Livonia Dentist on Baking Soda and Brushing

Sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, has several uses. Whether using it around the house or in the kitchen, the versatile substance has been helpful for decades. Baking soda also works to whiten teeth like in-office whitening treatments or at-home kits. How does it work? Livonia dentist, Dr. James Stewart, explains how baking soda whitens teeth.

Baking Soda and Your Teeth

When mixed with water, baking soda releases free radicals that penetrate tooth enamel. With some abrasion, stains on your teeth can be lightened or erased. Baking soda, like other brushing creams, removes plaque during its reaction with water. To effectively use baking soda in your brushing, simply wet your brush and dip it into some baking soda. After brushing, rinse your mouth and toothbrush with water. The reactive nature of baking soda and water, and its strong cleaning action, may leave a tingling sensation. To whiten your teeth more, use hydrogen peroxide to dampen your brush, rather than water, before applying baking soda. Considering the low cost of baking soda and its powerful potential to clean teeth, some patients use it regularly. But, it could be too much of a good thing for your teeth.

When is Baking Soda Too Much?

Brushing with baking soda three times a week or more can cause irreversible damage to your enamel. Even when brushing a conservative amount, be mindful of how hard you brush. Since the baking soda is already aggressively cleaning your teeth, an overly vigorous brushing could hurt  more than help. Baking soda should not be a replacement for brushing with fluoridated toothpaste. Dentists still recommend using regular toothpaste for cleaning teeth twice a day and after meals. For those with permanent retainers or orthodontic appliances like braces, brushing with baking soda should be avoided.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Livonia Dentist

Is baking soda not for you? Visit Dr. Stewart at our 48154 dentist office to discuss teeth whitening. After an examination, you and Dr. Stewart can determine the right whitening system for you. Call (734) 425-4400 today to schedule an appointment. We serve patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, and surrounding areas.