Baking soda is a common household item that has a number of useful applications. It can be used to shine silverware, scrub the counter, and even to discourage weeds from growing around your driveway. Many people also tout health and beauty applications for this product. One of the most common health uses suggested for baking soda is brushing your teeth. Unfortunately, this is not the safest method for cleaning your teeth and has not been approved by the ADA.

Tooth Whitening

dreamstime_xs_50046169Baking soda is said to be great for tooth whitening. Unlike a number of home tooth whitening remedies such as rubbing lemon juice on your teeth, the occasional use of baking soda is not harmful. In many cases, baking soda does remove minor staining from the surface of teeth. Some people turn to this option for tooth whitening because it is relatively inexpensive. The abrasiveness of baking soda helps to remove surface stains without causing immediate damage, but results will not show up after just one use and do not last long.

Baking soda is no replacement for professional tooth whitening. It does not reach the deeper stains that professional whitening can remove. As a result, people using baking soda as a tooth whitener will need to use the product frequently to continue seeing results. Baking soda will wear down the enamel of your teeth if used too often. It can damage or remove the enamel layer altogether, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay. Professional tooth whitening is a safer method that gives you longer-lasting results quickly.

Cleaning Your Teeth

Another popular application for baking soda is as a replacement for toothpaste. Although there are many toothpastes that use baking soda as a key ingredient, replacing your toothpaste with baking soda is not recommended. In addition to scrubbing away your enamel, baking soda will not remove the same amount of cavity-causing bacteria from your teeth as toothpaste will, and it doesn’t supply your teeth with fluoride, which helps your teeth repair themselves. Leaving these bacteria in your mouth can not only result in tooth decay, but can also lead to gum disease such as gingivitis. Using baking soda can also cause gum irritation in some individuals.

Braces and Dental Fixtures

The use of baking soda is especially not recommended for individuals with braces or other restoration work such as inlays and onlays. The improper use of baking soda can cause the fixatives holding these appliances in place to weaken. This weakening can cause dark staining to appear on your teeth. In more serious cases, the fixative may be damaged and the restoration will come loose.

Talk To Your Dental Care Provider

Your oral health is important, and should not be left to chance when using at-home remedies. Baking soda is one of the more benign home remedies and causes little damage with occasional use, but other remedies can result in more severe damage. In general, it is recommended to use professional products to care for your teeth in order to avoid causing lasting damage. Professional care will also help you achieve the best results in the shortest amount of time.

For more information about professional tooth whitening and oral hygiene, please call 918-528-3330 to make an appointment with Winters Dental Excellence today.