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Baking Soda: Brush With It Alone?

baking soda


We all strive to maintain good oral hygiene. Sure, we might forget to floss once in a while, but a majority of people make an effort to keep their teeth healthy. Part of this routine includes brushing the teeth twice a day. Differing opinions exist about the “best” type of toothpaste on today’s market. In fact, some people prefer to use baking soda as an alternative to toothpaste. Even though many toothpaste formulas include baking soda, some individuals prefer to brush with only the natural ingredient. However, as with most things, there are pros and cons to brushing with just this natural ingredient instead of toothpaste.

The Pros of Brushing Your Teeth with Baking Soda:  

  • Whitens teeth – as a mild abrasive, baking soda can help whiten teeth naturally by removing surface stains caused by smoking and drinking staining liquids
  • Prevents teeth discoloration
  • Works to remove plaque from the teeth
  • Battles bad breath (halitosis)
  • Cheaper than toothpaste – the natural ingredient has multiple uses around the house and is the most inexpensive tooth whitening agent

The Cons of Brushing Your Teeth with Baking Soda:  

  • Weakens tooth enamel – baking soda is slightly abrasive, so if used consistently it will weaken the enamel
  • It’s messy – baking soda is not packaged neatly to glide onto your toothbrush like toothpaste
  • Causes tooth sensitivity
  • Does not kill bacteria – brushing with it alone will not provide you with the fluoride you need to remineralize teeth and prevent cavities

Should I Brush with Baking Soda Alone?

Bottom line, no. Although baking soda acts a great abrasive agent in toothpaste and mouthwash, pure baking soda lacks many of the elements regular toothpaste provides. Additionally, the abrasiveness of baking soda can often cause more harm than good. To keep your teeth in mint condition, brush twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride and baking soda. If you have any questions about your brushing habits, please call or make an appointment with your Longmeadow dentist today.