeth – Your teeth can ne discoloured when they come in contact with usual beverages like coffee, wine, tea and also when you smoke. Again, if there is plaque build-up on your teeth, a yellowish discolouration may result. The baking soda is an effective treatment for both issues as it brings forth bleach-like actions that result in the whitening of teeth. It is also an inexpensive ingredient for teeth whitening and cleaning. Plaque build-up is also dislodged because of baking soda.
  • Helps to Do Away with Bad Breath – The residues of foods that form acid which are left in the mouth lead to bad breath formation. The acid levels created by the food residues in the mouth are balanced by baking soda and it helps to prevent bad breath.

Helps to Remove Stains – When you mix baking soda with water, it forms a product which is alkaline that gives rise to free radicals. These facilitate in making your teeth stain-free.

The Verdict

Now that you know the advantages and risks of using baking soda, it can be said that baking soda can be used for the betterment oral health and teeth whitening if you use it in the right way.

Having said that, baking soda is still abrasive in nature and it can cause serious damage to your teeth enamel if used on a regular basis and in an improper way.

So if you are using baking soda as teeth whitening treatment or otherwise, you should consult with your dentist regarding it so that you don’t end up causing harm to your pearly whites.

Also, you should make it a point not to brush with baking soda vigorously and not use it more than a few times in a week. Lastly, don’t let baking soda sit on your teeth for more than 2 minutes.

If you follow these precautions, baking soda can turn out to be an affordable and efficient product for achieving a dazzling smile in an effortless manner.


About Savi

Savi is a regular writer and social activist. She also writes for BBC, Huffington Posts and others.

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