Does Brushing Teeth with Baking Soda Whiten Your Teeth?

Baking soda teeth whitening-how effective is it? Does brushing  teeth with baking soda work? How do you clean your teeth with Sodium Bicarbonate? What is the recipe? What are the results?  What are the side effects or dangers? Does brushing with baking soda damage teeth? Read on to find out more in addition to combining the paste with hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil, lemon, before and after results, plus more tips on how whiten teeth fast without baking soda.

Brushing Teeth with Baking Soda -Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

What causes teeth discoloration?

Of course you want to whiten your teeth with baking soda because you do not like their current color. In short your teeth are discolored or something close to that. There are plenty of individuals who are suffering from teeth discoloration. Before getting down to the role of baking soda let’s see the causes of teeth staining.

Teeth may get discolored by stains that occur on the surface of inside of the tooth and this may occur as;

  • Extrinsic – mostly causes by coffee, soda and wine among other food and drinks that may cause staining. This is alongside habits like smoking
  • Intrinsic – discolors the tooth from the inner layers, from the dentine. This layer may darken and exhibit a yellow color. Among the causative agents include too much fluoride during childhood when teeth are growing and developing. When mothers in their second trimester take tetracycline antibiotics or administer them when you are 7 years younger, teeth discoloration may occur. Other forms of discoloration occur due to internal bleeding of a permanent tooth and genetic predisposition.
  • Senile – with age the dentine yellows with time as the enamel gets thinner. This may be caused by reduced care of the teeth hygiene by the old. Also due to slow replacement of the white part, the dentine.

These three causative agents of teeth discoloration clearly show that one medication may work best for one while show no efficacy in another.

Everybody desires white teeth. Anybody would be willing to do anything to have it white. This includes ripping the benefits of some chemicals at times at the expense of the teeth themselves.

Such includes sodium bicarbonate being used as a teeth whitener.

Baking Soda Teeth whitening- how brushing cleaning works, Recipe Results Damage side Effects Dangers
Baking Soda

Baking soda and teeth whitening

Sodium bicarbonate or commonly baking soda has been used in toothpaste formulations for a long time for its abrasive nature. For firms that prepare this chemical such as renowned Arm and Hammer Baking Soda Company skewed the market to their side of the court by stating its medicinal significance. Companies that have prepared their toothpaste with plain sodium bicarbonate include Church and Dwight. Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever have this beneficial ingredient in their Colgate and Close-up formulations respectively. So it really does work. Just how does it do it?

Sodium Bicarbonate;

  1. Changes pH of the oral cavity – a healthy mouth is non-acidic, neutral or alkaline. A pH of 7.0 or above is desirable. At pH lower that 7.0, the tooth roots begin to dissolve. The enamel may get eroded and tooth discoloration and cavitation occurs with lower pH. Sodium bicarbonate having a pH of 8.4 helps neutralize the acidic environment created by bacterially broken down sucrose. It further alkalinizes the oral cavity, promotes re-mineralization. It removes the layer of bacteria (plaque) that is responsible for the discoloration of the teeth.
  2. Is a polishing agent – due to the abrasive nature of sodium bicarbonate, plaque layered on the enamel of teeth are scrubbed off. With reference to the relative dentin abrasion tests done on straight sodium bicarbonate, its abrasiveness is favorable with low abrasivity to the overall state of the enamel. This is as compared to other oral formulations, dentifrices and brands. Sodium bicarbonate, therefore, when used in the correct amount, is an effective polishing agent.
  3. Increases calcium uptake by the enamel – calcium is important in the development of the teeth which is a calcified tissue. This may help in the strengthening of the enamel and the dentine layer not therefore exposed to cause yellowing.
  4. Augments anticaries agents – sodium with the buffer effect on the oral cavity prevents further destruction of the enamel and the dentine that causes browning and even darkening of the teeth (cavitation).

What do studies and online forums like Yahoo answers say about Sodium Bicarbonate’s effectiveness in whitening teeth?

Your teeth draw much emphasis on the aesthetics most essentially the envied snow-white color. White lustrous teeth undoubtedly are a considerable factor in portraying our confidence. Therefore, various researches have been conducted to test for the effectiveness of sodium bicarbonate as a potential whitener;

  1. A laboratory study compared the whitening effect of brushing the teeth with sodium bicarbonate-based dentifrices and standard dentifrices. The latter did not have any sodium bicarbonate. At the end of the experiment, all the sodium bicarbonate-based dentifrices were effective in the removal of yellow intrinsic tooth stain. (J Clin Dent.1998;9(3):72-5)
  2. In a double-blind comparison of two equivalent groups of subjects, parallel, received in random, a Test (sodium bicarbonate-based) or Control dentifrices. They were instructed to brush twice daily with the dentifrice given and avoid any other. After a 6 week period, the group of subjects using the Test showed remarkable improvement in the whitening of their teeth. The Control group did not show significant whitening. J Clin Dent.2004;15(3):71-5
  3. Online forums have indicated vast knowledge on the efficacy of bicarbonate in whitening of the teeth. Such forums include Yahoo Answers. According to most yahoo users, baking soda works great for teeth whitening at home.
  4. According to NIH, Sodium bicarbonate in dual phases of other dentifrices such as calcium and phosphate has shown improved efficacy in removal of extrinsic tooth stain compared to hydrated silica dentifrices.
sodium bicarbonate teeth whitener tooth paste recipe
Sodium Bicarbonate

How long does it take for baking soda to whiten teeth? Fast or Immediate?

In various research findings, continued tooth brushing by the subjects was done till the 120th minute and results noted; (J Clin Dent. 1998; 9(3):72-5)

  1. That most of the stain removal occurred in the first 30 minutes of brushing.
  2. Higher concentrations show faster onsets and,
  3. On dilution of these concentrated sodium bicarbonates, the duration of action is longer with optimal whitening in the 2nd to 3rd

Why use Baking Soda Teeth Whitening? Is it better Compared to other Teeth whitening methods?

Since not all toothpastes are equal, some are highly abrasive and even scrub off the tooth enamel. According to the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) table, sodium bicarbonate has an index of 7 which is very low. This shows that relative to some toothpastes like Colgate herbal with an index of 110, sodium bicarbonate is less abrasive to the dentine. Toothpastes with lower abrasive ratings are recommended.

Baking powder is fast acting within 30 minutes making it very effective. It is also the cheapest alternative to whiteners such as bleaching gels which are more expensive.

Brushing Teeth with Baking Soda to Whiten Teeth -How to + Recipe

Steps on how to prepare baking soda tooth paste for teeth whitening

Brushing teeth with baking soda whitening remedy
Brushing with baking soda

Preparing baking soda is an important step that needs to be done carefully. This is due to the corrosive nature high concentrations may have on the gums. Here are the steps to preparing an effective concentration and different formulations with baking soda as a co-ingredient;

  1. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda with a teaspoonful of water and mix to for a paste. Adding it to lemon of the same quantity also works well. A paste will enable easier application to the teeth and its viscosity will make it stay on the teeth for some time. 1-2 minutes is a good range of time with some gentle brushing if using a tooth brush or gentle rubbing when using your finger.
  2. Preparation of the sodium bicarbonate-based formulations can be done with vinegar – dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt and a few drops of vinegar in a teaspoon of water.
  3. Stepping up the regular toothpastes by adding a pinch of baking soda to them then mixing the paste.

Note that baking soda is abrasive to the gums. Once you notice that the gums are bleeding with the current concentration of baking soda, add more water to dilute it further. Remember, people react differently with various medications.

How to brush with baking soda paste to whiten teeth

After preparing a reasonable concentration of the paste, the following general steps are followed;

  1. For baking soda in its powder form, wet the bristles and touch the powder with them ensuring the powder sticks to the brush. For pastes prepared, dip the brush into the paste.
  2. Brush the teeth for 2 minutes. Be gentle and stay on the enamel while avoiding the gums as much as possible.
  3. Rinse the mouth to remove residual baking soda
  4. If you had not mixed the baking soda with toothpaste, you can consider brushing with the tooth paste once you have cleaned the brush. This ensures that you provide fluoride to the enamel to prevent cavitation. This is very essential.

Note that the taste of baking soda powder is very strong when you just dip the brush into it. It is therefore advisable to add some water to the powder to dilute it. Remember to make adjustments when you feel it is too abrasive.

Baking Soda and Lemon Teeth Whitening Results & Reviews

Some individuals recommend combining baking soda with lemon juice to whiten teeth. But isn’t lemon juice is acidic hence likely to eat away the calcium from your teeth. Is it not known to corrode or destroy  your enamel? In fact,  lemon juice may also cause some inflammation of the gums. Well it is known do all that but according to those who support its use, the trick is ensuring that it does not stay for long on your teeth. Fact, you should be cautious though.


What you will need

  • A toothbrush
  • Several teaspoons of baking soda
  • Enough lemon juice  to form a paste

How to
Mix several teaspoons of baking soda with enough fresh lemon juice (or water) to make a paste. Wipe your teeth and any extra saliva off of them with a paper towel. Put a good amount of paste onto your toothbrush and apply. Leave the paste on for 1 minute, then rinse, so as to avoid the acid effecting enamel

Review-Before and After Results

Below is a video review with before and after results of using baking soda and lemon juice

Baking Soda and Peroxide Teeth Whitening

As Dr Axe notes, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide makes up a superb natural teeth whitener. Well, it is not only Dr Axe, a number of individuals also affirm that it works.

hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to whiten teeth
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda

So how do you use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth?
All you need is to mix small amounts both substances to make a paste of mild thickness. The next step is, as you may have guessed, using your DIY paste to brush your teeth as usual.
In the previous sections of this piece of writing, you probably have learnt a lot about baking soda and how it works to whiten your teeth. Now, you have something else…hydrogen peroxide. What role does it play? Peroxide fights away bacteria. It also works great as a total mouth and gum cleaner. In introduces unfavorable environment for the bad guys(germs) in your mouth thus boosting you oral health.

Brushing Teeth with Coconut Oil and Baking Soda

Other than peroxide and lemon juice, coconut oil is another ingredient you use together with baking soda. Following are steps on how to prepare and use the paste.

Brushing Teeth with Coconut Oil and Baking Soda-recipe
Baking soda and coconut oils

What you will need

  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
  • Tooth Brush

Note: You can prepare larger or smaller batch depending on how long you would like it to last and the size of the container in which you intend to store it.


  1. Mix baking soda and coconut oil in a small container, until it forms a paste like consistency
  2. Put a good amount of the paste onto your toothbrush and apply gently
  3. Rinse

You can also combine baking soda with turmeric, strawberry and mint.

Baking Soda Teeth Whitening Before and After Results Pictures

Below is a compilation of pictures showing before and after results of brushing your teeth with baking soda .  On the top row is before and the bottom row shows after.

Baking Soda Teeth whitening results before and after
Whitening teeth with Baking soda-Before and after Results

Baking Soda for Teeth Side Effects, Damage &Dangers

Danges, side effects, damage-baking soda teeth whitening
Damaged teeth

What are the dangers or side effects of using baking soda to whiten teeth? Is it safe or are there possibilities of teeth damage?

Baking soda is safe to use on the teeth. Those who say that you should not use baking soda owing to the abrasive nature have not used it in the correct amount. That is why it is important to adjust it when you find it too abrasive.

However, there are disadvantages, dangers or side effects of this method just like any other good drug mostly seen when used regularly. These bad effects can damage your teeth. Below are some of the dangers;

  • Its use in repeatedly overtime will weaken the enamel. The erosion may go too deep into the dentine preventing further formation of the enamel. Deeper into the pulp cavity, may cause increased sensitivity to temperature change and pain. This stage of damage is irreversible.
  • You still have to brush your teeth with toothpaste as baking soda does not have fluoride that is essential for enamel formation. It is also not bactericidal.
  • You should not brush your teeth if you have braces of permanent retainers.
  • Stains causes by tetracycline or genetic predisposition such as in dectinogenesis imperfects will not respond to sodium bicarbonate.

Brushing Teeth with Baking Soda Precautions

Do not forget that;

  1. Baking soda is corrosive to the gums and should be diluted to safe concentrations for oral use. Otherwise, you may damage the gums and risk gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
  2. Baking soda has a very strong alkaline taste to the tongue and may be very unpleasant if use in its powder form.
  3. On its own, swallowing baking soda will not have deleterious effects on your health.
  4. There are many different causes of teeth discoloration and this has to be determined. If the cause is intrinsic, baking soda can be used but again to a limited extent. If the intrinsic cause is drug-induced like in the case of tetracycline, then give up using baking soda. If the cause is genetic, it will not work too.
  5. It is important to clean the mouth thoroughly to eliminate any residual baking soda.
  6. Do not retain the paste longer than 2 minutes as this may again destroy the enamel.
  7. Baking soda alone is not effective in keeping the teeth healthy and should therefore be mixed with tooth paste.
  8. Remember, baking soda, in reasonable amount prevents the destruction of the enamel and therefore preventing the translucency of the enamel that causes yellowing. However, high It is important to note that high concentrations or frequent brushing with it may again destroy the enamel
  9. For a first time, brush your teeth with baking soda once in two days for a week then cut down to once or twice a week.
  10. As mentioned above baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can be mixed in the proportions as in the other formulations to make a paste.
  11. A color-matched composite bonding material may be used.
  12. Veneers may also be placed as a layer over the teeth to prevent damage and improve aesthetics. Veneers may be composite or dental porcelain.

More Tips on how to Whiten Teeth Fast without Baking Soda

  1. Stains caused by food or drinks can be removed by flossing, brushing and proper rinsing.
  2. Stains can also be removed by applying bleaching agents to the enamel. Power bleaching is a technique whereby a light-activated bleaching gel is applied. The teeth get remarkably whiter within 30-45 minutes.
  3. Discoloration often can be removed by applying a bleaching agent to the tooth enamel. One technique is called “power bleaching.” With this method, the dentist applies a light-activated bleaching gel. It causes the teeth to get significantly whiter in about 30 to 45 minutes. Several follow-up treatments may be needed, or take-home bleaching trays may be provided.
  4. Whitening toothpastes though do not change the overall color outlook of the teeth, may remove some minor stains.
  5. Xylitol – alkalizes the oral cavity and should be used as often as possible. 100% Xylitol Mints and Gum reduce mouth acidity and regulate the pH into a safe zone. These mints are most beneficial after having a meal protecting the enamel from destruction from acidity brought about by bacteria strains of Streptococcus mutans and
  6. Lifestyle and habit changes such as reduced stress and exercising. Regulating the intake of acidic foods such as proteins will also be beneficial.

When to see a Doctor

Sodium bicarbonate and the other ingredients discussed above do not seem to work for you? Visit your dentist anytime if  you are unhappy with the results. Any change in the color of the teeth of a child or an adult should be examined by a dentist for evaluation.

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