Updated on February 7, 2024
6 min read

Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

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Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, can effectively whiten teeth. It’s a fine, white powder with many household uses. 

Though it’s primarily used as a leavening agent, baking soda can whiten teeth and fix tooth discoloration.

baking soda beside glass of water with toothbrush on top

Is Baking Soda Good For Your Teeth?

Yes, baking soda is good for your teeth in reasonable quantities. While it cannot protect your teeth from cavities the same way fluoride toothpaste can, it is still considered an excellent cleaning agent.

You can safely use baking soda on your teeth once daily when applied with a soft-bristled toothbrush. However, using it more frequently than that can damage your enamel.

Baking soda has benefits and risks when using it on your teeth. 

Benefits of Using Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening

The benefits of using baking soda as a teeth whitener include:

  • Plaque control — Baking soda disrupts the biofilm that turns into plaque on your teeth, preventing gum disease and tooth decay.3
  • Decreases bacteria — Bacteria thrive in acidic conditions. One study showed that baking soda could increase your mouth’s pH, reducing acidity.4
  • Stain removal — Baking soda is a natural bleaching agent. Studies have proven that its abrasive qualities remove stains from the outside of your teeth.5
  • Fluoride-free — Excessive amounts of fluoride can be toxic, especially to children under 6. If you’re avoiding fluoride, toothpaste with baking soda is free of fluoride and the associated risks of toxicity.6
  • Affordable — Baking soda is inexpensive and accessible in nearly every drugstore, grocery store, and large retailer.

Risks of Using Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening

Here are some risks and disadvantages of using baking soda for teeth whitening:

  • Unpleasant mouthfeel — Baking soda has a salty taste and a grainy texture. If it bothers you, try a toothpaste with baking soda as an ingredient.
  • Less effective — Some researchers give baking soda a low rating as a teeth whitening agent, as it may not remove stains as well as some other products.
  • No benefits of fluoride — While an advantage for those avoiding fluoride, baking soda doesn’t have the same beneficial properties as the mineral. Fluoride protects your enamel and prevents cavities.

Get your brightest smile with NewMouth's top teeth whitening picks for 2024.

4 Ways to Whiten Teeth With Baking Soda 

There are several ways you can use baking soda to whiten your teeth. Choose from the following techniques:

1. Baking Soda and Water

The easiest, mildest way to whiten teeth with baking soda is to use it with water. For this method, you’ll need a toothbrush, a small bowl of water, and baking soda.

Follow these steps:

  1. Combine equal parts baking soda and water in the bowl or glass until you have a paste
  2. Dip your toothpaste into the paste and brush in gentle circles for about a minute
  3. Cover each tooth thoroughly with the solution
  4. Spit out the paste and rinse your mouth until your teeth are shiny and grit-free

2. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide work well together as a teeth whitener. You’ll need a toothbrush, a bowl, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda.

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Combine a few teaspoons of baking soda in a dish with a splash of hydrogen peroxide. It’s important not to use too much hydrogen peroxide since it can cause tooth sensitivity. Mix with a clean spoon.
  2. Continue adding more peroxide until you create a thick, but not gritty, paste.
  3. Use a toothbrush to apply the paste to your teeth. Brush with small circular motions for two minutes.
  4. Let the paste sit on your teeth for a few minutes. Then, completely rinse off the paste by swishing water around your mouth. Ensure you remove all the paste.

3. Baking Soda and Toothpaste

Adding baking soda to your toothpaste can boost its whitening properties. All you need for this simple method is a small bowl, baking soda, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. Then:

  1. Pour a little baking soda into the bowl
  2. Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush
  3. Dip the toothpaste into the baking soda
  4. Brush your teeth as normal
  5. Rinse thoroughly

Alternatively, you can purchase toothpaste that includes baking soda as an ingredient. Read about the best baking soda toothpastes.

4. Baking Soda Mouthwash

You can create your own DIY baking soda mouthwash at home. You’ll need a bowl or glass, warm water, salt, and baking soda. 

Follow these steps to make and use your mouthwash:

  1. Combine ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and 1 cup warm water in your chosen dish
  2. Stir until the ingredients have dissolved
  3. Swish mouthwash in your mouth as normal
  4. Rinse with water when you’re done

Many types of mouthwash on the market also include baking soda as an ingredient.

What Not to Do When Using Baking Soda  

Baking soda is recognized as an acceptable product to use on teeth. It is an ingredient in many kinds of toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. 

However, baking soda must be used with care. Here are a few cautionary tips when it comes to using baking soda for your teeth:

  • Don’t rely on it exclusively — Sodium bicarbonate doesn’t contain fluoride, which helps fight tooth decay and strengthens tooth enamel. The ADA recommends using fluoridated toothpaste for your oral health.
  • Don’t use lemon juice or vinegar — Some sources recommend using citrus juices or apple cider vinegar to boost baking soda’s whitening properties. Our in-house dentists recommend against this, as the acid can damage your teeth over time.
  • Don’t overdo it — You can safely use baking soda once a day on your teeth. Using it multiple times a day, with a medium-bristled or hard-bristled toothbrush, and/or brushing too vigorously can cause damage.

Other Affordable Ways to Whiten Teeth Naturally

Baking soda isn’t the only inexpensive, accessible way to whiten your teeth naturally. If sodium bicarbonate isn’t your preference, try one of the following whitening tricks:

  • Hydrogen peroxide — Products containing hydrogen peroxide can whiten your teeth by oxidizing yellow and brown stains on the surfaces of your teeth.2 
  • Oil pulling — Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy that involves swishing oil, typically coconut oil, in your mouth for oral healthcare. There’s no scientific proof that it works, but it’s safe to do.
  • Natural remedies — Lemon peel and activated charcoal are among the many natural teeth whitening treatments. However, there is little to no scientific research to back them up, and they may cause more harm than good. 
  • Eat a healthy diet — Fruits and vegetables may help keep your teeth white. Drinking fewer dark liquids, like coffee and soda, may prevent stains from developing.

Always consult with your dentist before you use any at-home teeth whitening remedy. They can help you decide which treatments are safe for your teeth. 


Baking soda can whiten teeth. You can use it at home once a day to remove stains and brighten your teeth. Mix it with water, toothpaste, or hydrogen peroxide, and brush it gently on your teeth before rinsing.

Many toothpastes and mouthwashes contain baking soda. You can choose one of these products if you want to get the whitening benefits of baking soda.

While baking soda toothpaste can be good for your teeth in reasonable quantities, it can’t replace the benefits of fluoride. Always consult your dentist before trying any new oral hygiene products or practices.

Last updated on February 7, 2024
7 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Myneni, S. “Effect of baking soda in dentifrices on plaque removal.” Journal of the American Dental Association, National Library of Medicine, 2017.
  2. Eachempati, P., et al. “Home-based chemically-induced whitening (bleaching) of teeth in adults.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, National Library of Medicine, 2018.
  3. Sabharwal, A., et al. “Baking soda dentifrice and periodontal health: A review of the literature.” Journal of the American Dental Association, National Library of Medicine, 2017.
  4. Chandel, S., et al. “The effect of sodium bicarbonate oral rinse on salivary pH and oral microflora: A prospective cohort study.” National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, National Library of Medicine, 2017.
  5. Li, Y. “Stain removal and whitening by baking soda dentifrice: A review of literature.” Journal of the American Dental Association, National Library of Medicine, 2017.
  6. Whitford, G.  “Acute toxicity of ingested fluoride.” Monographs in Oral Science, National Library of Medicine, 2011.
  7. Epple, M., et al. “A Critical Review of Modern Concepts for Teeth Whitening.” Dentistry Journal, National Library of Medicine, 2019.
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