The baking Soda Teeth Whitening Method is one of the most popular ways to get white teeth at home. Nonetheless, too many questions are still raised regarding the subject that shows how much people are indeed reluctant about this method. This also proves that the right understanding and approach are still missed among those people. Obviously, I will give my take about the subject and cover all possible questions. After reading this article you should have the right understanding in a way you will be able to choose whether Baking Soda is the right method for you or not and also apply this method correctly with almost zero risk or inconvenience.
Among the many questions I found about the topic, these are probably the most relevant ones:
- Does baking soda whiten teeth?
- How to whiten teeth with baking soda?
- How to brush your teeth with baking soda?
- Is baking soda safe for teeth?
As it was said right before, these questions and more are going to be covered in details through this article.
Baking Soda Nature
The chemical composition of baking soda is a weak base which allows it to react with both acids and bases. With that being said, harmful acids produced in plaque by those nasty bacteria could be neutralized. This is not its only chemical characteristic! Actually, as it is mild abrasive, surface stains are easily and effectively removed by baking soda. If you are knowledgeable about chemistry, you could say that substances like dicalcium phosphate or hydrated silica will have the same good effect as they are both mild abrasive. However, baking soda has the edge over them to dissolve quickly in water. This makes it penetrate in hard-to-reach places in your mouth and between your teeth.
Furthermore, being softer then enamel, baking soda crystals can mechanically remove surface stains without scratching the protective layer. Thus, your teeth will look brighter.
Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder
Baking soda is often confused with baking powder. Actually, Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, it reacts with acid. On the other hand, baking powder is baking soda plus an acid. It is absolutely not recommended to use baking powder for teeth whitening purposes as it react with acid at room temperature. This mean, that if it reached your stomach which is very acid and hot, the side effects could be harmful and can even cause toxicity.
Another thing about baking powder is that you can’t control its acidity as it is already highly acid unlike baking soda. The latter can be mixed with acid elements like lemon which gives you the ability to control the acidity level the exact way you want.
Is baking soda safe for teeth?
Whitening teeth with baking soda is a low-cost option to get brighter teeth. However, you need to consider several factors before using it. Even if it is a commonly used element, it is not without risks. In fact, overusing baking soda could hurt the enamel (teeth protective layer). Thus, your teeth may turn to be sensitive which would increase chances for cavities formation.
Baking soda can’t be considered, under any circumstances, a replacement for your regular brushing using toothpaste. In fact, it doesn’t kill bacteria and may contribute in cavity formation. That’s why, following any baking soda usage with flossing, rinsing with a mouthwash and tooth brushing with a toothpaste is crucial.
Baking soda has some downsides you should be aware about before any kind of use. This will prevent a wrong usage which would help you to get the most of baking soda teeth whitening benefits. Below some risks related to baking soda usage.
1. Abrasivity is a factor
Baking soda is an abrasive agent, that’s why it is highly not recommended to rely only on it. In fact, it removes stains but not necessarily plaque. The latter is one of the main causes of gum disease and teeth decay. In order to complete the whitening procedure you need to add toothpaste fluoride which fights plaque and protects enamel.
A concrete example is when you notice a yellow spot on your tooth. The first reflex you could possibly have is to brush with baking soda to remove it. However, there is a chance that this dark spot could be a cavity. In this case baking soda won’t provide any help.
Many manufacturers mention in the baking soda ingredient list “Aluminum free”. This make too many people confused about whether this powder has naturally aluminum in it or not.
Another source of misconception comes from the fact that some baking powders contains aluminum derivatives. Obviously, in the paragraph above I’ve explained that baking soda and baking powder are different. In fact, baking soda has no aluminum on is. So be sure there is no concern at all for this point.
3. Receding gums!
You already know that the enamel is the protection layer on each tooth. People who have receding gums, it is very possible that the higher portion of your teeth are not covered by enamel. In fact, it could be a much softer layer than enamel called cementum. In other words, once the gum line has receded (there are too many reasons for that), this exposes directly the cementum.
That tooth part is 10 times more vulnerable to abrasives, like baking soda. Especially, those who do it incorrectly. Using a quality toothbrush and correct brushing techniques is crucial for those with receding gums not only to brush with baking soda but also for regular brushing.
4. Dental Retainers!
Experts don’t recommend Baking soda for dental glue. In fact, when you use it frequently, it softens the adhesive that holds dental retainers like braces. It may also leave dark spots. Thus, it is advised not to use baking soda in this specific case.
5. Uncomfortable after-taste!
Baking soda does not have the best taste. Thus, to prevent the after-taste it is suggested to mix it with your regular toothpaste, or trying some combinations with other good flavors like strawberry (The method is explained later in this article).
Baking Soda teeth whitening Benefits
Baking Soda is a popular teeth whitening method. Its popularity is justified by it numerous good benefits on your teeth and oral health in general, only if used properly. Below, its main 3 benefits:
1. Reduce bad bug population
Recent researches confirm that baking soda helps in lowering bad bug populations in the mouth. Indeed, it is very effective to reduce most kinds of periodontal pathogens. The latter are bacteria that contribute to periodontitis.
This effect is explained by baking soda nature, which is sodium bicarbonate or more generally salt. And as you probably know salt is a natural antimicrobial element.
2. Banish extrinsic strains
If this doesn’t make sense for you, check the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic stains.
It has been proven that baking soda removes gently most kinds of extrinsic stains safely. However, you should follow the right methods in order to keep it safe for you enamel. The different methods explained step by step are below in the article.
3. Healthy Oral pH
The pH of our mouth represents a highly relevant indicator of the kind of bacteria living in our mouths. In fact, the lower the mouth pH (acidic), the higher chance of tooth decays. Furthermore, enamel demineralization occurs around pH 5/5.5 and lower.
You mouth should maintain a mouth pH that encourages the probiotic bacterial populations. This will allow you to have a good oral health. Thus, using baking soda for this purpose is a legit option. It supports 8.2/8.3 of pH, which makes the mouth a decent environment for good bacteria.
Experts recommend to track your saliva pH for time to time. You can check this saliva pH tracker on Amazon.
Don’t use Baking Soda for these types of stains
Heavy tobacco stains are really stubborn and can’t be brushed away. Indeed, it needs more professional teeth whitening methods or visiting a dentist (if you have more money than what you can deal with). Stains caused by cavities can’t be affected by brushing. You can recognize stains from cavities by their color which is in most cases gray, beige, brown or even black.
In addition, too much exposure to fluoride and antibiotics can cause stains on the inside of your teeth. It can even be caused by some genetic causes. Knowing that brushing can’t get inside or between teeth, it won’t have any noticeable effect on these types of stains.
Baking Soda teeth whitening may remove these stains
Unhealthy foods, bad oral hygiene, smoking and some kind of medications usually cause surface stains on the outside of your teeth. Baking soda can remove this kind of staining, especially when you mix it with toothpaste or other elements like lemon. The full list of elements that can be mixed with baking soda will detailed in this article a little bit later.
Brush properly and avoid overworking one spot
You know it already, baking soda is abrasive. Thus, proper brushing is crucial in order to remove stains effectively and safely.
Don’t brush more than once a day with a soft quality toothbrush with a gentle pressure. A 45 degree angle to the gum like is perfect; use circular small motions while brushing. When brushing the chewing surfaces, you can use a back-and-forth motion.
Overworking one spot while brushing especially with baking soda could be harmful. Let’s say you usually brush twice a day. In this case, you better start on one side of your mouth in the morning and the opposite side in the evening. In other words, you just start brushing on the left side each morning and the right side each evening. This little tip may seem meaningless, however it is highly effective and will save you overworking one spot during teeth brushing.
Another little tip: spread out the baking soda toothpaste (or any toothpaste) all over your teeth. By doing so, you will avoid over brushing one area of your teeth and get the most of the product benefits.
Different Baking Soda Teeth Whitening Methods
I know, I’ve said that before, but keep in mind. Brushing teeth with baking soda should not replace your regular daily brushing.
1. Baking Soda and Lemon
This method will be detailed as much as possible as it is the most popular one. The other ones are pretty much similar with some adjustments that will be explained.
Step 1: Mix the ingredients
Start by mixing in 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking soda with few drops of water or lemon (either one of them works just fine). If you can’t stand the baking soda taste you better mix it with lemon. Keep mixing until it becomes a paste so it will be much easier to apply. Apply the paste to your teeth using a toothbrush or your fingers.
If you have a remarkable stain on a separate place of your teeth, you can apply the paste directly to it. Let it set for about two minutes. . You can use a dry toothbrush (or your fingernails) to scratch away that last bit of dirt.
If you have no problem with the strong taste of baking soda. You just can use a wet toothbrush directly into baking soda, and the powder will attach itself to the bristles.
Step 2: Brush your Teeth
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes using the recommendations in this article above. Don’t brush your teeth for any longer than 2 minutes. Baking soda is a mild abrasive (You already know it) and may cause to erode the enamel on your teeth.
Reminder: Baking Soda taste is not the best taste in the world!
Step 3: Rinse you Mouth
Spit out the baking soda and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. Don’t forget to rinse your toothbrush as well with warm water.
Step 4: Two Weeks are more than enough
Repeat the same process once every second day for 2 weeks. You will notice day after day a slight improvement in the brightness of your teeth. And a substantial difference after a couple of weeks.If you’ve got sensitive teeth/enamel, you better do the process only 2 times a week.
After 2 weeks adopting this method, you should cut back to doing it just once a week. This will allow you to avoid the abrasive properties of the baking soda.
As I’ve said a bit earlier, brushing your teeth with baking soda MUST not replace your daily teeth brushing with regular toothpaste. Indeed, regular brushing plays a huge role fighting cavities, plaque, gum diseases, as well as keeping your breath fresh.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
You can mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide which is another great household product that you can use to whiten your teeth effectively.
The process is very simple: mix half a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of baking soda into a paste which is as consistent as regular toothpaste. Brush your teeth with the resulting paste, and then let it sit on your teeth for a minute or two. Rinse off right after with water (or a mouthwash).
Make sure you have a 3% solution, which is totally safe for oral use.
You can also use Hydrogen peroxide as an effective antibacterial mouthwash.
3. Lime juice and Baking Soda
Mix lime juice with baking soda. The citric acid in these fruits is a highly effective bleaching agent.
Simply mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Brush this mixture onto your teeth using a toothbrush and leave to sit for about a minute before rinsing off using water.
You can use this method only twice month. Some dentists do not recommend this method because of the citric acid in the juice which may hurt your teeth.
4. Baking Soda with Regular Toothpaste
You can mix a teaspoon of baking soda with your regular toothpaste to get the whitening benefits of the baking soda, combined with the strengthening and protective properties of fluoride toothpaste. Simply place the regular amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush, sprinkle some baking soda on top, then brush as normal.
5. Baking Soda with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been identified very recently for its ability to preserve a good oral health. In fact, the lauric acid it contains represents a powerful agent that reduces harmful bacteria in your mouth, which improves the overall oral health. In addition, a combination of coconut oil with baking soda produces a healthy and safe teeth-whitening recipe.
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil for one use. You can even prepare a mixture that you can use it later whenever you want. Indeed, you put some baking soda in a bowl and mix it with an equal amount of coconut oil. You can melt the coconut oil using a microwave for example.
Brush for 2 minutes then rinse your mouth with warm water. Don’t worry if some coconut oil remains in your mouth. You can repeat this twice a week for a mouth or two.
6. Baking Soda with Strawberries and Salt
Strawberry ascorbic acid represents a legit bleaching teeth whitening agent. Once combined with baking soda and a little bit of salt, your teeth whitening recipe is ready. This method is highly effective but a little bit risky for tooth and enamel. That’s why using it twice a mouth is enough.
Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 2 mashed large strawberries or 3 medium ones with a fork. Mix it for a minute then add a pinch of salt before mixing thoroughly for 1 minute.
Brush with the resulting paste for 2 minutes, then rinse water or mouthwash. You can repeat this method every 2 weeks for couple of mouths.
This method is probably the best one for those who can’t stand the strong baking soda taste.
What dentists think
While writing this article, I thought it is fair to present dentists’ opinion about this method even if I am not a big fan of dentistry.
Among the many opinions I’ve found, these 2 seem to summarize what dentists think globally:
- Baking soda and lemon juice gets out the stain but the abrasive nature only makes it easier for stains to return. A healthier way to whiten teeth is to reduce you consumption of acid promoting and corresponding stain producing foods such as refined carbohydrates and sugars.
- There are no known cases of teeth whitening from lemon juice or baking soda. It is used as a Toothpaste and may remove some surface stains and the teeth may appear brighter. Lemon juice can be harmful to your teeth by causing the enamel to weaken. The teeth may look slicker and shinier, but this is not good for you. The acid erodes the teeth and can make them very sensitive and prone to decay.
My opinion: I believe that baking soda teeth whitening is a proven way to get good results ONLY if you do it correctly as this article explains.
- If you have sensitive teeth or gum issues use this method only once a mouth and very carefully.
- Baking soda teeth whitening method can’t replace your regular toothpaste. The latter is the one which takes care of your overall oral health.
- If you wear braces containing orthodontic glue or use a permanent retainer just don’t use baking soda.
- Baking soda paste needs to be as smooth as possible.
- Brush for 2 minutes at most and at a time. Any longer could hurt.
- Use this baking soda teeth whitening remedy for 2 up to 3 times a week in normal cases.
- Baking Soda taste is strong and may be even terrible at time.
- Something I forgot to mention earlier in this article. Baking Soda Teeth Whitening is a good method for coffee drinker. In fact, you are one of them you can check this article on how to prevent coffee staining.
- If you can’t use the baking soda teeth whitening method for any given reason, you can use professional teeth whitening or pure natural teeth whitening or even some weird but still effective methods like banana Peel teeth whitening.