Who doesn’t get fascinated by pearly white teeth? Almost everyone wants to have a sparkling smile, which catches attention and gains compliments. But as we age, our teeth start to lose their vibrant white colour, turning to a dull shade of whitish yellow, or yellow; some may even get brownish stains on their teeth, making their smile looks unaesthetic and unappealing.

Fortunately, with the advancement of cosmetic treatments, teeth whitening is now an easily available option to regain the natural white colour of your teeth. However, it is usually a costly procedure, which may or may not fall in your budget. And then there are some people who just don’t like the idea of going to a dentist.

If you are looking for an easy home remedy for teeth whitening, which can be done at your leisure with minimal expense, baking soda can be an excellent option. It is an age-old remedy for teeth whitening and is also an important part of some commercial toothpaste and teeth whitening products.

But the question remains: Is it as good? And most importantly, is it safe?

This article will tell you some easy ways to whiten your teeth with baking soda along with the pros and cons.

  1. How to whiten teeth with baking soda?
  2. Is baking soda safe for teeth?

Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. It has an abrasive effect on your skin that helps remove external stains on your teeth, which are caused due to external agents such as coffee, tea and turmeric. However, it is not effective in getting rid of internal stains (stains caused due to infection or injury of tooth). For those stains, you need to consult a dentist for a bleaching procedure.

Now, if you feel your teeth have developed yellowish stains over time, which are mostly external, go ahead and follow the below-mentioned methods to get back that bright sparkling smile:

Brushing teeth with baking powder

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoon of baking soda
  • A soft bristle toothbrush

Procedure:

  • Before starting, wash your mouth with water to get rid of any remaining food particles
  • Put a few drops of water into the baking soda powder to make it a paste
  • Gently brush your teeth with the paste for 2 minutes
  • Wash your mouth thoroughly afterward
  • Repeat this once a week to see noticeable change

Brushing teeth with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1% hydrogen peroxide
  • Soft bristle brush

Procedure:

  • Take a bowl, add baking soda powder and few drops of 1% hydrogen peroxide
  • Mix it well to form a paste
  • Gently brush your teeth with the mixture for not more than 2 minutes
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing
  • Do this only occasionally to get whiter teeth

Brushing teeth with baking soda toothpaste

A few commercial toothpastes contain sodium bicarbonate as an abrasive agent, you can simply use them to brush your teeth in order to whiten them. But if you can't find them in your local supermarket for some reason, follow these steps to custom make your own baking soda toothpaste:

Ingredients:

  • Toothpaste
  • 2 tablespoon baking soda
  • A soft bristle brush

Procedure:

  • Pump a small amount of toothpaste in a bowl, as per your need
  • Add baking soda into it and mix both the ingredients well to get an even consistency
  • Brush your teeth with this mixture
  • Repeat this once a week to see noticeable results

Oil pulling with baking soda and coconut oil for teeth whitening

Oil pulling is a traditional method of folk medicine system. In this method several oils like coconut oil, sesame oil, olive oil or sunflower oil are swished inside the mouth for few minutes in a way that teeth and other structures in the mouth get coated by a layer of oil.

It is believed that oil pulling whitens teeth and improves oral health along with general health. You can improve the oral benefits of baking soda by mixing it in appropriate oil and using it in the following way:

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda

Procedure:

  • Mix the baking soda with oil so that it is still liquid enough to swish inside your mouth
  • Fill you mouth with the mixture and move it around in your mouth
  • Keep doing the pulling or swishing for few minutes, until you feel all of the parts of oral cavity got in touch with the mixture
  • Spit the mixture or solution

The most common problem with every home remedy is its safety concerns. Though time tested, they usually are associated with one or the other side effects. But is baking soda worth the risk? Here is a list of pros and cons that may help you decide just that:

Pros

  • It helps remove the external stains present on your teeth, leaving you with a shiny smile
  • Baking soda possesses acid buffering and antibacterial properties which might help in combating oral infections and dental caries

Cons

  • Use of baking soda for a longer period of time can abrade your teeth as it is an abrasive agent
  • It might also lead to teeth sensitivity

References

  1. Science Direct (Elsevier) [Internet]; Stain removal and whitening by baking soda dentifrice: A review of literature
  2. Kleber CJ, Putt MS, Nelson BJ. In vitro tooth whitening by a sodium bicarbonate/peroxide dentifrice. J Clin Dent. 1998;9(1):16-21. PMID: 9835828
  3. American Dental Association. Oil Pulling. USA.[internet].
  4. Vagish Kumar L. Shanbhag. [link]. J Tradit Complement Med. 2017 Jan; 7(1): 106–109. PMID: 28053895
  5. Putt MS, Milleman KR, Ghassemi A, Vorwerk LM, Hooper WJ, Soparkar PM, Winston AE, Proskin HM. Enhancement of plaque removal efficacy by tooth brushing with baking soda dentifrices: results of five clinical studies. J Clin Dent. 2008;19(4):111-9. PMID: 19278079
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