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Baking Soda, Toothbrush und empty bottle on white towel on black background

Brushing Teeth with Baking Soda
Is it safe or not?

Baking soda has been used for centuries for health and household purposes. Just pour some of it into your laundry for fresh, clean and sparkling white linens. You can pour baking soda and vinegar down a drain to clear up a clog. You can also use baking soda in many food recipes since it is safe to ingest.

Brushing teeth with baking soda not only gets them super clean, but it can save money when you purchase the sodium bicarbonate on its own as well as whiten your teeth to a beautiful natural shade.



Comic drawn image of cleaning tools, sponge, lemon, baking soda

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is known also as sodium bicarbonate. The powder acts like an abrasive, which is ideal for cleaning surfaces, especially the teeth. It also reacts to certain chemicals, like lemon and vinegar to create a foaming action. Baking soda can be used for anything from brushing your teeth and removing surface stains to clearing a clogged drain and deodorizing dirty clothes hamper. Many people think of sodium bicarbonate as the "do-all" of products, since it can be used in virtually any room of the home and for multiple different purposes.

Baking Soda to Brush Your Teeth

You can definitely use baking soda to brush your teeth since most American Dental Association-backed products already have baking soda listed as one of their ingredients. In fact, if you take a look at your toothpaste right now, chances are pretty good that it contains sodium bicarbonate. However, many people find that using straight baking soda is not only cheaper, but it works better because it is more concentrated.

There are a few ways that you can use baking soda to brush and whiten your teeth. The most common recipe for a natural sodium bicarbonate toothpaste contains just straight baking soda mixed with a little water to create a paste-like texture. You will put this on your toothbrush as you would any other product and brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. In order to add some flavor, some people like to mix peppermint oil in with the baking soda and water. Baking soda alone has a pretty mild and bitter taste, so you may find that adding peppermint oil helps to make the experience more pleasant.



White toothpaste writing "White" on turquoise background

Whitening Teeth with Baking Soda

If you're trying to get into a routine of brushing teeth with baking soda, you might also be wondering if it is going to whiten the teeth as well. The vast majority of whitening products on the market use sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide. Combined, both of these ingredients help to remove both surface stains and deeper stains within the teeth.

The baking soda is an abrasive, so it is going to get rid of any surface stains on the teeth and the hydrogen peroxide works deeper to whiten the teeth from the inside, out. You can safely mix sodium bicarbonate with hydrogen peroxide to form a paste that you'll use to brush your teeth. However, keep in mind that the baking soda hydrogen peroxide combination of these two ingredients may cause sensitive teeth and gums, so be aware of the side effects and discontinue use if you're unable to handle the sensitivity.

Pros and Cons of Using Baking Soda on Teeth

Brushing teeth with baking soda has both pros and cons. Brushing teeth with baking soda benefits are effortless to see, but you may not realize that there are negatives to using this method as well. Listed below are the pros and cons of brushing teeth with baking soda:



Effectively cleans the teeth and removes plaque

Rough on the enamel and may wear it down over time

Whitens the teeth effectively

Fluoride-free (teeth are more vulnerable to cavities)


Can be messy because it's mixed in a bowl rather than squeezed from a tube

Free of dyes, flavorings or other harmful chemicals

Taste alone can be unpleasant and gritty

Fluoride-free for those concerned about this additive

Not always a convenient option when you're in a hurry


Side Effects of Toothbrushing with Baking Soda

While there are many benefits of brushing teeth with baking soda, there are also many negatives and side effects. If you have sensitive teeth, you may find that the straight mixture of sodium bicarbonate with water makes your teeth and gums even more sensitive. This is made worse if you combine the sodium bicarbonate with anything like hydrogen peroxide or lemon. Over time, the mixture of sodium bicarbonate with water can wear down the enamel since it is an abrasive agent that works by scraping at the teeth with small powder-like particles.

Brushing your teeth with baking soda can be an inexpensive and more natural way to care for the teeth. However, it is important to keep an eye on your teeth while it's being used to check for signs of wear and enamel erosion. Signs of enamel erosion can be seen by examining your teeth with a flashlight. If the tooth looks transparent, it could be a sign that the enamel has been worn down.

When combining sodium bicarbonate with hydrogen peroxide to make a whitening paste, only use this for a short period of time, such as a week or two. Continual use of both sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide, especially in such a concentrated formula, can wear down the teeth and cause major sensitivity issues for both the teeth and the gums. As always, speak to a dentist before you begin brushing with baking soda alone and forgoing your regular toothpaste, since your dental provider may recommend fluoride supplementation.