With Wellness at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it’s not uncommon to hear about more natural, healthier alternatives for things such as whitening your smile. Brushing your teeth with baking soda is something that more and more wellness-minded individuals are incorporating into their oral hygiene routine. However, not all DIY home treatments are safe and reliable.
Is brushing with baking soda really an adequate replacement for professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter whitening products? Read on to learn more about why you should always check with your dentist before altering your oral hygiene and if baking soda is a safe product for your smile.
The Basics of Baking Soda
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a chemical compound that most often appears as a fine powder. It is made up of sodium and bicarbonate ions. The alkalinity helps to eliminate tooth discoloration resulting from food and beverage consumption, smoking, and other tooth-staining substances. Due to its mild abrasiveness, baking soda can remove plaque from the tooth surface, but it may not be for everyone looking for a whiter smile.
The granular composition of baking soda can harm the tooth enamel. For specific individuals, their enamel is already very thin. Brushing with baking soda will only accelerate the thinning of their teeth, which will lead to hypersensitivity and a potential increase in cavities.
Baking Soda as Toothpaste
Baking soda has a wide variety of practical uses, such as baking, deodorizing, and many homemade remedies. While some articles may claim baking soda to be useful as a toothpaste, this is never recommended from a dental professional standpoint. Baking soda is extremely abrasive and should never be used as a toothpaste.
An ideal toothpaste is abrasive enough to brush away the stains and bacteria that sit on our teeth, but not abrasive enough to scrub away our tooth enamel. Enamel, the hardest mineralized surface of the tooth, cannot be regrown or replaced once it has been damaged. It is essential to protect your tooth enamel from anything that is too abrasive and may cause harm to your teeth. The texture of baking soda is hard and gritty; the little pieces have ridged edges that feel rough in your mouth. It may seem like baking soda would only scrub away surface stains of your teeth, but baking soda can lead to extensive damage.
Baking Soda Mixed With Acidic Substances
It is critical to be cautious when reading online toothpaste remedies that involve baking soda. A common misconception is that if you mix baking soda with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or other acidic substances that it becomes an excellent tooth whitener, but this is incorrect and misleading. Materials, such as these, will harm your teeth more than they will help them. Acids will eat away at the tooth enamel, softening your teeth and allowing the baking soda to erode even more of the structure of your teeth, causing many more problems such as cavities. Harmful combinations with acidic substances may seem to brighten your smile, but they should not be used in conjunction with baking soda.
Plain baking soda and water will do an excellent job at scrubbing away any slight stains and spots on your teeth. Instead of using a homemade whitening remedy that could be dangerous, if you’re looking to whiten your smile, use over-the-counter whitening products, or contact your dentist to inquire about professional whitening treatments.
When In Doubt, Leave Teeth Whitening To Professional
Even if used safely and adequately, baking soda will only whiten teeth around one to two shades, and you are putting your teeth at risk while attempting to use it. The best and safest way to effectively whiten your smile is with professional teeth whitening. Because a trusted dentist oversees professional whitening, it is the most reliable way to achieve a whiter smile compared to at-home remedies.
If you’re ready to brighten the look of your smile without the risk of causing potential damage to the surface of your teeth, contact our team at Premier Dental Center today to schedule a teeth whitening consultation.