Brushing Your Teeth With Baking Soda: Is It Safe?

Brushing Your Teeth With Baking Soda: Is It Safe?
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Brushing Your Teeth With Baking Soda: Is It Safe?Clinical Content Reviewed by Dr. Jay Khorsandi, DDS
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Table of Contents

  1. Baking Soda for Plaque Removal
  2. Demineralization Properties
  3. Teeth Whitening & Baking Soda
  4. Safety of Baking Soda
  5. How to Use Baking Soda to Brush
  6. References

There are many reasons people are brushing their teeth with baking soda:

  • It is a mild abrasive.
  • Baking soda helps to remove plaque.
  • It can help to balance the pH in your mouth.
  • Baking soda can aid in whitening your teeth.

Baking soda can be effective and safe for these purposes when used properly. Often, people tolerate products containing baking soda, such as toothpaste, better than baking soda by itself.

Baking Soda for Plaque Removal

Bacteria forms on teeth after eating and can lead to the buildup of plaque. Plaque can be broken down and removed from teeth by brushing your teeth regularly. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a mildly abrasive substance that can be effective at removing plaque from your teeth.

Baking soda is effective in removing the plaque biofilm from the teeth, research shows. It is also inexpensive, easy to find, and therefore easily accessible as a tool for plaque removal to help prevent tooth decay.

Demineralization Properties of Baking Soda on Your Teeth

Carbohydrates in foods can change the pH level in your mouth, creating an acidic environment that can lead to demineralization of your teeth. In turn, this can cause the enamel to erode. The more minerals your teeth lose, the more likely you are to get a cavity, which is when the enamel in the teeth is irreversibly damaged.

Baking soda can help to balance and reverse the acidic pH level30810-3/pdf) in your mouth and therefore aid in preventing this demineralization process. Baking soda has basic properties that can counteract the acids that contribute to the loss of minerals on your teeth created by foods you eat.

Oral products containing hydrogen peroxide whitens your teeth by oxidizing stains on the surface of your teeth.

Teeth Whitening & Baking Soda

Many foods and drinks, such as coffee and wine, can stain your teeth. There are numerous methods and products on the market for whitening your teeth for cosmetic purposes. Many of these products contain baking soda, as it has been shown to aid in stain removal and teeth whitening30811-5/fulltext).

There are more effective methods of whitening your teeth than using baking soda, studies show. These include dental office treatments and specialized products and toothpastes.

Safety of Baking Soda & Your Teeth

For the most part, baking soda is considered safe and low abrasive, which means that it is safe to use on your teeth. That being said, it is still an abrasive substance, and it can lead to enamel erosion with time.

Baking soda needs to be used with caution and not every day. There are a lot of products on the market today, many of which contain baking soda, that can be better options for daily and regular use.

How to Use Baking Soda to Brush Your Teeth

When using baking soda to brush your teeth, it is recommended to not use it more than once per week. To use baking soda to brush your teeth:

  • Mix a tablespoon of the powder with a tablespoon of water to make a thick paste.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or your finger to brush for two minutes in circular motions.
  • Coat all of your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash and/or water after two minutes.

Talk to your dentist about the best tooth care routine for your teeth and whether or not baking soda is a good fit for you.

References

Effect of Baking Soda in Dentifrices on Plaque Removal. (November 2017). Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

Evidence for Biofilm Acid Neutralization by Baking Soda30810-3/pdf). (November 2017). Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

Stain Removal and Whitening by Baking Soda Dentifrice30811-5/fulltext). (November 2017). Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA). Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

A Critical Review of Modern Concepts for Teeth Whitening. (September 2019). Dentistry Journal. Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

If You Use Salt or Baking Soda to Whiten Your Teeth, Here’s Why You Should Stop. (October 2019). CNN. Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

How to Help Whiten Teeth With Baking Soda. (2019). Arm & Hammer Church & Dwight Co., Inc. Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

Periodontal Disease. (July 2013). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

Tooth Decay. (April 2016). U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). Date Fetched: June 30, 2021.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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