Brushing teeth with baking soda is sometimes promoted as an effective way to whiten the teeth. Baking soda (also called sodium bicarbonate) is an abrasive compound that can remove the stains that are caused by drinking coffee, tea, smoking, etc. and the debris on the surface of the teeth to make the teeth appear whiter and brighter. It can therefore to some extent whiten the teeth and may prevent some discoloration too.
How Baking Soda Is Used for Teeth Whitening
Baking soda can be used with some water to remove the stains on the surface of the teeth. It can also be used with hydrogen peroxide to enhance its whitening effects. Baking soda can be used by individuals with regular toothpastes too. It is also used commercially in some teeth whitening products and toothpastes.
While some may encourage or recommend the use of lemon juice and strawberry with baking soda, in order to enhance its whitening capabilities, these are not ideal. Lemon juice is acidic and can actually eat away the calcium from the teeth and corrode or destroy it, lemon juice may also cause some inflammation of the gums. Strawberries can whiten the teeth because of the ascorbic acid in them, and since acids are generally not good for the teeth, using strawberries together with baking soda can therefore be harmful to the teeth.
One of the benefits of using baking soda is the fact that it can serve as a cheaper alternative to expensive whitening treatments and products. It can also neutralize and counteract bacterial acids in the mouth too. And can also remove plaque which can cause tooth decay and gum disease from the teeth because of its abrasive properties.
Using Baking Soda Safely
Baking soda will generally need to be used correctly in order to protect the teeth’s enamel from damages. The soda should ideally not be used too frequently since it can damage the enamel as a result of frequent use. It should generally only be used about once per a week and for two minutes at a time.
Baking soda should also not be used as a replacement for toothpaste since there is no fluoride in it, fluoride helps to protect the teeth from cavities and will also strengthen the teeth’s enamel. Using some fluoride toothpaste with baking soda can keep the teeth healthy. The soda should also not be scrubbed hard on the teeth in order to protect the gums and enamel. You should check with your dentist first before using baking soda to brush your teeth, especially if you already suffer pre-existing gum issues/problems or sensitive teeth
The Disadvantages And Risks Of Using Baking Soda
There are some risks involved in using baking soda for brushing the teeth. It can damage the enamel which may cause the teeth to become more sensitive than they should be to hot or cold temperatures, and it can also make brushing your teeth by itself painful. Damage to the enamel can also make the teeth more likely to attract cavities.
Baking soda can weaken or soften the glue or adhesive of braces and permanent dental fixtures or fittings, hence it should not be used by those with such fittings. Baking soda can also be misapplied since there is no standard procedure to follow that would ensure its safe use for whitening the teeth. It could also damage the gum and may not appeal to some people because of its taste.
Dealing With Stains That Cannot Be Removed By Baking Soda
Baking soda will generally not work on a wide range of stains. It may not be able to remove some deep or severe stains or may not make the teeth as white as some individuals would want their teeth to be. Those who may want to bleach their teeth white, will actually need to use a whitening product to achieve that since baking soda cannot bleach the teeth.
Individuals may therefore opt to use some teeth whitening products or treatments instead of the soda. Some teeth stains are internal while some are external, and some stains can be treated with whitening products while others cannot be treated by them. You should check with your dentist before using any whitening solutions or kits on your teeth.
The most common whitening methods are professional in-office treatments, professional use-at-home kits and over-the-counter products. The active agent in most whitening products is hydrogen peroxide. The more peroxide that is found in a product the more the product will be likely to whiten the teeth. Whitening products that are used or that can be provided by a dentist will generally contain more peroxide than over-the-counter products, granting a more effective whitening.
Professional in-office whitening treatments are carried out in the dentist office and can be completed within an hour or so. They are however more expensive than other methods. Professional use-at-home kits are mouthpieces and whitening gels that are provided by dentists, they can be used to whiten the teeth while at home, and can provide some faster results too than similar over-the-counter kit options.
Over-the-counter products such as strips, whitening toothpastes, or gum are more affordable than professional in-office treatments and professional at-home kits. With them, there is no need to make an appointment with your dentist, and there are quite a lot of options and brands to choose from too. You may generally need several treatments or may need to use a product several times before you get your teeth to appear as white as you may want them to be. A whitening treatment or solution may also need to be repeated over time to maintain or keep the teeth white.
Brushing teeth with baking soda can be an affordable way to remove teeth stains or whiten the teeth, however there are quite a lot of whitening products and treatments that may be more effective at doing this too, individuals should therefore consider these too while looking for a whitening solution.