Also called sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a crystalline, white, and somewhat alkaline powder that looks like washing soda. Baking soda releases free radicals when dissolved in water. When water and baking soda paste is put in the mouth, the free radicals react on the teeth’s brown and yellow stain molecules and scrape it off.This is the manner in which baking soda removes cigarette, coffee, etc., stains on the teeth enamel and causes the teeth to become bright and white. Many people use baking soda to whiten teeth as it is really affordable.
Presented below are some methods on how to use baking soda to whiten teeth.
- Use of plain baking soda powder
- Add a few drops of water into half a tsp. of baking soda in a cup and mix well to create a paste. You may now use your fingers to apply the paste on the stain marks, let it remain on the teeth for 2 to 3 minutes, and then wash it off. If the stain marks are very adamant, then you may scratch them away with fingernails when the baking soda is still there on the teeth.
- Alternatively, you may apply the paste on a toothbrush so that all the bristles are covered with it and then brush the teeth for around two minutes. This will not only remove the stains but will also provide an overall whitening effect. Brush thoroughly in an up and down motion and not sideways. Avoid brushing the gums as it can result in bleeding and burning sensations.
- Baking soda does not have a very pleasant taste. Also, it is very abrasive and can erode and damage the tooth enamel. Hence, do not brush for more than 2 minutes. Also, orthodontic glue dissolves in baking soda. Hence, people with a permanent retainer or braces should not use baking soda to whiten the teeth.
- After brushing rinse the mouth several times with lots of water and then use a mouthwash. Also make sure that the toothbrush is completely rinsed and clean.
- For really bad stains, you may brush with baking soda every second day for 2 weeks. Minor difference in teeth whiteness is noticed in a few days; but after a couple of weeks the difference is significant and very visible.
- If issue persists even after using baking soda to brush the teeth for 2 weeks, then continue brushing, but only once or 2 times a week instead of every other day. This is because frequent use of baking soda can result in increased tooth enamel damage.
- Make sure that you brush with regular toothpaste on a daily basis even when you use baking soda to whiten the teeth. Baking soda is not a substitute for regular brushing with normal toothpaste. Follow the usually brushing practices with toothpaste, wherein every teeth and every corner of the oral cavity including the tongue are brushed and cleaned. This will prevent gum problems, plaque buildup, bad breath, and cavities, etc.
- Baking soda with other ingredients
Baking soda can also be mixed with other ingredients to brush the teeth and whiten them. A few such options are listed below:
- Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda: Hydrogen peroxide is also a widely available product that can be readily purchased at drugstores. Like baking soda, it also helps whiten teeth. It can also act as an efficient antibacterial mouthwash. Hydrogen peroxide is usually sold in opaque brown bottles to protect it from reactions with sunlight. Ensure that it a 3 percent solution that is safe for oral use. Dilute hydrogen peroxide with equal amounts of water before using orally.
- In order to make the paste, add 1 tsp. of baking soda to half a tsp. of hydrogen peroxide and mix well till the paste looks like regular toothpaste. You may now brush the teeth with this paste and then let it remain on the teeth for 1 to 2 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly with water and mouthwash.
- Strawberry and baking soda: Strawberries also help whiten teeth. Hence, take a fresh and ripe fruit and mash it into a pulp. Then add some baking soda to it and make a paste. Brush the teeth with this paste for 2 minutes and then rinse well.
- Lemon/lime and baking soda: The citric acid content in fresh lime/lemon juice is a great bleaching agent. Mix baking soda and newly squeezed lime/lemon juice in equal amounts and prepare the paste. Brush the teeth with it, let it remain on the teeth for a minute or two, and then rinse well. Citric acid is corrosive and can damage teeth; hence use this paste with caution.
- Normal toothpaste and baking soda: Put the normal amount of fluoride toothpaste on the brush and sprinkle it with baking soda; or add some baking soda to some regular toothpaste. Now brush the teeth for two minutes and rinse well to whiten the teeth.In addition to whitening of the teeth, this method also helps protect and strengthen the teeth.
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