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Brilliant or bulls**t: Putting baking soda in toothpaste

We’re all familiar with baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) as a baking ingredient and magical cleaning agent. But did you know that using baking soda in toothpaste can help to clean and whiten teeth too? Yes, toothpaste and baking soda typically do not belong in the same room, let alone the same cabinet, but combining them has shown to be a more effective way of brushing teeth.

Before you try this out, I want to ensure that you do it safely and effectively. So, here’s my advice on using baking soda for brushing teeth/teeth cleaning. I also answer questions like: Is it really effective? What baking soda toothpaste benefits and baking soda toothpaste side effects can you expect? How fast does baking soda whiten teeth? Get all your answers here!

There are no side effects of using baking soda, but you may still need the fluoride found in shop toothpaste. Luckily, it's okay to use them alongside each other for maximum effect. There are a couple of ways of doing this which I’ll detail later on in this article.

So, how often should you brush your teeth with baking soda? The American Dental Association Journal says daily brushing teeth using baking soda is safe.

Baking soda toothpaste benefits

Now that you know how to brush your teeth with baking soda safely, let’s look at its various benefits:

  • Brushing teeth using baking soda has been shown to disrupt biofilm, the sticky layer of bacteria that can lead to plaque formation if left to build up. Doing this helps to reduce plaque and protect the gums against gingivitis.

  • Baking soda has a high pH, sending the mouth into an alkaline state after usage. This environment is not ideal for germs to survive, making it harder for cavity-causing bacteria to multiply in the mouth.

  • Baking soda’s mild abrasiveness provides a scrubbing effect on the teeth to remove surface stains and plaque.

  • Due to its natural whitening properties, it is also effective at teeth whitening.

  • It's a low-cost and fuss-free upgrade to your usual dental hygiene routine. You probably already have baking soda at home!

How to brush your teeth with baking soda

To brush your teeth with baking soda, you can either create a paste by mixing it with water or use it in a baking soda dentifrice (toothpaste containing baking soda).

Instructions for making a baking soda paste at home:

Making your very own baking soda mixture at home is easy! You’ll need a small bowl, a toothbrush, baking soda, and water - all of which you probably have at home already.

  1. Mix equal parts baking soda with water and stir until a paste begins to form

  2. Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and use it to brush the teeth in gentle circular motions for around a minute or so

  3. Spit out the mixture and rinse until the mouth is grit-free and the teeth are clean and shiny

The American Dental Association says dentifrice can be used as a delivery system for baking soda to reduce any harshness that can lead to other oral problems. In fact, baking soda is a common ingredient in many store-bought brands of toothpaste. Studies have shown that baking soda toothpastes are more effective at removing plaque than those that do not contain it.

Using baking soda as a teeth cleaner is one of my favorite things ever. I get that it's more work because you have to mix up the baking soda and water and then brush it on, but I think it's worth it. I also have patients telling me that the experience is quite unpleasant due to the grittiness and unappetising flavor.

For those apprehensive about using baking soda to clean teeth, I strongly recommend opting for commercially available toothpaste containing baking soda. They will give you the cleaning benefits of baking soda, plus added protection from the ingredients found in fluoride toothpaste.

My favorite products are baking soda and peroxide whitening toothpastes from Colgate, Ultra Brite, or Crest. These are excellent at cleaning teeth and also help with teeth whitening for that Hollywood smile. They’re pretty affordable too. Whatever you choose, make sure it also contains fluoride for cavity prevention.

I’d argue that most households have a bottle of baking soda or two somewhere. If not, it is easy to find in a store, and this affordable yet mighty ingredient is the key to transforming your at-home dental care routine to give you cleaner and polished teeth and make your family dentist smile with delight. But as long as you are aware of the baking soda teeth whitening dangers and since it can be a little unpleasant to use and harsh on the teeth, I recommend using baking soda in toothpaste to get the benefits of both!

Baking soda in toothpaste is a game-changer. Try and incorporate it into your oral health care routine and let me know if it works for you! If you want a more intense teeth whitening experience, read my article on the pros and cons of teeth whitening to make a more informed decision.

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