Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth? 6 Simple Methods

Who doesn’t want a beautiful smile free of stains? The desire to achieve a sparkly white smile has brought in 11 million US dollars in revenue to the teeth whitening industry. The annual spending on teeth whitening products recording at approximately 1.4 billion US dollars.

The term ‘whitening‘ is referred to as restoring a tooth’s surface colour by removing dirt and debris. Technically any product that is used to clean the teeth is considered a whitener.

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments that offer a quick and non-invasive way to enhance a smile. But for some people, it is cost-prohibitive.

Therefore many people look for an alternative to save money and search for DIY at home to whiten their teeth, using bicarbonate soda or baking soda.

But does baking soda whiten teeth? Yes, it helps to whiten your teeth naturally. It is a cheaper temporary remedy for dental issues, including bad breath, mouth sores and ulcers, and gum diseases.

In this article, we discuss whether baking soda whitens teeth. We break down everything related to teeth whitening including what causes discoloration of teeth, staining, and its remedy.

1. What Causes Tooth Discoloration and Staining?

yellow teeth
Source: Pixabay

Your tooth enamel is composed of microscopic crystalline rods designed to shield the teeth from chewing effects, gnashing, trauma, and acid attacks caused by sugar.

But with time, your enamel is worn down and becomes more transparent, permitting the yellow colour of the tooth’s core material dentin to show through. This causes tooth discoloration.

Millions of micro-cracks occur in the enamel due to the routine chewing of food. These cracks and spaces between the crystalline enamel rods gradually fill up with stains and debris, giving the teeth a dull, lacklustre appearance. This is the staining of teeth.

2. What is Baking Soda?

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a chemical combination of sodium and bicarbonate ions. It is a white, crystalline substance often found in powder form. Baking soda is alkaline and salty. It has a mild abrasive nature.

Baking soda is a common household product and is used for several household purposes. It can also be found in many kinds of toothpaste for teeth whitening.

3. Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth? 6 Easy Methods to Try!

Yes, baking soda can help whiten your teeth. It has an alkaline and salty nature that helps lighten and eliminate acid-base food stains such as coffee tea and red wine on teeth. It is great at removing built-a plaque and surface stains.

baking soda
Source: Shutterstock

3.1. Baking Soda with Water

The easiest method to whiten your teeth with baking soda is by roughly mixing water and baking soda in a bowl and applying it to your teeth with your fingers or a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Gently brush all around your mouth in circular motions, hitting each tooth. Do not scrub too hard or forcefully.

3.2. Baking Soda with Salt

Mix baking soda with salt in a 3:1 ratio and use this mixture by rubbing it gently on your teeth. Salt restores the lost minerals in your teeth and whitens them.

3.3. Baking Soda with Regular Toothpaste

Does baking soda whiten teeth? While brushing your teeth, you can add baking soda to your toothpaste and use the mix directly on your teeth.

Use this twice a day for 2 to 3 days and once a week after that.

3.4. Baking Soda with Lime/Lemon

Baking Soda with Lime/Lemon
Source: UnlimPhotos

Another method of whitening teeth is by mixing half a tablespoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of lime or lemon. Brush this mixture on your teeth with a toothbrush and let the mixture sit for a minute before washing it off.

Lime/lemon acts as a bleaching agent due to its citric nature.

3.5. Baking Soda with Strawberry and Salt Scrub

Mash 2-3 strawberries and extract the pulp. Mix a small quantity of baking soda with a pinch of salt and apply the paste to the teeth. Leave it for some 5-10 minutes and wash it off.

Vitamin C in strawberries acts as an astringent agent and breaks down the plague. The malic acid present in berries helps remove surface stains.

3.6. Baking Soda with Hydrogen Peroxide

Does baking soda whiten teeth? Another method of teeth whitening is by using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Keep the paste on your tooth for 1 minute before rinsing.

But if you aim to remove older, deeper stains baking soda will not be as effective. It can damage your enamel if you brush with it too aggressively.

4. Benefits of Using Baking Soda-

  • Baking soda is inexpensive and readily available in any nearby store.
  • When you brush your teeth with baking soda, the colonies of bacteria attached to the surface of your teeth causing problems like gingivitis and cavities are disrupted. This reduces the bacteria count and helps in preventing teeth and gum damage.
  • Baking soda neutralizes the agents causing discoloration and foul odour in the mouth.
  • Baking soda is a good fluoride-free option as too much fluoride can be toxic, especially for children under 6 years old.
  • Baking soda, if mixed with water, releases free radicals when dissolved in water. When you apply this solution to teeth, the free radicals will interact with the stain-causing molecules in the teeth’ enamel.
  • Rinsing your mouth with baking soda and water solution can kill cavity-causing bacteria to multiply in your mouth.

You may also check out the 7 Staggering Reasons to Say Yes to Brushing With Baking Soda for more information.

baking soda
Source: UnlimPhotos

5. Drawbacks of Using Baking Soda

  • While the American Dental Association (ADA) considers baking soda safe for enamel and dentin, some researchers have also given a low rating for teeth whitening because it may not remove stains as effectively as some other products.
  • Does baking soda whiten teeth alone? The answer is NO. Using baking soda alone as your toothpaste may not be enough for your teeth as it does not contain fluoride which provides an extra shield against tooth decay and dental cavities.
  • Many users find baking soda to have a very unappealing salty taste and sandy texture.

Does baking soda whiten teeth?  Does it pose any health risk? No. There may be possible side effects of baking soda that one must be aware of if using it to whiten teeth.

  • Continuous use of baking soda can damage the enamel that coats your teeth.
  • If you have braces that use a permanent retainer or contain orthodontic glue, do not brush with baking soda as it softens the glue.
  • Its use can damage your enamel if you brush with it too aggressively.
  • Prolonged exposure to baking soda can erode your enamel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long does it take for baking soda to whiten teeth?

It usually takes about 2 to 6 weeks for baking soda to make your teeth whiter.

2. How often should I brush with baking soda?

To get the best results, you must brush your teeth with baking soda twice a week.

Conclusion

Baking soda can bleach the teeth to some degree and can prevent tooth discoloration. But it is not usually going to work on all types of stains.

Baking soda may not be enough to remove a deep or serious stain and may not whiten it as white as you would like. But if you are looking for a cheap remedy, baking soda is a good option.

You can make your teeth white by using some of these simple home remedies using baking soda. The results won’t be as great as going to a dental clinic but it will be enough to make a difference. You can give it a try and change yourself.

The best part of all this is that you have to spend only a few minutes trying this technique at home to whiten your teeth.

Last Updated on by Ananya Sreen

Author

Jasmine Mary Ekka

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