Using baking soda is one of the easiest teeth whitening methods. It can easily be used in many DIY teeth whitening recipes. It is very important to know how to properly use baking soda for teeth whitening to avoid damaging your teeth. So, does baking soda really work? Here is more
‘Smile, it makes your teeth breathe’, this is a famous quote used to express the value of a good smile. Everyone wants to have the perfect smile and they spend a lot of money seeking this illusion. However, the lack of this seems to greatly affect a number of people especially if their teeth are discolored.
Discolored teeth result from intrinsic and extrinsic factors that include age, genetics, smoking, health, allergies, poor oral hygiene and excessive intake of tobacco, coffee, and tea which often leave stains on the teeth.
Consumption of acidic drinks such as sodas contains high levels of sugar which attract bacteria which strip off the enamel. Wines also contain high levels of tannins, acids, and chromogens which sip through the enamel spaces and cause stains on the teeth. When it wears off, it exposes the dentine which is a more sensitive yellow colored layer that now holds the teeth. The exposure of the dentin makes the teeth appear yellow in color.
Natural methods of teeth whitening are being adopted globally and the use of baking soda takes the crown. Its multipurpose household use and affordability make it convenient for all persons.
Also referred to as sodium bicarbonate, it is a crystal white powder that is alkaline in nature. Its alkaline nature makes it good as it works by neutralizing excess acid in the body
Contents of baking soda
Sodium which is highly reactive and soluble in water. In baking soda, it helps to regulate the water content in tissues and blood as well as assist the cells to communicate with the brain. Given that some of the causes of tooth decay are age-related where the cell production is low, sodium helps to revive the cells by providing much-needed fluids.
Hydrogen in baking soda is mild such that only one atom is used. It is able to make the water that helps to combine the other elements. This gives baking soda its mild alkaline nature.
Carbon and oxygen to form bicarbonate that can appear fizzy. Carbon is non-reactive in nature and its combination with oxygen and hydrogen it is activated. However, due to the combination with just one hydrogen atom, it is mildly reactive and safe for oral use.
Benefits of Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening
How Does Baking Soda Work?
The excessive consumption of tea, coffee, wine and soda often leads to plaque accumulation which when left untreated lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Baking soda when mixed with water releases free radicals to the environment. It is known that excess radicals in the environment are a major cause of problems to the body including the teeth. However, the free radicals released by baking soda are quite unstable and minimal so they hurriedly attach to the plaque or stains on the teeth. This ends up cleaning and whitens the teeth.
Control PH balance
Tooth discoloration is often caused by an imbalance of the acids and alkaline in the mouth. When the imbalance occurs and acid concentration is higher it begins to liquefy the roots of the teeth thus eroding the lower teeth. When the teeth are eroded they lose their natural white color.
The imbalance also affects the saliva which aids greatly in the digestive system. When saliva is too acidic it will spread to the teeth and corrode the enamel exposing the dentine.
Highly soluble in water baking soda through its buffering abilities is able to control the PH in the mouth. It contains in mild forms an acid (the carbonic acid) and a base (the carbonate) which are able to combine with the acids and bases that may try to attach to the teeth. Not only does this reduces the foul odor in the mouth, it whitens the teeth by removing existing stains and prevent them from further staining.
Tooth decay usually occurs when there is the excess production of acid in the oral cavity that is not used up by the digestive system. It remains in the mouth and when combined with the bacteria present it starts to corrode the teeth and enamel minerals also known as demineralization of the cavity. This eventually leads to tooth discoloration. Acidic saliva also destroys the enamel.
Baking soda due to its alkaline nature neutralizes the acidic agents in the saliva and increases the saliva’s alkalinity which helps to remineralizes the teeth such they are unable to corrode the teeth, thus whitening them.
Tooth discoloration is sometimes caused by chromogenic bacteria which often gives the tooth a black hue. When this bacteria attacks the teeth it is drawn to the iron on the saliva and it releases hydrogen sulfide that forms a plaque.
Streptococcus bacteria is also associated with causing tooth decay. Both the Streptococcus and chromogenic are part of the microbial that exist in the body and oral cavity.
Baking soda has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties which fight the oral microbial in the teeth by destroying all the bacteria that is attracted to acid in the mouth. This means that it prevents the occurrence of gum diseases that discolor teeth leading to white teeth.
Normal toothpaste and other teeth whitening options work for a period of time then the problem reoccurs. If the discoloration is caused by aging or diet it is likely to reappear. However, if it is caused by bacteria then there is a solution.
Streptococcus mutans have receptors which attach to the teeth and create a slimy almost permanent film around the teeth which cause teeth discoloration.
Baking soda contains anti-mutagenic properties that allow it to stop mutations of the bacteria that may be discoloring teeth and thus whitens the teeth.
Removes teeth stains
Tea and coffee contain compounds such as tannin in tea which when consumed in excess slip through the ranges of the enamel and subsequently cause yellow stains on the teeth. Use of very harsh abrasives or intense brushing corrodes the enamel eventually.
Baking soda mildly abrasive in nature helps to mildly yet effectively remove the stains from the teeth and it doesn’t require intense brushing.
Neutralize volatile sulfur compounds
When teeth decay it is as a result of deep bacteria filled pockets which form on the teeth and attack from inside. The anaerobic oral bacteria causes compounds known as volatile sulfur which not only leads to teeth discoloration but also bad breath or halitosis.
Baking soda works by neutralizing these highly toxic compounds so that they are unable to proliferate tooth decay.
Tooth discoloration may occur as a result of an accident which causes internal bleeding to the tooth discoloring it.
Bacteria, fungi, and molds are also reintroduced to the tooth through use of unclean toothbrushes
When sore throats occur especially in children, the use of antibiotics such as tetracycline has an effect on teeth causing them to discolor.
Baking soda contains antiseptic properties that prevent the tooth wounds from further infections and stop bacteria invasion on the wound thus preventing the discoloration. It also helps to prevent a sore throat that may have adverse effects on the teeth
One of the causes of tooth discoloration is intrinsic where there is trauma that affects the nerves of the teeth causing them to change color over time. Diet also accelerates the discoloration in such cases as some of the processed foods contain high levels of aluminum.
Aluminum has neurotransmitter properties which induce the production of toxins into the body including the teeth bones and nerves.
Baking soda in its pure form is aluminum free and contains sodium a powerful neurotransmitter that communicates with the brain for the release of anti-toxins which strengthens the nerves and eliminates traces of aluminum.
How to use Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening- Recipes
Thoroughly mix two teaspoons of baking soda, four tablespoons of turmeric root powder and three tablespoons of virgin coconut oil.
The turmeric highly rich in vitamin C and calcium will help strengthen the teeth muscles thus supporting the enamel. It also contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that also assist to get rid of the stains on the teeth.
The coconut oil contains lauric acid which is highly antibacterial and rids off Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus which are highly linked to tooth decay. It also helps to reduce plaque and build up thus whiten teeth.
The baking soda provides antibacterial, antiseptic and controls PH that allows for teeth whitening.
In a blender mix for thirty seconds, six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt. On a wet finger place a small amount of the mixture into the outer and inner gums and teeth. Let it stay in the mouth for fifteen minutes then rinse the mouth thoroughly. This combination is highly abrasive- it is not mixed with water. It is best to use in once a week.
Mix well half a teaspoon of baking soda with one crushed strawberry. Apply the mixture on teeth and let it stay for five minutes before brushing and rinsing thoroughly.
Thoroughly mix one part baking soda with hydrogen peroxide solution (usually 3% of the baking soda).
In equal portions mix a teaspoon of baking soda and sea salt with a cup of water and use it as a mouthwash to get rid of all acids that may cause tooth decay.
Thoroughly mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water to form a paste. Apply using a cotton ball or fingers on teeth for two minutes then brush. Use it up to three times a week
Mix lemon juice, baking soda, and salt or mix baking soda and few drops of lemon and use twice weekly.
The lemon contains citric acid. Its bleaching nature helps to whiten teeth. It is also a good source of Vitamin C. This helps to strengthen teeth bones and muscles thus slow down the erosion of the enamel.
The sea salt has anti-bacterial properties which help to prevent bacterial formation. It also sucks out the fluids from the bacteria affecting their production.
The baking soda helps to provide a neutral PH level such that the lemon doesn’t overreact on the teeth. It also helps to remove odor.
Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening Results
The outcome of using baking soda to whiten your teeth varies from one person to another. People have different levels of teeth staining. It is easier to get rid of surface stains compared to deep ones as in the case of fluorosis.
How you use this remedy and consistency at it matters a lot. It also depends on your dental routines in terms of hygiene and practices.
Precautions while using Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening
- Limit the use of baking soda to three times a week.
- Since sea salt is highly potent. Use with caution. It destroys the enamel with overuse.
- Rinse mouth thoroughly after use and also rinse the brush.
- Prolonged use of baking soda may lead to a dry mouth which is a breeding area for further infections.
- Baking soda in rich in sodium. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid using baking soda in high quantities.