Baking soda is something of a household staple that has been linked with hundreds of weird and wonderful alternative applications over the years. Along with its role in all manner of delightful recipes, households on a global basis routinely turn to baking soda as something of a wonder-product for a variety of uses.
Whether it’s keeping unpleasant smells under control in the refrigerator, cleaning carpets or getting to grips with grout-restoration, there really are endless uses for baking soda around the house.
…not to mention, baking soda is an extremely popular all-natural tooth whitening product.
The popularity of baking soda as a safe and gentle tooth whitening product is so enormous that countless manufacturers on a global basis now include a generous dose of the stuff in their own oral health and hygiene products. Baking soda toothpaste having found its way into millions of homes all over the world.
Nevertheless, opinion remains well and truly divided as to if and how we should be bringing baking soda into our daily lives as a tooth whitening product. It’s typical to get an entirely different answer from each and every person you ask.
Which is why for this post, we thought we’d share with you three of the most important things you need to know about baking soda if planning to use it for tooth whitening purposes.
Or more accurately – three questions that need to be answered, which are as follows:
- Does It Work?
Kicking things off with the single most important question of all – is baking soda genuinely effective as a tooth whitening product? The answer…well, once again you’ll no doubt get a different response from everyone you ask. Nevertheless, the short answer as far as the science of the whole thing goes is yes – baking soda can (to an extent) serve as an effective whitening product.
The reason being that baking soda has a naturally abrasive texture. Meaning that when you use it to clean your teeth, it gently scrubs away at the surface of the teeth and can help remove surface stains. Which is precisely why so many people use nothing more than a combination of baking soda and water as their own preferred tooth-whitening agent. Or better yet, use baking soda toothpaste which contains other active ingredients like fluoride, in order to gain access to the best of all worlds.
So when it comes to removing surface stains by gently polishing and scrubbing the teeth, the answer is yes – baking soda works.
- Does It AlwaysWork Effectively?
That said, it’s a different story entirely when it comes to the question as to whether baking soda always gets the job done effectively. The thing to remember about baking soda and baking soda toothpaste is the fact that it approaches whitening on the same level as most other whitening toothpastes across the board. That being, while it can certainly help remove remedial surface stains, it cannot and will not make any difference whatsoever to deeper stains and discolouration.
The important thing to remember when it comes to whitening toothpastes across the board is that they do not and cannot work in the same way as more intensive whitening kits and treatments. When using a powerful whitening gel or strips, the substance works by opening the pores in the surface of the teeth and drawing out deeper-set stains and discolouration. This is achieved by inclusion of powerful substances and bleaching agents, which for obvious reasons are not included in everyday toothpaste.
By contrast, simpler whitening agents like baking soda simply get to work on the surface of the teeth and cannot penetrate any deeper. As such, when it comes to making a significant difference to the whiteness of teeth or having any real effect whatsoever on extensively discoloured teeth, the answer is no – baking soda probably isn’t going to prove very effective at all.
- Are There Any Disadvantages?
Last but not least, aside from the obvious issue regarding its inability to reach deeper stains within the teeth, the answer is yes – there are additional drawbacks and disadvantages to baking soda that should be taken into account.
Primarily, it’s important to remember that while baking soda may be 100% natural and potentially effective, it also has the potential to cause extensive damage to the surface of the teeth. The reason being that if the baking soda is too coarse, used too often or used with an overly aggressive scrubbing action, it can quickly grind the surface enamel away from the teeth. Essentially meaning it has the potential to do more harm than good. Particularly in the case of those who may already have sensitive teeth, it is inadvisable to use baking soda or baking soda products in general without first speaking to your dentist.
While it may be an advisable course of action, it is always worth discussing your options with your dentist, before going ahead.
So…Should You Give Baking Soda a Try?
In terms of whether or not it’s a good idea to give baking soda a try…well, we’ve already covered this in the point above! Just as is the case with every approach to tooth whitening across the board, it is always a good idea to explore the options available to you with your dentist. The reason being that what represents an appropriate or inadvisable solution generally comes down to the specifics of your oral health at the time. If you have any oral health issues – sensitive teeth, gum disease, braces etc. – certain approaches to tooth whitening will inevitably be more or less advisable than others. What’s more, the extent to which your teeth are damaged or discoloured will also play a role in determining what represents an advisable course of action.
Still, trying out a commercial baking soda toothpaste and being relatively gentle with its use probably isn’t going to harm the vast majority of mouths. But at the same time, it’s important to gauge your expectations sensibly – expecting a blinding Hollywood smile after using baking soda alone being a sure-fire recipe for disappointment!