If you're on the lookout for an alternative to over-the-counter antimicrobial mouth rinses, you may be considering a baking soda mouth rinse. Perhaps you're thinking about making the change because it was recommended due to a health condition, or maybe you're just intrigued by the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. No matter the reason, you probably have a few questions about the safety and efficacy of baking soda mouth rinse you'd like answered before you make the switch. We'll let you know all about this alternative, why some people use it, and help you make an informed decision about your oral health that will hopefully make you smile.
Is Baking Soda Mouth Rinse Safe And Effective?
Baking soda has been used to practice oral hygiene for over 100 years. According to a United States Smithsonian Institute article providing context to products in their Medicine and Science Collections, baking soda was one of the earliest dentifrice (tooth powder or toothpaste) ingredients mixed and sold by pharmacists. Many ingredients from that time are thankfully no longer in use, like hydrochloric acid, which the Journal of the American Dental Association condemned in 1931. One product using hydrochloric acid was shown to reduce tooth enamel by 3% upon every use!
Baking soda, however, has stood the test of time. It remains in many kinds of toothpaste today because of its proven safety and effectiveness. Just walk down any oral care aisle, and you'll see baking soda is a featured ingredient in various oral care products.
A supplement to The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) summarised research on the effects of baking soda on oral health and found that it:
- Is low-abrasive and safe for daily use.
- Effectively combats germs.
- Minimises the acidity of plaque.
- Aids in the prevention of gum problems.
- Effectively whitens and reduces stains.
- And helps prevent cavities.
When is Baking Soda Mouth Rinse Recommended?
Baking soda mouthwash may be recommended by your dental professional or doctor as it's gentle on your mouth if you have:
- Mouth sores
- Teeth sensitivity
- Throat pain
- Oral cancer
- Burning mouth syndrome
- Or if you are undergoing chemotherapy for other cancers (which can result in mouth sores)
Learn more about the effects of radiation on your mouth.
Why is Baking Soda Mouth Rinse Recommended for Pregnant Women?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, 70% of pregnant women experience morning sickness. And despite the intuition to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, it's recommended that you do not. Why?
Because when you vomit, stomach acid may remain in your mouth. By brushing, you're merely scrubbing that stomach acid into your teeth. Use baking soda mouth rinse instead to reduce the acidity in your mouth effectively. If you throw up and don't have baking soda around, rinsing your mouth out with water is the next best option. After waiting for about half an hour, you should be safe to break out your toothbrush.
Creating An Effective Baking Soda Mouth Rinse
Your dental professional may have a recipe of their own for you to try, and if not, here's a simple mixture you can use:
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- One cup of warm water
- Follow with a plain water rinse
The United States National Capital Poison Center warns that too much baking soda can be toxic. It's highly unlikely anyone will ingest enough baking soda with a mouth rinse to experience any adverse side effects, but it's worth noting all the same. Rinse your mouth out well, and don't swallow your mouth rinse to be on the safe side.
How Does Baking Soda Mouth Rinse Compare to Over-The-Counter Mouth Rinses?
Baking soda mouth rinse is a viable alternative if you need a more gentle approach to oral care. Products you can buy in a store are specifically formulated by scientists and dental professionals with optimal oral care needs in mind. They use a mixture of powerful ingredients to strengthen enamel, prevent cavities, replenish calcium, reduce plaque, and prevent gum problems in the best ways scientific advances have revealed over the last 100 or more years. In addition, they provide a more pleasant taste than baking soda, which is quite bitter. But for a sensitive mouth, those powerful ingredients may feel too powerful.
It's always a good idea to consult with your dental professional about what toothpastes, mouth rinses, and other dental hygiene products are best suited for your individual needs. Be sure to ask your dentist if baking soda mouth rinse is something they would recommend for you. By having an informed discussion, you should make productive decisions together that will help keep your mouth healthy and your teeth bright. Whatever mouth rinse you use, we hope it makes you smile.