How Effectively Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

Brushing your teeth with baking soda is a popular home alternative to commercial teeth whitening products. Before you start using this method, it's important to understand just what kind of whitening effects you'll get and what disadvantages you may have to deal with.

How Baking Soda Works on Your Teeth

Baking soda is mildly abrasive, giving you more of a scrub than a brush when you clean your teeth. If you make up a paste of equal amounts of baking soda and water, you get a toothpaste alternative that has a little more power. The abrasive qualities of the powder may make your teeth feel cleaner and may tackle stains more effectively than a regular toothpaste.

How White Will Baking Soda Make Your Teeth?

A baking soda paste will typically make your teeth look a little whiter. The paste's abrasive qualities may help remove surface plaque, making your teeth look cleaner. Brushing with baking soda may also be an effective way of removing minor stains from your teeth.

If you can remove plaque and staining from your teeth, your smile may brighten up simply because your teeth are cleaner. However, it's important to understand that baking soda doesn't work like commercial whitening products or the treatments offered by your dentist. Baking soda doesn't have any bleaching properties; it simply improves your surface clean.

The Downsides of Brushing Your Teeth With Baking Soda

Baking soda may remove some stains from your teeth; however, it tends to be more effective on recent stains. According to Colgate, baking soda may not be able to clean off older stains that are more entrenched on your teeth. Baking soda also can't do anything with internal stains in your teeth. These intrinsic stains may have been caused by damage to the tooth in the past and won't respond to external cleaning remedies. To remove stubborn staining or to make teeth with internal staining whiter, you need treatment from a dentist.

Using a homemade baking soda paste to clean your teeth once a week or so may not be harmful; however, this isn't a good thing to do every day, especially if you have weak tooth enamel. Used too frequently, this cleaning method may prove too abrasive for your teeth and may start to degrade their enamel.

If you start to lose the enamel which protects the outside of your teeth, your teeth may become more sensitive. If things get really bad, you may need dental treatment, such as fillings or veneers, to repair the enamel you've lost.

Tip: While you should think carefully about brushing your teeth with baking soda, you can use the powder to protect your teeth in a different way. According to the Better Health Channel, a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water makes a useful homemade mouthwash that can help neutralise the acids in your mouth, helping prevent problems like dental erosion.

For more information, contact a dentist like Revesby Dental Centre.