A quick glance at a drug store’s oral care shelves will reveal an array of products containing baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). While in today’s advanced world baking soda may seem simple, it’s also proven to be a great benefit for many aspects of your oral health.

History of Use

As early as 1911, baking soda was defined as part of “an ideal tooth powder” for its many prophylactic properties, according to an article in the Journal of the American Dental Association. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that baking soda entered popular use. 

Dr. Paul H. Keyes is credited with being among the first to adopt this method in the ’70s. His combination of baking soda & hydrogen peroxide was picked up by the public, & was known as the salt-&-soda method.

In the 1980s, this dentifrice—a fancy word for toothpaste or tooth powder—was refined to have both a high concentration of baking soda while providing a pleasant taste, further popularizing it. 

A Smooth Shine

Baking soda provides a level of polish to your teeth, helping remove stains while whitening. 

Whitening is done through the salt’s natural bleaching properties. At the same time, baking soda’s pH helps naturally lower acids in the mouth, reducing tooth decay. This combination of cosmetic & preventative benefits is another reason baking soda has become so popular.

Studies have also shown that baking soda does a moderately good job of removing plaque due to its natural grit, but this abrasiveness isn’t strong enough to scratch teeth or harm soft tissue. Combined with its ease of production & safe use, it has become an affordable, plentiful source for cleaner teeth. 

Used with a soft toothbrush—soft brushes are mainly recommended to further reduce chances of irritation—you can stay on track until your next cleaning appointment. 

Gingivitis Nemesis

Baking soda is a natural bactericidal, which reduces the presence of gingivitis & other harmful bacteria. This can result in healthier, less irritated gums & a fresher breath. 

“It has been reported that toothpastes that contain 20 percent or more baking soda can offer a significant odour-reducing benefits for up to three hours,” according to the British Dental Nurses’ Journal.

In addition, using baking soda has been shown to moderately reduce gum bleeding. 

While admitting it isn’t a “magic bullet,” a study in the National Library of Medicine states baking soda’s “safety (if ingested), low abrasivity, low cost & compatibility with fluoride make it a consummate dentifrice ingredient.”

Talk to your dentist if you have any concerns before using baking soda toothpastes. They can provide advice based on your individual healthcare needs. 






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