​You probably know baking soda is an excellent household cleaner. You can use it to scrub the floor, remove stains from cups, and even to make your sneakers odor-free. But, did you know brushing teeth with baking soda makes them shine brighter than before?

Baking soda has many uses for cleaning your home, and you can use it to clean your teeth as well.

And here's the best part:

You don’t need complicated tooth cleaning aids when you can take a pinch of baking soda and get that shine back into your smile.

Baking Soda and Its Makeup

bowl of baking soda

Image CC0, by evitaochel, via Pixabay

Baking soda is a white powder you will often find in the kitchen or at home. Its molecule is made up of a single sodium, a carbon atom, and three oxygen atoms, giving it the molecular formula of NaHCO3. It is an odor-free powder with fine particles that quickly dissolve in water.

When the Solvay process is used by manufacturers to make baking soda, many other chemicals such as sodium chloride, ammonia, calcium carbonate, and water are mixed. These components react with each other and eventually produce baking soda, which is used extensively both for household and for industrial purposes. Baking soda has an alkaline pH of 9 or is a basic chemical. A basic or alkaline pH means that baking soda has a relatively lower concentration of hydrogen ions. The pH of baking soda is determined by dissolving it in water. You can also check the alkalinity of baking soda by dipping a litmus paper in the water and observing its color change.

You might wonder if baking soda is the same as the baking powder that you may have used for baking and cooking. The critical difference between the two is the composition. Baking powder contains baking soda as one of its ingredients. 

It also contains a drying agent, such as starch, and an acidifying agent, such as cream of tartar, in addition to baking soda. Baking powder reacts slowly to allow baked goods to rise or leaven at the desired pace. However, baking soda by itself rapidly rises to release carbon dioxide and is not always preferable as a leavening agent.

Brushing Your Teeth with Baking Soda

image of a man brushing teeth

Image CC0, by andremsantana, via Pixabay

Baking soda, also commonly known as bread soda, sodium bicarbonate, baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda was first isolated in 1790 by Nicolas LeBlanc. It only came into mass usage when the Solvay process was developed in the 1860s.

This process was a way to separate sodium carbonate from limestone, ammonia, and brine, and package it up in neat little boxes for your kitchen.

The Benefits of Brushing Your Teeth with Baking Soda

The oral cavity contains many resident bacteria. The good news is, regular brushing removes the bacteria from teeth. Brushing also prevents the bacteria in the mouth from interacting with the food we eat and breaking down the hard tooth substance to form cavities.

Now for the bad news: Inadequate or infrequent brushing can lead to the formation of plaque on the tooth surfaces. Dental plaque is a film of bacteria and food debris that coats the teeth and leads to dental diseases such as dental caries and gum disease.

But baking soda has an alkaline pH, so it interacts with the acids produced by oral bacteria. The basic solution of baking soda reduces the bacterial acid-mediated effects such as tooth cavities and loss of tooth substance. So, brushing your teeth with baking soda makes perfect sense.

Even better is baking soda's stain removing abilities.

Many favorite drinks such as coffee or wine can discolor teeth and give them a yellow or brown hue. And brushing your teeth with baking soda can help reduce that tooth staining. It's a simple, cheap, and effective method for removing dental plaque and whitening the teeth. These are just a couple of reasons why you should be brushing your teeth with baking soda.

The pros of brushing your teeth with baking soda

Brushing teeth with baking soda is a safe and effective procedure that can lighten tooth stains and brighten your smile. It's also an affordable powder that is safe to use for brushing.

Another great thing is: Brushing your teeth with baking soda provides an anti-bacterial effect by abrading the tooth surface gently and dislodging plaque.

And you don't have to go to a special store to get it. Just pop into your local grocery store and stroll down the baking aisle. Best of all, baking soda is easy to use.

Do you have bad breath? No problem. Bad breath is no match for baking soda. In fact, brushing your teeth with baking soda helps reduce bad breath. That's possible because it neutralizes foul odors and helps soothe oral ulcers as well.

You don't even need to add any preservatives or artificial ingredients to baking soda pastes. Everything you need is contained in that little box in the kitchen.

Where there's good, there's bad

Brushing with baking soda must be done carefully, and there is a downside as well. As we know, nothing is perfect. And it's essential to know the adverse effects of baking soda as well.

Here are a few cons to brushing your teeth with baking soda:

  • ​Baking soda is abrasive, so it may wear down tooth enamel in the long run
  • ​Baking soda has a gritty feel that may be unpleasant to some
  • It doesn't taste goo
  • You must prepare your baking soda solution fresh each time you brush
  • It's messy

While the advantages of brushing your teeth with baking soda may outweigh the disadvantages, you still need to consider the cons. They might be deal breakers for you.

But, if you can deal with the cons, baking soda just may be the answer to a lot of your dental woes.

You Want That Whiter, Brighter Smile

Before you go hunting in the kitchen and stealing that box of baking soda, you might want to know that manufacturers have you covered.

You don't necessarily need to wet your toothbrush and dip it into baking soda box.

Baking soda is available in the form of toothpaste for tooth cleaning and lightening. Commercially available brands of toothpaste usually contain 20 percent to 65 percent baking soda. But you can make your baking soda toothpaste at home by combining baking soda with water to make a thick paste.

You know that paste you make to get stubborn stains out of your oven?

Yeah -- that.

If you've never made such a paste, here's a recipe for you to follow. And don't worry, it's simple to make.

Baking soda toothpaste

  • 2/3 Cup baking soda
  • Water

Add water slowly to the baking soda,while stirring, until it's the consistency you want your toothpaste to be. Keep in mind, you want it firm enough to sit on your toothbrush bristles.

This makes about one tube of toothpaste.

Baking soda solution

If you don't want toothpaste consistency, but you still want to whiten your teeth, take 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and mix with about a half of a glass of water.

Using warm water will make this solution even better.

Dip your toothbrush and brush as normal. We recommend brushing your teeth with baking soda twice daily for about one to two minutes.

More That You Need to Know

Baking soda must be used in the right way to maximize its potential. Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect mix:

  • 1
    Use a freshly prepared mix

It is best to prepare a freshly mixed batch for brushing teeth with baking soda for each use. This is because baking soda loses its potency if it is left standing for long. You can mix small quantities for each application instead of a large mix that is difficult to store.

  • 2
    Store it right

You can store the prepared mix in an airtight container to keep it fresh for a longer time. A Ziploc might do the trick or a small Tupperware container.

You can also make it handy by pouring a combination of baking soda and water into an old toothpaste tube.

  • 3
    Amp up the power

For tooth lightening purposes, you can add hydrogen peroxide to the mix of baking soda and water. Although it's preferable to use a lesser amount of baking soda than hydrogen peroxide. Say, about two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of baking soda.

When you brush with a combination of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water, let the mixture stay in your mouth for about a minute, and then spit it.

Not only that:

A pinch of salt may also be added to baking soda as an alternative to hydrogen peroxide.

Make sure that the whitening mix coats all the tooth surfaces. Adequate tooth coverage allows the paste to remain in contact with the teeth for a while and increases its effectiveness.

​The Decision is Yours

There are many reasons for tooth discoloration. And although the reason doesn't really matter because the result is the same. They may include:

  • Drinking dark colored beverages such as tea, coffee, or wine
  • Poor oral hygiene or lack of regular tooth brushing
  • Medical conditions

If you suffer from discolored teeth, though, you may need to talk to your dentist about whether baking soda is the answer for you.

The answer to your troubles is sitting right on your shelf.

The Bottom Line

Baking soda derives its whitening properties from its abrasive nature. Although you have to be careful not to damage your teeth, and the gritty texture may be a put-off, brushing your teeth with baking soda does whiten your teeth.

Not only does it make for a brighter smile and remove external staining, but it also removes accumulated plaque and debris on the tooth surface. And that's what is likely discoloring your teeth in the first place.

So, brushing your teeth with baking soda can help lighten dental stains and restore your natural tooth color.

Bringing back your confidence for pennies is a no brainer, and it's as easy as walking in your kitchen and grabbing the box. As long as you are doing so with the advice of your dentist, you won't have to worry about damaging your enamel, either.

You can also talk to any of the dentists at Your Caring Dentist Group about ways to improve the appearance of your teeth. This includes professional whitening treatments from our staff. Contact us for an appointment today


Featured Image: CC0, by jennyfriedrichs, via Pixabay

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