Artistic Expressions Dentistry

Is it Safe to Brush Your Teeth with Baking Soda?

By Bruce Wilderman on September 13, 2019

A woman brushing her teethBaking soda is extremely versatile. Sodium bicarbonate is a common ingredient in many baked goods, and is sometimes called for in recipes you wouldn’t expect. It’s also used in laundry detergents, deodorizers, and toothpastes. You may have even heard that you can brush your teeth with baking soda.

But is that a good idea?

Dr. Bruce Wilderman gets this question a fair amount. The team at our Philadelphia, PA dental care center would like to discuss how baking soda can affect your teeth as well as dental work like porcelain veneers. We hope this insight from Artistic Expressions Dentistry will help you improve your oral hygiene routine.

Baking Soda Is Safe But Can Cause Problems

First things first, let’s make this point clear: it is not dangerous to brush your teeth with baking soda. It’s not poisonous or dangerous, and many people use baking soda to clean their teeth. In fact, baking soda is a common ingredient in some toothpastes.

That said, brushing your teeth with baking soda can lead to wear and tear that you may not have anticipated. It may not be enough to properly fight cavities either since it’s not specially formulated for your teeth or to control oral bacteria.

The Issue with Abrasives to Clean Teeth

Baking soda is a fine powder. When using baking soda to brush your teeth, the fine particles rub up against the tooth enamel to polish its surface. These fine particles may not seem harmful, but they do scuff up tooth enamel. You are, in essence, cleaning your teeth with a fine grain sandpaper. Over time, this will wear away your tooth enamel bit by bit.

You can’t automatically grow back the tooth enamel that you have lost, so this is obviously something we tell our Philadelphia dental care patients to avoid. Less healthy tooth enamel in place leaves patients more susceptible to tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, and root canal infections.

Matters Become Worse with Veneers and Crowns

Baking soda isn’t just bad for your teeth. If you have any porcelain veneers or crowns in place, the baking soda will wear down those materials as well. This can shed years from the lifespan of this dental work.

The Ideal Toothpaste for Most Patients

Rather than brushing with baking soda, it’s a good idea for patients to use non-abrasive gel toothpastes. These kinds of toothpastes contain no abrasive ingredients or particles such as baking soda. Many of these kinds of toothpastes are marketed as cosmetic dentistry toothpastes, and might say they are ideal for people with veneers or crowns.

An Important Word on Toothbrushes

We should also point out that the toothbrush you use can similarly have a negative impact on the health and condition of your teeth. A toothbrush with hard bristles can do serious harm to tooth enamel as well as your gumline.

The ideal toothbrush to use for good oral hygiene is one with soft bristles and a small head. The soft bristles will allow you to gently polish your teeth while the small head will make sure you can access all of the hard-to-reach parts of your mouth.

The Bottom Line: Keep the Baking Soda in the Fridge

Even though baking soda is versatile and can do a lot of good in the kitchen and around the house, you should keep it off your toothbrush. Instead, our Philadelphia dental center recommends gel toothpastes for the best possible oral hygiene and dental care results long term.

Learn More About Good Oral Hygiene

If you would like to learn more about how to have the healthiest smile possible, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. The team at Artistic Expressions Dentistry can be reached by phone at (215) 340-1199.

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