Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?
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Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

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Published date field Last Updated: 25 Oct 2023

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications


Baking soda is a common household product that has many uses around the home, from eliminating smells to cleaning carpets. Now, baking soda can also be found in many toothpastes and teeth-whitening products. Using it to remove stains from teeth is common practice. But does baking soda whiten teeth? It does an excellent job at removing surface stains, but it’s a strong substance and you should proceed with caution to prevent any damage to your tooth enamel. Here we look at the pros and cons of using baking soda, how to whiten teeth at home and how to maintain your newly sparkling smile!

How Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

How can a simple mixture of equal parts baking soda and water whiten teeth? Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is composed of a chemical compound that makes it a great mild abrasive. It’s this same abrasiveness that effectively removes surface stains from your teeth and makes them appear whiter. However, if your goal is to remove deeper, older stains, then baking soda will not be as effective. You’ll need to see your dentist or use a product that was specifically created for whitening teeth.

How To Use Baking Soda to Whiten Teeth Safely

People often wonder about the best way to whiten teeth, and there are many methods you can use that will get results! If you fancy trying out baking soda to whiten teeth, you’ll get the best results by mixing it either with water or a hydrogen peroxide solution from the pharmacy. You can either:

  • Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water, then brush your teeth with the paste.
  • Or, mix two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide solution with one teaspoon of water, then brush your teeth with the paste.

The baking soda can help to remove plaque and surface stains from your teeth, while the hydrogen peroxide will whiten your smile, while also acting as an antibacterial agent. 

However, if you're considering using this method to help whiten your teeth, you need to be aware of possible side effects. With continued use, you could cause damage to the enamel that coats your teeth – if you already suffer from sensitive teeth, be aware that using baking soda may not be the best option as it can make tooth sensitivity worse. Using baking soda to whiten teeth is similar to using lemon juice. Lemon juice is highly acidic and, when left on your teeth, can easily damage or weaken your tooth enamel. 

In addition, baking soda doesn't contain fluoride, which helps to strengthen teeth and prevent dental cavities, so you’ll still need to use a regular fluoride toothpaste to protect your tooth enamel. If you have braces that contain orthodontic glue or use a permanent retainer, don't brush with baking soda as it will soften the glue.

Alternative Teeth Whitening Methods

If you suffer from sensitive teeth and decide that using baking soda to whiten teeth isn’t the best method for you, there are lots of other ways to try out teeth whitening at home. Alternatively, you can always visit your dentist for professional teeth bleaching or laser treatment. Below you’ll find some simple at-home tips to whiten teeth – many of these methods use household items or foods that you might not usually think of! 

  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste after you eat or drink – doing this can quickly remove stains left by what you’ve eaten and keep your teeth as white as possible. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove any bacteria that may transfer onto your teeth!
  • Brush your teeth or swish with coconut oil - coconut oil acts as a natural teeth whitener and can leave your teeth looking noticeably brighter.
  • Eat strawberries – you may not expect it due to their bright red colour, but strawberries are a great natural teeth whitener! The fruit contains malic acid, which is capable of removing stains from the surface of your teeth to give a brightening effect.
  • Eat crunchy fruit and vegetables – eating foods like carrots, celery or apples can help to keep your teeth clean and white. The crunchiness acts as a mild exfoliator for tooth surface stains; eating these foods also encourages saliva production to keep your mouth clean.
  • Try our range of affordable Colgate teeth whitening products – from a whitening pen to an LED kit and a whole range of whitening fluoride toothpaste that will brighten your smile, you’ll be sure to find a Colgate whitening product to suit your budget.

Tips for Maintaining a White Smile After Using Baking Soda

Some of the other things you can do to keep your teeth bright for as long as possible after using baking soda or other whitening methods include:

  • Having a good oral hygiene routine – brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing after eating can help your teeth to stay whiter for longer.
  • Use a whitening fluoride toothpaste – a whitening toothpaste can help to prolong your sparkling smile. For example, Colgate Max White Ultimate Radiance uses whitening science, powered by dual colour-correct action, to whiten the surface of your teeth and below the enamel!
  • Using a straw when drinking can help you to avoid staining your teeth – metal or glass straws are perfect for using with hot and cold drinks, and they can be cleaned and reused!
  • Chew sugar-free gum or rinse your mouth with water after eating to remove plaque bacteria or food particles. [kw1]
  • Don’t smoke – quitting smoking will help your teeth to stay whiter for longer and is better for your health in general. [kw2]

Who doesn't want a beautiful, bright smile free of stains? Getting that smile shouldn't be at the expense of the health of your teeth. For safe alternatives, you should seek teeth whitening services from your dentist. Learn more about tooth whitening on Colgate's Oral Care resources.





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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.