Crash Course & DIY: Teeth Whitening With Baking Soda – Does It Really Work?

Teeth Whitening With Baking Soda

Interested in the baking soda method for whitening your teeth?

Whether you’re looking for some whitening recipes, information on the benefits and dangers of this method, or the difference between baking soda and powder – we’ve got you covered in this post.

Keep reading to find out all about baking soda and how it can whiten your teeth!

Using baking soda can help brighten your teeth by a few shades. If you’re looking for something more effective, check out our list of the best whitening strips here.

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♥ Does It Really Work To Whiten Your Teeth? How Effective Is It?

Baking soda is a naturally occurring chemical salt, commonly used to clean and whiten teeth. There’s scientific evidence to back the effectiveness of baking soda at whitening teeth. Because it’s mildly abrasive, it works well to remove surface stains and some built up plaque caused by coffee, tea, and smoking. There’s some evidence baking soda also has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties to fight off bacteria.

Findings from three different studies indicate that toothpaste containing baking soda removes more plaque and whitens better than those without.

It can also restore the PH balance and prevent discoloration. It’s not highly effective at removing the older, build up stains.

Sometimes slight changes in the color of your teeth are visible just after brushing! Continuous use for a few weeks can result in noticeably whiter teeth (1-2 shades brighter).

♥ Why Bother?

Whiter teeth are more attractive.

The desire for white teeth is not a recent phenomena –  Egyptian Pharaohs mixed pumice stone with vinegar to brighten their smile. The baking soda method is one of the most inexpensive and easy methods to whiten teeth.

♥ Is Using Baking Soda Bad For Your Teeth? Is It Dangerous?

Always consult your dentist before you change your oral hygiene routine, especially if you have any health concerns (for eg. periodontal disease). Do not use if you wear braces – baking soda can damage your braces!

With proper precautions, baking soda can be safe to use on the teeth. Because it’s mildly abrasive, it’s important to dilute with water. Don’t apply too much to your teeth, and avoid using too often.  Scrubbing hard can cause damage to the tooth’s enamel – resulting in sensitive teeth, painful brushing, and can increase the chance of cavities. Avoid brushing your gums with baking soda as it can cause irritating and bleeding.

Take Precautions

  • Stick to using baking soda only once a week in the beginning
  • Be sure to mix with water before applying
  • Don’t brush with baking soda for more than two minutes
  • If you’re pregnant, check with your doctor before consuming

Brushing with baking soda shouldn’t be used as a replacement for brushing with your regular toothpaste. Baking soda doesn’t prevent cavities and it doesn’t kill as much bacteria in your mouth. Keep brushing with your usual toothpaste, and floss regularly.

TIP: Unlike typical toothpastes, baking soda doesn’t contain any fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen enamel, resulting in healthier teeth – try adding a sprinkle of baking soda on your toothpaste while brushing to gain the benefits of baking soda and fluoridated toothpaste at the same time!

♥ DIY Recipes – How To Make Your Own Baking Soda Teeth Whitening Formula

Keeping It Simple – The Basic, Easy, & Inexpensive Recipe

The most basic baking soda tooth whitening recipe is super simple – all it takes is one box of baking soda and tap water!

  • 1 parts baking soda (1 teaspoon)
  • 2 parts water (2 teaspoons)

Mix water with baking soda in a ratio of 2:1 respectively. The higher the ratio of baking soda, the more intense the whitening will be. Adding too much baking soda can be too harsh and damage the teeth, so start off weak.

Brush your teeth with the mixture for 2 minutes once a week. Use more regularly if you need to – but be sure not to over do it!

Sprinkle On Your Toothbrush For A Whitening Boost While You Brush 

  • 2 parts toothpaste (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 part baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)

A lot of toothpaste already contain baking soda. Baking soda is great to use with toothpaste – the fluoride in toothpaste can help protect your tooth’s enamel. Mix the baking soda with your toothpaste before brushing, or just sprinkle the baking soda on your toothbrush.  Gently brush for no more than 3 minutes. Rinse with water afterwards.

Add Hydrogen Peroxide And Essential Oils For Enhanced Whitening Effects

Hydrogen peroxide is typically the main ingredient in commercially sold teeth whitening products. Essential oils contain limonene to help whiten and brighten the teeth.

Using hydrogen peroxide has some possible adverse effects/safety concerns. Do not add too much, or use it for too long on your teeth – be careful! 

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/5 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 8 drops of either spearmint or peppermint essential oils (or 4 drops of each)

Mix With Apple Cider Vinegar To Remove Stains And Build Up

Apple cider vinegar is antimicrobial. It helps remove microbes, stains, and build up on your teeth. It’s acidic – be careful not to use too much.

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • 1 part baking soda

Use Coconut Oil To Help Kill Bacteria

Coconut oil provides a number of benefits – it’s anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal, to help kill bacteria linked to tooth decay.

  • 1 part coconut oil (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 part baking soda (2 tablespoons)

Do NOT Mix With

It’s not a good idea to mix baking soda with acidic fruits like lemon juice or strawberries – this can often be too abrasive on your teeth.

♥ How Does Baking Soda Compare To Commercial Whitening Products?

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  • Inexpensive compared to professional whitening products.
  • Easy to make from home.
  • Natural ingredient – whitening products typically contain peroxide.
  • Environmentally friendly.

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  • Research shows DIY whitening methods are not as effective as at home commercial whitening, or professional whitening at the dentist.
  • Messier than the alternatives.
  • Has an unpleasant, salty taste – most whitening products don’t taste as bad.
  • Somewhat easier to overdo it, and damage your teeth if you don’t take our advice!

♥ What Is The Difference Between Baking Powder, Baking Soda, And Bicarbonate Of Soda?

Bicarbonate of soda (aka. sodium bicarbonate, or sodium hydrogen carbonate) is a more scientific name for baking soda – they’re the same thing. Baking powder is a mix of baking soda with cream of tartar – do not use it to whiten your teeth – it won’t be as effective as baking soda/bicarbonate of soda!

As the ‘sodium’ name suggests, sodium bicarbonate is a chemical salt. It can react as both an acid and a base, and occurs naturally as the mineral nahcolite (NAHCO3).

 

♥ Prevention Is Better Than Cure: How To Keep Your Teeth White

Drinking from straws, contrary to popular opinion, doesn’t actually prevent staining! 

Here’s what will actually help keep your teeth white:

  • Brush your teeth and floss regularly for white, healthy teeth.
  • Schedule checkups and cleanings at the dentist regularly.
  • Cut down on sugar. Too much sugar can erode the enamel on your teeth – exposing yellow dentin.
  • Avoid drinking red wine, coffee, and (especially darker colored) tea.

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