How Does Baking Soda Clean Teeth?

If you’re low-maintenance, then you’re probably familiar with the many uses of baking soda. More formally known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda has been a home remedy and household product for ages, and even today, it still serves a multitude of purposes, from cleaning your house to cleaning your teeth. Its unique nature makes baking soda an effective cleaning agent and chemically-potent acid neutralizer, which can benefit your oral health in a number of ways.

Unique Chemistry

Sodium bicarbonate is formed by bubbling carbon dioxide through a sodium carbonate solution, which forms mineral crystals (baking soda) that are filtered, dried, and milled to different sizes. The crystals are base, the opposite of acidic, and like all bases, baking soda can neutralize the acids produced by various oral bacteria, reducing your risk of tooth enamel erosion and cavities. Baking soda also helps combat bacterial gases that cause chronic bad breath, or halitosis, when used as part of a strict oral hygiene routine.

Elbow Grease Included!

In dental health care, abrasiveness is a term with good and bad connotations. Abrasive agents are necessary to scrub bacteria-made plaque and minor stains from your teeth, but excessive abrasion can strip your teeth of their protective enamel and leave them vulnerable to infectious bacteria. Baking soda is abrasive, but is also softer than your tooth’s enamel and dentin (its main structure), so the crystals can effectively scrub your teeth without scratching their surfaces. Unlike other abrasives, sodium bicarbonate crystals dissolve in water, allowing them to clean more hard-to-reach places than other abrasives.

Other Practical Uses for Baking Soda

Although highly useful, baking soda shouldn’t substitute a diligent dental hygiene routine. Adding baking soda to your toothpaste can increase your routine’s efficacy, but only if you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once, preferably before bed time. Because of its gentle yet tough nature, baking soda is a favorite for many reasons outside of good teeth cleaning, including;

  • Soaking oral appliances (like retainers, mouthguards, and dentures)
  • Facial and body scrub
  • Alternative to deodorant
  • Antacid to relieve heartburn or indigestion
  • Air freshener (especially in the refrigerator)
  • Soaking hard-to-clean dishes, pots, and pans
  • Making science-project-style volcanoes in your kitchen

About Your Southlake Dentist:        

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.