Using baking soda for teeth whitening is not a new idea and it is a tempting proposition.
What could be better than finding a cheap and easy way to achieve the same great whitening effect that we see on celebrities and film stars every time we switch on the TV or open a magazine?
If only life were that simple!
What is baking soda?
Baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate, bicarb or sodium hydrogen carbonate is a chemical compound that has many uses. It is a raising agent in cookery, neutralises bad odours and is a wonderful cleaning agent that is useful for removing stains of all types. Baking soda is a common ingredient in mouthwashes because it has an antiseptic effect and kills bacteria.
It will also help remove stains from the teeth. Baking soda is abrasive and will rub off some of the staining caused by coffee or tea or wine. It will not lighten your teeth colour but it may brighten up the overall appearance of your teeth. Many whitening toothpastes contain baking soda for this reason.
Can you whiten your teeth with baking soda?
Because baking soda is abrasive, prolonged use may damage your tooth enamel and dentists do not recommend brushing your teeth with neat baking soda on a regular basis. Because it only removes staining it will not change the basic colour shade of your teeth.
Contrary to popular belief, the natural colour of teeth is not white but rather a varying shade of grey or yellow. The natural colour of your teeth depends upon your skin tone, genetic make up and medical history. Once we reach adulthood, the colour of our teeth deepens and no amount of baking soda will change that!
If you wish to try baking soda on your teeth, a better option would be to use a good quality whitening toothpaste. This will minimise the abrasive damage and mask the unpleasant flavour of the soda. However, do not expect to get the celebrity whitened effect. Baking soda does not bleach the teeth and will do nothing to change the basic tone.
How to get that celebrity smile!
If you opt for choosing a teeth whitening kit or are tempted to visit a cosmetic surgery to have your teeth bleached, you will be in good company. None of those bright white celebrity smiles are a result of natural good luck and clean living but come as a result of treatment and teeth whitening.
But you can rest assured that the effect was not achieved by using baking soda!