If you're investigating natural tooth care remedies, you're likely to see baking soda come up as a useful ingredient. For example, you may be advised to use baking soda to brush your teeth to make them whiter or to rinse with a baking soda solution to make a homemade mouthwash. While you may prefer to use a natural remedy on your teeth rather using products that contain chemicals, natural remedies may have their own downsides. Is baking soda safe to use on your teeth?
Homemade Baking Soda Toothpastes
Baking soda is slightly gritty. This consistency gives the powder some abrasive qualities, which is the reason why some people like to use it as a toothpaste. The powder may help keep your teeth slightly cleaner as it may be able to scrub off surface staining better than a regular toothpaste.
For example, you can mix baking soda with a little water to make a runny paste that you can use to brush your teeth. You can also mix it with a little lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide to add an additional bleaching effect. Alternatively, you can add a little powder to your toothpaste to give it a little more power.
While you may see a difference in the colour of your teeth when you brush with baking soda, you may also damage your teeth over time. Baking soda may remove some staining from your teeth; however, its gritty properties may also damage your tooth enamel if you use it as your sole toothpaste. However, this may not be an issue if you use a baking soda paste for a deeper clean every now and then, say once or twice a week.
Bear in mind that you may increase the chances of getting enamel damage if you make a baking soda toothpaste that also contains an acid such as hydrogen peroxide or lemon juice. You also lose the advantage of tooth-protecting fluoride if you switch from a commercial toothpaste to a homemade option.
Tip: If you already have weak or damaged enamel or ongoing problems with your teeth, talk to your dentist before using baking soda to clean your teeth. Your dentist will be able to advise you on whether this is a safe solution for you or not.
Homemade Baking Soda Mouthwashes
A baking soda mouthwash can be an effective and safe way of dealing with some problems around your teeth and gums. For example, if you have acid reflux or have a condition that makes you throw up a lot such as morning sickness or bulimia, your teeth may become damaged by the acids that enter your mouth from your stomach.
A baking soda mouthwash can neutralise these stomach acids, preventing them from damaging your teeth. To make a baking soda rinse, mix a teaspoon of powder with water and swish it around your mouth, teeth and gums after an acid attack or vomit. The alkalinity of a baking soda rinse may also be an effective way to get rid of bad breath without having to use chemical mouthwashes.