Does Baking Soda Whiten Your Teeth? Facts and Myths

With dental health and aesthetic importance on the rise, it’s no wonder that one question keeps recurring: “Does baking soda whiten teeth?

You may have read online or heard from a friend advocating using baking soda as a magical solution for teeth whitening. But how fast does baking soda whiten teeth? Is it comparable to regular toothpaste? And, is it safe to whiten teeth with baking soda, especially for those with sensitive teeth?

This article aims to separate facts from myths about baking soda and its effects on tooth enamel.

Why Bother With Teeth Whitening?

There are plenty of reasons why people want white teeth. For one, beautiful teeth make them feel more confident when smiling. That alone helps them let their guard down. A simple self-esteem boost goes a long way in the workplace, school, and even relationships. White teeth also make people look more youthful.

What Is Baking Soda?

Baking soda, chemically recognized as sodium bicarbonate, is a multitasker known for its diverse uses. From baking to cleaning to deodorizing, it’s a popular household product. This natural whitening agent can offer limited surface stain removal due to its mild abrasive nature, which is why it’s found in many toothpaste variants.

Baking soda is universally used because it possesses natural whitening properties that are effective at fighting stains. Some people also mix baking soda with lemon juice, strawberries, or other natural ingredients to clean their teeth. Lemon juice has citric acid, which is a natural bleaching agent.

However, it’s essential to know that using baking soda mixture and other popular ingredients should not replace regular toothpaste. It’s because toothpaste contains fluoride, which is vital in preventing tooth decay that baking soda lacks.

Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

Baking soda can help whiten teeth, but with limitations. As mentioned, it’s a mild abrasive that can help scrub away surface stains on teeth caused by coffee, wine, and other acidic foods. It can also create an alkaline environment in your mouth, preventing bacteria from growing.

To use:

  • Make a Paste: Combine about one teaspoon of baking soda with a small amount of water or hydrogen peroxide until it forms a paste. Some suggest that hydrogen peroxide can enhance the whitening effect of baking soda.
  • Brush Your Teeth: Apply the paste to your toothbrush and gently brush your teeth. Be sure not to scrub too hard to avoid damaging your enamel and gums.
  • Rinse and Follow-Up: Rinse your mouth with water. Then, brush your teeth with regular fluoride toothpaste.

Note that while baking soda can remove some stains and discoloration, it won’t lighten a yellowing tooth that has its color originating from inside. A dentist-performed whitening treatment or a home-use product containing bleach is needed for such cases.

How Fast Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

Does Baking Soda Whiten Your Teeth? Facts and Myths

Much like using regular toothpaste, the results vary. The extent of the staining, frequency of baking soda use, and underlying oral health can all influence the outcome. Also, the whitening effect isn’t immediate.

Many may ask, “How long does it take for baking soda to whiten teeth?”

According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, brushing teeth with baking soda toothpaste twice per day can lead to significantly whiter teeth in as little as six weeks. Again, baking soda should not replace your regular toothpaste, and it’s recommended to use it no more than two times per week to avoid damaging your enamel.

What Does It Feel and Taste Like to Brush With Baking Soda?

The feel of brushing with baking soda can be surprising for first-timers. It will be quite gritty if used with just water and leave an unappealing aftertaste. Some people combat this by mixing it with toothpaste or other flavors, such as peppermint. Some additions, such as vinegar, may add to the unappealing taste left in the mouth.

Be aware that the experience may not be pleasant, but mixing it with other ingredients to make it feel better and taste better in the mouth is possible.

Is It Safe to Whiten Teeth With Baking Soda?

While baking soda can help remove surface stains from teeth, it comes with potential risks.

Here are some of them:

  • Enamel Erosion: Baking soda is abrasive in nature, which helps remove stains from the surface of the teeth. However, if used too frequently or in high quantities, it can wear down the enamel, the outermost layer of the teeth, leading to sensitivity and making teeth more susceptible to cavities.
  • Gum Irritation: The abrasive nature of baking soda can also potentially irritate gums, especially if you brush too hard or use it too often.
  • Not Comprehensive Oral Care: Baking soda does not contain fluoride, which is necessary for preventing tooth decay and promoting healthy teeth. Relying on baking soda alone for oral care means you’re missing out on the benefits of fluoride.
  • Ineffective Against Deep Stains: While baking soda can help with surface stains, it won’t help with deeper stains or internal discoloration of the teeth.
  • Altered Taste: Some people may find that using baking soda alters their sense of taste, making certain foods and drinks taste different than usual.


How Often Should I Use Baking Soda To Whiten My Teeth?

Most dental experts agree that you can safely use baking soda as a natural teeth whitener two to three times per week. Since the whitening effect of baking soda for teeth takes time, results may be seen gradually for several weeks.

Don’t brush your teeth with baking soda or abrasive toothpaste if you have sensitive teeth, which may indicate dental erosion. Brushing with abrasive products will just make matters worse.

Is It Better to Use Baking Soda Rather Than Toothpaste?

Using toothpaste regularly is a good idea because baking soda alone cannot fight cavities. In addition, overuse of baking soda could damage the teeth. While conscious and careful use of baking soda can be beneficial, it is not a permanent replacement for good toothpaste.

Professional Dental Cleaning

This takes us to professional dental cleaning, a more effective and safer alternative to DIY home remedies like baking soda. Despite baking soda’s mild whitening effect, only a dental professional can perform comprehensive plaque and tartar removal and deep cleaning.

Unlike baking soda, professional teeth whitening agents, such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, can effectively break down and remove deep-seated stains from teeth without harming the tooth enamel. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and regular dental check-ups should be your mainstay.

Key Takeaways

Baking soda has a limited function in teeth whitening, primarily centered around removing tooth surface stains. It has potential downsides, such as enamel erosion if overused. For optimal results and dental health, professional teeth cleaning is still recommended.

If you are considering professional teeth whitening, book an initial consultation with us today. Keep your smile brighter and healthier with regular care by dental professionals. Our dentists can help you on your journey towards teeth that shine.


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