Brushing teeth with baking soda

I brush my teeth with a paste of salt and baking soda once a week, in the hopes that my teeth will become whiter. Will this help, hurt or not matter?

Baking soda is not a bleaching agent. It is a cheap and effective alternative to toothpaste.

Presumably you’re using some other sort of toothpaste the other six days of the week?

I just use regular baking soda and no salt and it seems to work great. Dentists have commented that I brush unusually well when it is really just the baking soda. I don’t get cavities at all. If I don’t use baking soda in a while, I can spit lots of nasty colors when I do it next and my teeth look visibly whiter. I would say that it works.

I think you will do much better with whitening toothpaste. Baking soda is just a mild base and abrasive. Salt I assume is just a mild abrasive. It must taste awful. As long as your brushing, I don’t think it will matter.

I am reminded of a post done by the Frugal Law Student a few years ago on the subject. Basically, the baking soda worked wonderfully, whitened his teeth, and prevented cavities, for a fraction of the price of a tube o’ Crest. But it also made his breath “smell like poo.” I doubt that is a problem if you are using the baking soda in addition to a commercial, loaded-with-minty-freshness dentifrice, but, myself, I’d rather avoid the halitosis.

Whitening toothpastes usually work in more or less the same way as baking soda, through abrasion (in many cases, baking soda, although mica is also common). Hydrogen peroxide in toothpaste is probably too dilute and not in contact with the teeth long enough to really have much of a bleaching effect.

That being said, it would probably be easier (and probably less yucky tasting), to switch to brushing regularly with a whitening toothpaste. You could even get a baking soda-based toothpaste if you are partial to that slick feeling baking soda gives your teeth.

Excellent! Are you brushing with it every day? Do you also use toothpaste?

As the link I posted previous eludes, you can brush everyday with nothing but baking soda if you want. Heck, before commercial toothpastes were invented, it was generally recommended to brush with a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. If you don’t mind the flavor and you don’t tend to have problems with halitosis, you can stop lining the pockets of the toothpaste manufacturers. Me, I’m keeping P&G rich.

I don’t like sweet toothpaste, so I often use baking soda. However, Oregon water has no fluoride, so I’m forced to stick with lining the pockets of Mr. Toms of Maine (not, I hasten to add, Mr. Tom of Finland, which would be another matter entirely).