Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a simple chemical compound composed of sodium cation and a bicarbonate anion. Baking soda appears as white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder.1
Baking soda is versatile and used for many at-home and beauty needs, including teeth whitening. Baking soda is a mildly abrasive substance and it effectively removes surface stains from the teeth.
Many commercial toothpastes contain baking soda. It is often used in at-home teeth whitening as a simple paste made of just baking soda and water.
Because of its ability to neutralize acids in the mouth and whiten teeth, baking soda can be found in many types of toothpaste.
Baking soda is generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has a long history of use. It has not been found to cause any clinical concern related to toxicity in the amounts found in baking soda toothpaste.
Research shows that brushing teeth with baking soda effectively helps with teeth stain removal, plaque removal, harmful bacteria reduction, and teeth whitening.2,3
Several studies have also shown that baking soda is just as effective in stain removal and whitening than some non–baking soda—containing toothpaste. 4
Another 2019 study found that brushing teeth with baking soda reduced cavity-causing harmful bacteria in the mouth.5
People who use baking soda toothpaste can see whiter teeth after only a single-use. Most users see less plaque and, in turn, whiter-looking teeth after approximately four weeks of consistent use of baking soda toothpaste.
Baking soda toothpaste is safe to use twice daily. However, people with sensitive teeth should gradually increase their use of baking soda toothpaste and discontinue use if they develop sensitivity.
For many people, baking soda toothpaste is safe for daily use.
Some may experience tooth or gum sensitivity to baking soda, but generally, it is not abrasive enough to harm teeth or cause dental damage when used regularly. When you brush vigorously or aggressively, this can wear away or potentially damage your enamel in conjunction with the baking soda.
Some dentists and researchers caution against the overuse of baking soda toothpaste or its use on patients with sensitive teeth. Daily use of baking soda can cause microfractures and scratches in the tooth enamel, weakening its structure.
Weakened enamel may make teeth more susceptible to staining and make them more yellow and brittle over time.6,7
People with sensitive teeth should use caution when using baking soda toothpaste and ask their dentist before using it.
Baking soda toothpaste offers many positive benefits to users.
The pros of baking soda toothpaste include:
Despite these benefits, baking soda toothpaste does have some downsides.
The cons of baking soda toothpaste include:
Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening baking soda toothpaste offers the following benefits:
Colgate’s Baking Soda and Peroxide Whitening Bubbles Toothpaste offers the following benefits:
Tea Tree Therapy Toothpaste with Baking Soda boasts the following benefits:
Individuals sensitive to baking soda can use baking soda-free toothpaste that uses other ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, and silica.10
If you are looking for an all-natural toothpaste, choose one that contains any of the following ingredients:
If you’re not sure which teeth whitening products are best for you, see a dentist to learn how to whiten your teeth safely.
"Sodium Bicarbonate" United Nations Environment Program
"The effect of sodium bicarbonate oral rinse on salivary pH and oral microflora: A prospective cohort study" U.S. National Library of Medicine
"Stain removal and whitening by baking soda dentifrice" The Journal of the American Dental Association
"The efficacy of baking soda dentifrice in controlling plaque and gingivitis: A systematic review" U.S. National Library of Medicine
"Baking soda as an abrasive in toothpastes" The Journal of the American Dental Association
”Acute toxicity of ingested fluoride” National Library of Medicine
”A Critical Review of Modern Concepts for Teeth Whitening” U.S. National Library of Medicine