How to Whiten Teeth With Baking Soda
Having white teeth can be a major confidence boost. Fortunately, you may not need to spend lots of money on whitening kits or professional treatments. Brushing or rinsing with baking soda could help whiten your teeth, but be aware you should use it carefully. To prevent dental erosion, brush with baking soda in moderation and avoid using too much force. Bear in mind discoloration may point to dental issues, so try to see a dentist if you haven’t had a checkup in a while.
Brushing with a Baking Soda Paste
Mix together roughly equal parts of baking soda and water. In a small cup, mix ½ teaspoon (3 g) of baking soda with enough water to form a paste, or ¼ to ½ teaspoon (1 ¼ to 2 ½ mL). A paste of 1 to 2 parts of baking soda mixed with 1 part of water is easier to apply and more effective than baking soda alone.
Avoid making a paste with baking soda and lemon, strawberry, or any other fruit juice. Fruit juices are acidic and could erode your teeth’s enamel, especially when combined with baking soda or other abrasive products.
Brush your teeth with the baking soda paste for 1 to 2 minutes. Dip a soft-bristled brush into the paste, and gently scrub your teeth using circular motions. Brush all around instead of scrubbing 1 spot for the entire 2 minutes. Be sure not to brush hard or you might hurt your teeth.
Alternatively, use your fingertips to gently rub your teeth with the paste. Rub in soft circles, and don’t use too much force.
If you have receding gums, avoid brushing the base of your teeth and around your gum line with baking soda. The substance that covers your teeth below the gums is softer than enamel and prone to damage.
Rinse out your mouth when you’re finished brushing. After brushing for 2 minutes, spit out the baking soda and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse as well.
- Note that you shouldn’t rinse after brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, as rinsing reduces fluoride’s beneficial effects. For this reason, don’t brush or rinse with baking soda right after brushing with regular toothpaste. If you really need to rinse away visible residue after using regular toothpaste, use as little water as possible.
Repeat every other day for up to 2 weeks. At most, brush your teeth with baking soda paste every other day for 1 to 2 weeks. Then cut back to doing it just once or twice a week. Since it’s abrasive, using baking soda more frequently may damage your teeth.
- Keep in mind that brushing your teeth with baking soda should not replace brushing your teeth with regular toothpaste. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and regular dental checkups are the best ways to keep your teeth healthy.
- Before brushing with baking soda, check with your dentist to see if your teeth are healthy enough for this method. Your teeth may be sensitive to abrasion, and baking soda may cause irreversible dental erosion.