Baking Soda Toothpaste: What Science Says

Does Baking Soda Actually Whiten Teeth?

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.

Is it Safe to Use Baking Soda Toothpaste?

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.

What Does Research Say About Brushing Teeth With Baking Soda?

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

How Fast Does Baking Soda Toothpaste Whiten Teeth?

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.

How Often Should You Use 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. 

What Happens if I Use Baking Soda Toothpaste Daily?

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.

Pros and Cons of Baking Soda Toothpaste 

Baking soda toothpaste offers many positive benefits to users.

The pros of baking soda toothpaste include:

  • It’s cost-effective: Baking soda and baking soda toothpaste are inexpensive.
  • It’s antibacterial: Baking soda exhibits specific antibacterial properties to oral microorganisms to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
  • Reduces the risk of fluoride toxicity: Baking soda and baking soda toothpaste are an ideal alternative for individuals who are sensitive to fluoride, and it reduces the risk of developing fluoride toxicity, which can lead to pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as kidney and heart problems.8
  • Availability: Baking soda and baking soda toothpaste are widely available.
  • Effective plaque biofilm removal: Baking soda effectively removes harmful plaque from the surface of the teeth.5
  • Highly biocompatible: Baking soda does not cause harmful environmental effects.

Despite these benefits, baking soda toothpaste does have some downsides.

The cons of baking soda toothpaste include:

  • Less dramatic whitening: While the American Dental Association (ADA) considers baking soda safe for your enamel and dentin, some researchers have given it an unfavorable rating as a teeth whitener because it may not remove stains as effectively as other products.4
  • Less cavity protection: Baking soda toothpaste does not offer as good of defense against cavities compared to other regular toothpaste.
  • Unpleasant taste and texture: Some users complain that baking soda toothpaste can leave the mouth feeling gritty and unpleasant.
  • Increased sensitivity: Baking soda toothpaste is abrasive and can erode the tooth enamel, which causes increased tooth sensitivity.9

3 Best Baking Soda Toothpaste Brands

ARM HAMMER Advanced White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste

1. Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening

Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening baking soda toothpaste offers the following benefits:

  • Defense against stains: This toothpaste helps whiten the teeth and prevents new stains from setting to give you a noticeably whiter, brighter smile.
  • Cavity protection: This toothpaste deep cleans and penetrates between the teeth and along the gum line to remove plaque and help prevent cavities.
  • Advanced Whitening: The hydrogen peroxide and fluoride in this toothpaste gently target tough set-in stains with extra whitening power.
  • Low-abrasion formula: This toothpaste is specially formulated to reduce damage to the enamel. 
Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide Whitening Bubbles Toothpaste

2. Colgate Baking Soda and Peroxide Whitening Bubbles Toothpaste

Colgate’s Baking Soda and Peroxide Whitening Bubbles Toothpaste offers the following benefits:

  • Long-lasting cooling effect: This toothpaste releases pure oxygen bubbles for a long-term fresh and clean sensation.
  • Deep cleaning action: The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide used in this toothpaste help to remove deep or long-lasting teeth stains.
  • Prevents tartar buildup: This toothpaste removes plaque and impurities from the teeth' surface to reduce the buildup of tartar.

Tea Tree Therapy Toothpaste with Baking Soda

3. Tea Tree Therapy Toothpaste with Baking Soda

Tea Tree Therapy Toothpaste with Baking Soda boasts the following benefits:

  • Natural antiseptic properties: The tea tree oil used in this toothpaste has natural antibacterial properties to help reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
  • Natural ingredients: Both tea tree oil and baking soda are natural ingredients with no harmful environmental effects.
  • Safe for sensitive teeth and gums: Tea tree oil is gentle on teeth and helps to reduce gum sensitivity and pain.

Alternative Toothpaste Options for Whiter Teeth

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:

  • Essential oils like peppermint oil and eucalyptus 
  • Coconut oil

If you’re not sure which teeth whitening products are best for you, see a dentist to learn how to whiten your teeth safely.

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