Records indicate that baking soda/sodium bicarbonate was used as an essential ingredient in several ancient Egyptian medicines. These days, it is used in multiple items, right from foodstuff, medicines, toothpaste, to fire extinguishers and cockroach sprays.
When mixed with water, sodium bicarbonate turns into an alkaline solution with free radicals that help in whitening teeth. Tea, coffee, and tobacco lovers use it to get back the lost shine on their teeth. It controls plaque formation and prevents tooth decay, as well as the creation of cavities. Let’s focus on some of the benefits of brushing your teeth with baking soda.
Baking soda with toothpaste for teeth whitening
Baking soda can be much more effective stain remover compared to substances that have a higher abrasivity.
A simple mixture of sodium bicarbonate and water is one of the most trusted and opted home remedies for teeth whitening. Its mild abrasive nature makes it the best option for removing stains visible on the surface of the teeth. Dental care experts often recommend people to mix soda with regular fluoride toothpaste.
The simple home remedy is also recommended for patients who use chlorhexidine mouth rinses as a part of treatment for oral health issues. Baking soda helps in quickly getting rid of stains left on teeth due to chlorhexidine.
However, bicarb may not prove to be an effective solution for removing older, deeper stains. It is not suitable for individuals who use a permanent retainer, braces as well. Opting for a professional cleaning and whitening procedure at the dental office is the only option for such patients.
Remove plaque with baking soda
At times, plaque remains accumulated on the tooth surface and combines with bacteria to release acids that start demineralizing the enamel. Sodium bicarbonate prevents tooth decay by neutralizing these acids. When combined with fluoride in the toothpaste, it remineralizes the incipient carious lesions.
Controlling plaque acids
The research work available on the NCBI website highlights the point that plaque accumulated on various parts of the tooth surface can be easily cleaned with bicarb containing dentifrices. According to the same research, brushing with dentifrices that contain soda can offer better protection against plaque compared to baking-soda free kinds of toothpaste.
Ability to immobilize the harmful bacteria
Research suggests baking soda can kill motile rods, oral spirochetes, etc. that are present in periodontal pockets. Multiple clinical studies also pointed out that dentifrice containing baking soda does not prove harmful to other friendly bacteria.
Baking soda for yellow teeth
Brushing your teeth with a paste of hydrogen peroxide and bicarb daily for one week can help in getting that white sparkle back. Experts recommend mixing two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of baking soda for the paste.
Hydrogen peroxide can kill bacteria present in the mouth as it happens to be a natural bleaching agent. However, using such paste for more than one week can damage the tooth enamel.
The taste factor
Baking soda solution does not have the best taste and can demotivate users from using it daily. Thus, rather than using pure baking soda, it is advisable to opt for a dentifrice, especially, a toothpaste, that consists of the same along with other ingredients. Another option is to mix the usual fluoride-based toothpaste with baking soda.
The taste and smell of the dentifrices play a crucial role in their overall appeal. Users often reject toothpaste that has a sour taste. So, dentifrices manufacturers use flavors that make the odour and taste of the toothpaste appealing. Materials such as xylitol, sucralose, sodium saccharin, etc. ensure the final product has a sweet taste. Oral health product manufacturers do not use ingredients that contain fermentable sugars. This makes the mixture of baking powder and toothpaste safe for use.
The Journal of American Dental Association’s November 2017 edition had published details about research regarding the same.
The participants who enrolled in the concerned study were divided into three groups. The members in the first group were given salt and soda mixture to brush their teeth. On the other hand, individuals in the second team were provided with flavored toothpaste containing soda and salt. Third group members were just given water and toothbrush.
As expected, the drop up rate showed by the water group was 46 percent. The team that brushed with pure salt and soda reported a 20 percent drop up. The group that brushed with a flavored paste containing bicarb marked just 5 percent dropout rate in daily brushing. It means a better patient compliance rate can be achieved with a well-flavored product. Such items motivate users to brush in time, daily.
Can baking soda damage the tooth surface?
The abrasivity of baking soda and its effect on the tooth surface has been a subject for debate since decades. Research suggests the baking soda’s hardness is lower than that of the enamel or other abrasives like calcium pyrophosphate, anhydrous dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, etc. Thus, it does not harm the enamel or dentin even when used daily for oral hygiene in small quantities. As far as the toothpaste containing baking soda is concerned, their abrasivity depends on the hardness of the other materials used. The pressure applied by the tooth bristles also needs to be considered.
Several studies conducted on some of the popular baking soda containing dental care products have found them to be safe and low in abrasiveness.
Cleaning teeth with bicarb is entirely safe if done daily for a week; however, doing it for two weeks or more may affect the enamel. Plus, the user needs to ensure that the baking soda solution is applied evenly on all parts and does not remain on the teeth for more than a minute. Most importantly, scrubbing vigorously is not advisable.
Avoid combining baking soda with lemon juice for whitening
A study released in 2015 pointed out that tooth enamel can be damaged by lemon juice. Even combining it with baking soda cannot successfully neutralize the same. So, it is not advisable to be used for whitening your teeth. Baking soda alone can be sufficient in removing plaque.
White teeth can prove to be a confidence booster. Thanks to advancements in dentistry, there is no need to break the bank as there are several affordable professional treatments and home remedies for the same.
If you are looking for a Roswell (GA) based dental treatment that specializes in teeth whitening, you should consider making an appointment with TruCare Dentistry. Our location makes us extremely popular among residents of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Marietta, Milton, and Woodstock. If you stay in and around these areas, do drop by or contact us to schedule a visit.
Here are a few commonly asked questions to quickly run you through all that has been stated above.
1. Is it bad to brush your teeth with baking soda?
The short answer is No. However, prolonged use beyond a week is not advisable. The safe compromise is to use it every other day for a week as an intermediate measure while you consult your dentist for the best treatment to remove plaque or tartar or whiten teeth.
2. How long does it take for baking soda to whiten teeth?
That depends on the condition of your teeth and the depth of discoloration of teeth. Surface discoloration can easily be removed in just one week. However, deeper penetration may require professional whitening at your dental clinic.
3. How often should you brush your teeth with baking soda?
Resort to baking soda once in two months and use it every other day to brush your teeth for a week.
4. Can I mix baking soda with my toothpaste?
Yes, you can, and you should. It is far better since you benefit from fluoride and cleansing agents in the toothpaste and the benefits of baking soda. It is also more palatable.
5. Can I use baking soda on my teeth every day?
Use it every day but not continue beyond five days at the most. Do this once in two months but not every day, all the time.
6. What are the benefits of brushing your teeth with baking soda?
Concisely put, baking soda helps remove plaque, prevent tartar, keep teeth white and kill “bad” bacteria in the mouth. It could also help reduce odor.
7. What will dissolve tartar on teeth?
Tartar is a hard calcified coating that forms on the teeth when plaque hardens. Baking powder may work, but it is not quite effective. Instead, apply a paste of baking soda to your teeth and rinse after 15 minutes. The action is slow. Other remedies that work are orange peel, vinegar, and lemon juice, but these are acidic and can attack the enamel. It is best to get tartar removed professionally at your friendly family dental clinic.
8. How does baking soda get rid of cavities?
Baking soda does help to some extent in treating cavities in the primary stage. Baking soda is alkaline, and it will neutralize mouth acids, thereby preventing further erosion. Baking soda will also help to remineralize the enamel layer and close micro gaps. However, there is no substitute for proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist to prevent the formation of cavities in the first place.