Do you want to whiten your teeth at home? A popular household item for whitening is baking soda.
Its chemical name is sodium bicarbonate and is popularly found in your bread and baking goodies to rise the dough as a leavening agent.
Though, its purpose is to raise the dough and remove stains from your teeth.
This article discusses how you can use this household item to lighten up your teeth shade.
Let’s find about its use and benefits below!
Is Baking Soda Abrasive?
Baking soda or Sodium bicarbonate salt is a mild abrasive.
Hence, it works on cleaning the stains and plaque on teeth.
Abrasiveness is the ability to polish by rubbing on a hard surface. In this case, the hard surface is the tooth enamel.
Whereas the baking soda with tiny granules rubs against it to clean stains.
Hence, in order to remove stains, you need a substance that is abrasive enough to only remove plaque effectively while not harming the enamel.
Baking soda has tiny particles that have edges and has an overall gritty texture. This will make you worry if it can damage the enamel.
The enamel does not have any cells hence, it cannot regrow if it damages once.
However, you will be surprised to know that baking soda is not as big a threat to the enamel.
On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, baking soda has a value of 2.5 while the enamel is at 5.
Hence, it is much softer than the enamel and does not pose a risk to it.
This puts all the theories of bicarbonate of soda harming teeth to rest.
That is why some toothpaste uses it as the main ingredient too.
You can use sodium bicarbonate to whiten teeth, remove plaque and bacteria as well as promote oral health.
Now that we know that it is safe to use on your teeth, let’s discuss its other advantages.
Teeth Whitening with Baking Soda
You may have heard that you can whiten teeth using sodium bicarbonate. However, since there are so many misconceptions about it, it is hard to believe that it is safe to use.
Dental whitening can happen only using either a bleaching agent or an abrasive.
However, so sodium bicarbonate is abrasive but a safe one to use.
It also has natural whitening properties, alongside it has antibacterial properties.
Therefore, it can definitely help remove surface stains but may not be as effective in removing deeper stains on teeth.
It rubs against the plaque and stains even if it is present in toothpaste.
The results will not be as dramatic as Teeth Whitening Zoom in Al Wasl but you can still see some changes weeks later.
Smoking and coffee stains can lighten in about two to six weeks.
You can use a toothpaste containing baking soda or make your own toothpaste by mixing it with warm water.
However, remember to not confuse baking soda vs baking powder.
Baking powder contains an acidic ingredient and is more popularly used in baking.
However, baking soda needs acid and liquid to activate it. This aids in producing carbon dioxide to raise doughs and cake mixtures during baking in about 15 minutes.
Plus baking soda also neutralizes stomach acid that causes acid reflux because of its alkaline nature.
Therefore, you should never use baking powder on your teeth. It is not the same thing. In fact, it can harm teeth more than benefit them.
The acids will allow bacteria to feed on them and ultimately result in tooth decay and tooth cavity.
Thus, do not reach for baking powder but baking soda for whitening your teeth.
You can make a toothpaste mixture with sodium bicarbonate, however, it does not replace your brushing routine with fluoride toothpaste.
Do not substitute it with your regular toothpaste rather add it to your oral care routine.
Baking Soda Benefits
It is cheap and easily accessible
You can find a box of baking soda in your kitchen because it is such a popular household item.
Even if you do not have it, you can easily buy it from your nearby grocery store, that too for cheap.
Thus, if you just want a slight change in the shade of your teeth, you do not have to spend hundreds and thousands to access whitening.
It does not cause fluoride toxicity
Consuming a lot of fluorides can be toxic for children. Especially those who are younger than 6 years old.
Moreover, excess fluoride consumption can also cause dental fluorosis.
This condition can damage teeth with white, yellow or brown streaks. It is even hard to remove these stains using teeth whitening.
Plus, fluoride toxicity is an emergency that needs immediate medical attention.
It can lead to diarrhea, kidney issues and vomiting if you accidentally ingest a large quantity of fluoride.
Decreases Plaque and Bacteria
Sodium bicarbonate has antibacterial properties.
Hence, it can fight the bacteria inside your mouth and prevent them from damaging your teeth.
This bacteria causes decay, cavities and if it sticks to the tongue then also bad breath.
One way to reduce bacteria using sodium bicarbonate is to make a mouthwash with baking soda and water.
Rinse and swish with a mouthwash of hot water and sodium bicarbonate (as baking soda is sodium bicarbonate) as you would any other mouthwash.
These water solutions help to increase the pH level of the mouth making the oral environment less acidic.
Hence, bacteria do not thrive in less acidic environments causing less harm to your teeth than in normal conditions.
This is because there will be fewer bacteria accumulation and biofilm formation.
Plaque is a biofilm that has several bacteria that attach to your teeth leading to gingivitis.
The grainy texture of sodium bicarbonate helps to rub against these biofilms, disrupting the bacteria.
Therefore, there is less risk of gum disease.
Using sodium bicarbonate in your routine can improve your oral health and dental hygiene.
Besides whitening, it can also keep your mouth in a healthy environment.
While there are many good benefits and uses of sodium bicarbonate, it also has some cons.
Firstly, it does not whiten teeth quickly, neither does it give a dramatic effect.
Toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate can maximumly whiten your teeth up to one shade. That too by using it continuously for 2 to 6 weeks to note any change.
Hydrogen peroxide is stronger to whiten teeth that is why it is commonly used in dental practices.
Sodium bicarbonate can give you slight whiteness, however, it is not for you if you need to whiten your teeth by two, three shades or more.
Moreover, sodium bicarbonate is a salt, hence its texture is rather rough with edges and tastes unpleasant.
It is quite likely that you may not prefer the sand-like texture and saltiness inside your mouth.
However, if the grainy texture does not bother you then you can just add a few drops of peppermint oil to make it taste better.
Or you can use a commercial toothpaste with baking soda instead.
Also, remember that you cannot replace your toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate paste.
While it does get rid of plaque and bacteria to some extent, it can still not protect you from cavities and decay.
Fluoride is essential to prevent harm to the enamel. Though fluoride toxicity and fluorosis are cons of using fluoride too, they are still rarer than cavities.
Hence, if you consume fluoride in a moderate amount then you can protect your oral health.
However, sodium bicarbonate does not contain fluoride and maybe your water is not fluoridated either.
This will reduce your enamel protection drastically. Therefore do not rely solely on sodium bicarbonate for your oral health.
You can use it as toothpaste and mouthwash by mixing it with water or directly applying it as a powder.
In order to make a paste, mix equal parts of sodium bicarbonate and water in a bowl.
Scoop some of this paste onto your toothbrush and move it across your teeth in circular motions.
Do not rub harshly. Keep doing it for over a minute.
Next, since your mouth completely to wash off all the paste.
Similarly, you can dilute this mixture with water to make a mouthwash.
Swish it around in your mouth for some time to get rid of the bacteria.
If you want a greater whitening effect then you can replace water with hydrogen peroxide.
Mix half teaspoon hydrogen peroxide with half a teaspoon of baking soda.
Apply the paste on your toothpaste and let it sit on for a while and later rinse it off with water.
Confirm with your dentist before using any remedy and especially hydrogen peroxide.
Some home remedies can rather irritate your teeth and gums instead of benefiting them.
Some popular remedies include using lemon or apple cider vinegar.
Though, both lemon juice and vinegar are acidic.
They will lower the pH of the mouth and mixing them with sodium bicarbonate will render its purpose useless.
Therefore, you should skip these remedies and use simple sodium bicarbonate with water.
Also, keep in mind that this mixture should not stay inside your mouth longer than 2 minutes.
Since sodium bicarbonate is an abrasive, it can erode your teeth if they are kept in contact with it for a long time.
Promptly use and rinse it off from your mouth.
Baking soda for teeth and gums improves your oral health.
You can reap its benefits if used with precaution.