White, shiny teeth are one of the things that makes people appear younger, and more healthy looking. Many people also find teeth that are not quite as white as they should be are not as attractive as those pearly whites we all strive for, so there are a lot of advantages to making sure yours are as fresh, clean and shiny as they can possibly be.
There are ways to make your teeth whiter; from avoiding staining foods or drinks; to lightening toothpastes; to laser treatments; to home remedies, and it’s up to you to decide which method works best for you.
If you have decided to go down the home remedies route, you have probably heard of using baking soda to whiten your teeth naturally. If this is something you are interested in trying, we should have a look at the ins and outs – and the baking soda teeth whitening dangers – before you start.
Why whiten your teeth with baking soda
If you yearn for bright, shiny pearly whites but you cannot afford laser whitening, or you tremble at the thought of the dentist, you may wish to try a few home remedies instead.
There are many of them out there that claim to be able to whiten your teeth by several shades; from strawberries to lemon juice; and one of the most effective is baking soda.
This innocuous store cupboard staple is actually a really useful cleaning agent for many different types of cleaning operations – from your oven to your teeth – and it is much cheaper than getting your teeth whitened at the dentist.
If you have been looking for an alternative to expensive whitening treatments, or you can’t tolerate a whitening toothpaste, you may be considering using baking soda. This is a relatively effective method, and it does work – there are, however, downsides to it.
Dangers of using baking soda to whiten your teeth
Although this simple method is effective and is considered relatively safe, you do need to take care if you decide to use it.
1. Baking soda is abrasive
It is very good at removing surface stains, but it can also damage your teeth so if you do decide to use it then you must bear this in.
2. It can cause tooth sensitivity
Using baking soda to whiten your teeth more frequently than twice a week can make your teeth feel painful when exposed to hot or cold temperatures, or different foods.
3. Baking soda is not toothpaste
Using baking soda to lighten your smile is all very well, but it contains no fluoride, which means that it won’t help prevent cavities or kill the bacteria that contribute to them.
4. Aggressive brushing can damage the tooth enamel
If you brush too hard using baking soda, you can actually strip away the layer of enamel that protects your teeth.
5. It will not freshen your breath
Unlike minty toothpaste, brushing your teeth with baking soda will not leave a lasting freshness in your mouth.
6. It doesn’t taste great
Baking soda has a slightly salty taste, and not the nicest texture, so if you use it without being aware of this it may be a nasty shock!
How to whiten teeth with baking soda
Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda’s mildly abrasive compound makes it ideal for removing surface stains from your teeth. It is also alkaline, which means that it is extra effective at removing acidic stains such as those from tea, coffee and wine.
To use it safely as a home tooth whitener, having read about the dangers of it, just follow these simple steps:
- Place a tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl with a tablespoon of water and mix into a thick paste.
- Apply the paste to your teeth, using either your fingers or a soft bristled toothbrush.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, using circular motions, and be sure to brush the surface of each and every tooth.
- Don’t brush too hard or aggressively, to avoid damaging your teeth and gums.
- Spit the paste out, then rinse your mouth thoroughly. Follow up with a good mouthwash, and be sure to rinse your toothbrush well.
- Do not use this whitening method more than twice a week, and remember that less is more.
Whitening teeth with baking soda is a tried and tested home remedy for improving the look of your teeth. It does come with a lot of precautions, however, and if you are going to do it then you must take care.
If you are planning on using this method to whiten your teeth, do bear in mind the dangers of whitening teeth with baking soda, and proceed with caution.