Millions of Americans are constantly on the lookout for new and healthy ways to keep their teeth as white as possible. An old classic is using Baking Soda. Indeed, this method has been around for decades, and people have been using baking soda for some time. However, like most health tips, there are pros and cons to its use, and a variety of research has shown that there are both good things and bad things associated with the use of baking soda on your teeth. Here’s an overview of some of the positives and negatives. 

Pros

First, the obvious: Yes, it works. Using baking soda on your teeth can help keep them clean and whiten them, improve their appearance. This has been proven by multiple studies. Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive on your teeth, and this is responsible for the whitening effect. Furthermore, it is less abrasive than other substances, making it less dangerous than some when it comes to the possibility of long-term damage. 

Baking Soda does more than whiten your teeth: It also is a good cleaning agent in general. This is why so many types of toothpaste contain baking soda: Many studies indicate that it actually works to promote tooth health, although it unquestionably works better when it contains other chemicals that make it into a strong toothpaste. 

Baking soda can help to raise the pH level in your mouth, thus stopping sugars from damaging your teeth. Indeed, using baking soda on your teeth can also reduce a variety of other harmful agents, including bacteria, plaque, and gingivitis. These three compounds can do both short and long-term damage to your teeth, give you bad breath, and ultimately damage your overall health. Furthermore, they all lead to cavities. 

Baking soda is also much cheaper than more expensive toothpaste, and using a thin film on your teeth can go a long way and last a long time. 

Cons

Baking soda sounds great, and yes, it appears that it works on whitening your teeth. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t real challenges associated with its use.

First, baking soda isn’t toothpaste. This means that there are many problems associated with it. Keep in mind that toothpaste is made and refined after years of research by scientists and doctors who are designing a product explicitly for your safety and after rigorous testing. Baking soda is something that is meant to go into cakes and other food. This means it is less than ideal for use in your mouth. 

As a result, it won’t be as effective at protecting your teeth as other types of toothpaste. Second, there is a greater risk for harm: Baking soda may wear down the enamel that protects your teeth, leading to long-term damage. 

It is also worth noting that baking soda cannot kill bacteria in the same way that other toothpaste can. Yes, it can help protect your dental health, but it simply isn’t going to be as strong as other toothpaste.

The same rule applies to whitening. Again, it does seem clear that baking soda can help to whiten your teeth, but not as much as other toothpaste or whitening agents. This means that your teeth may get whiter, but not as much as they would if you used a toothpaste or treatment that was explicitly designed for whitening purposes. 

Furthermore, using baking soda in and of itself means you won’t get the benefit of fluoride in your toothpaste. This means that you will not have access to a chemical that has been shown to help protect teeth and improve overall dental health, and this is problematic for you. It’s even worse for kids, who need fluoride in order to build strong dental health. 

Also worth noting: Using baking soda is just plain unpleasant. Toothpaste are made so that you can tolerate their taste, whereas baking soda is a disgusting, tasteless powder that turns mushy in your mouth. Using it is not a pleasant experience, and adding other chemicals to it can take time, money, and expertise. 

So, should you use baking soda? Ultimately, that’s up to you. However, you should do your own research, make sure you are fully aware of the pros and cons, and speak with a dentist before making a final decision.