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Dr. Na Xu
Healthy Smiles Family Dental

2601 25th St., Suite 400
Salem, OR 97302

P: (503) 385-1185
F: (503) 339-1981

Should You Use Baking Soda to Brush Your Teeth?

Posted on 11/20/2015 by Na Xu
A bottle of baking soda besides a tooth brush.Baking soda has a lot of uses around the house, and not all of them are strictly within the kitchen. In fact, many people have been taking advantage of baking soda by adding it to their oral health routines in order to improve the appearance of their smile.

If you are considering brushing your teeth with baking soda, you should know about the pros and cons of using this substance as well as how to use it safely in order to maximize the potential benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Brushing with Baking Soda?

There are many reasons that using baking soda for brushing the teeth is an attractive option. Brushing with baking soda will polish the teeth, remove minor stains, and give you a whiter smile. It is an effective whitening agent, and choosing to use baking soda rather than buying expensive whitening treatments is often an attractive option for people who have minor discoloration that they are looking to eliminate from their smile.

Another major benefit to using baking soda to brush the teeth is to fight against bad breath. Baking soda can help to remove plaque and other odor-causing bacteria from the mouth, leading to fresher breath while also removing the dangerous plaque deposits that could result in tooth decay.

Are There Shortcomings to Brushing with Baking Soda?

Despite the benefits that come along with brushing with baking soda, there are some side effects that you should consider before making baking soda a permanent toothpaste replacement in your life. Brushing the teeth with just baking soda hasn't been approved by the American Dental Association, and since baking soda can be abrasive when used frequently, it could actually weaken your enamel over time. This could make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities and more sensitivity to temperature extremes.

While baking soda might be a good addition to toothpaste, there are other reasons that it is not necessarily a great idea to brush with it on its own, especially over an extended period of time. Baking soda won't kill bacteria in the mouth, so it isn't going to provide an effective defense against tooth decay, gum disease, or cavities. Since it doesn't contain fluoride, you will also run an additional risk of decay, as fluoride is essential in helping the tooth enamel to re-mineralize. Lastly, using baking soda as toothpaste could also result in a burning sensation within the mouth.

How Can I Use Baking Soda Safely?
If you want to use baking soda to improve your dental health, it is important to remember that you should only brush with baking soda a maximum of twice per week. Otherwise, you could be causing damage that is irreparable. The easiest way is to brush with baking soda in the powder form by wetting your toothbrush and dipping it into baking soda so that the powder sticks to the bristles. You can then brush for the full two minutes.

Other people choose to add baking soda to different substances before brushing. The most common is toothpaste, as you can easily sprinkle baking soda onto your toothpaste after applying it to the brush. Some people swear by dissolving baking soda with a few drops of white vinegar and water, while others will combine baking soda with strawberries in order to boost the whitening properties of both ingredients.

Are you interested in adding baking soda to your dental hygiene routine, or would you like to find a way to get a whiter smile? Contact our office to set up an appointment. We can discuss whitening options that will be able to give you the bright and white smile of your dreams.

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