Dental Myth Busters: Using Baking Soda to Whiten Your Teeth


Welcome to Dental Myth Busters! In these articles we will take a look at many of the urban legends about teeth. In this edition, we will be talking about a common at home remedy for whitening your teeth...brushing with baking soda. Baking soda is a great additive to any toothpaste and here is why:

  1. Baking soda can neutralize the harmful effects of cavity causing bacteria. Baking soda is a base with a pH of 9. Most tooth damage is caused by the acid created by bacteria that adhere to your teeth. Adding a base neutralizes the effects of the acid and minimizes the damage caused.

  2. Baking soda is moderately abrasive to help remove surface stains. This abrasive is great, but has a Relative Dentin Hardness (RDA) of 7. If you compare that however to the RDA value of 98 of regular Colgate toothpaste, you see that it is not that abrasive at all.

But compared to the normal over the counter toothpaste, is Baking Soda going to whiten your teeth any better? We put this to the test. For 4 weeks, we coated our tooth brushes with baking soda and then applied toothpaste over the top of the baking soda. We brushed like this twice a day for 2 minutes.

Prior to starting the baking soda regimen, we took a starting tooth shade and then we compared shades at the end of the 4 weeks. After the 4 week test, the average color change was a one shade improvement. That is quite an improvement for simply adding something to your routine with minimal effort.

Based on our results, we would have to say the baking soda is an effective way to whiten your teeth. This works by removing the stain on the outside of your teeth caused from eating and drinking stain causing coffee, soda, tea, red wine, etc.

If you have any other dental myths you would like us to look into, please let us know at kumferfamilydental@yahoo.com.

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