Is It Safe to Whiten Your Teeth with Baking Soda?

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Is It Safe to Whiten Your Teeth with Baking Soda?

Our teeth often become discolored by the foods we eat. Just like spilling coffee on a bright white shirt will leave a stain, the same thing happens to your teeth. Coffee, dark red wines, soy sauce, and tomatoes can all stain your teeth. While a good daily brushing and flossing will help you keep stains at bay, they may still creep in. 

It is easy to get sucked into new social media trends, including ones that claim to give you a bright and beautiful smile. Baking soda whitening is one of those trends, but is baking soda safe to use to whiten teeth? While it is effective, baking soda can cause some damage if you use it too often.

Can You Whiten Your Teeth with Baking Soda?

Baking soda has been used in the kitchen as a way to clean stubborn stains off countertops and pans or to make cakes and biscuits rise. Just like it can remove kitchen stains, it can whiten teeth as well. 

One study from 2017 showed that when baking soda was an ingredient in whitening treatments, those products were more effective than the whiteners that were missing baking soda. Even on its own, baking soda will whiten teeth—because of its abrasive nature, it is able to buff surface stains away.

The Effectiveness of Baking Soda

Although it’s effective at removing new surface stains, baking soda does very little for older, set-in stains. Nor can it help whiten stains or discoloration inside a tooth from cavities or a dying tooth root

Is Baking Soda Safe to Use to Whiten Your Teeth?

Baking soda is considered relatively safe to ingest, as the amount needed to make it dangerous is extremely large. Given the taste of baking soda, it’s unlikely that you could ever swallow enough to make it harmful. However, dentists and doctors recommend that if you use it for whitening purposes you always rinse and spit.

The main thing to consider when using baking soda to whiten your teeth is that its abrasive quality can ruin your tooth enamel if used for too long or brushed too harshly. If you do want to try whitening your teeth with baking soda, mix a little bit with water or toothpaste, use gentle brushing motions, and do not use it every day. 

How to Use Baking Soda to Whiten Teeth

  1. Make a paste with water and baking soda and brush once every two weeks. 
  2. Start with a small amount of baking soda, and add enough water to form a paste. Make sure that the baking soda has dissolved, and that the paste is not gritty. If it’s gritty, add more water until it’s smooth. 
  3. Brush the paste all over your teeth, and gently buff them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. 
  4. Rinse your mouth thoroughly, until no paste remains. DO NOT SWALLOW THE PASTE.

Or just look for products like whitening toothpaste that already utilize the power of baking soda, and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Hicks Dental Group Can Help Whiten Your Teeth

If you want to whiten your teeth, Hicks Dental Group can help you reach your goal. Our knowledgeable dentists and technicians can take the guesswork out of getting you the smile you want. We offer whitening that takes the guesswork out of your dental health and leaves you with a whiter, stress free smile. Contact us today to make an appointment and take the next step toward a brighter smile.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/31/23). Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash.