Yes, baking soda does whiten teeth.
More Info: Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, works to actively break down proteins and helps to reduce the stains and discoloration that can build up on teeth from eating or drinking darker foods and beverages. If used with water only, the light abrasiveness (or grittiness) in baking soda functions like a scrubber and works with the chemicals in tooth enamel to break stains down. For an even better whitening procedure, mix baking soda with peroxide and use as a paste, or as a mouthwash. Not only can this homemade paste or rinse work to minimize wear on teeth, it can help with other mouth or teeth ailments such as gingivitis, sores, and bad breath.
Fact: When baking soda is mixed with water, it releases the active ingredients that assist in whitening teeth. This mixture of water and baking soda absorbs into the staining and discoloration on the tooth enamel, therefore, lightening up your smile.
Fact: A mixture of baking soda and peroxide can be beneficial for gum tissue as well as providing extra germ-killing power for mouth diseases and the chemicals that cause stains.
Study Title: In Vitro Tooth Whitening by a Sodium Bicarbonate/Peroxide Dentifrice
Authors: Kleber CJ, Putt MS, Nelson BJ.; Indiana University, Fort Wayne, USA
Journal: The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, 1998;9(1):16-21.
Study Purpose: The main purpose of this laboratory study was to determine the tooth whitening effect of a baking soda dentifrice containing stabilized 1% hydrogen peroxide following repeated applications to intrinsically stained teeth.
Results: The baking soda/peroxide dentifice significantly decreased the yellowing of the enamel following eight or more hours of topical treatment.
Study Title: Efficacy of Baking Soda-containing Chewing Gum in Removing Natural Tooth Stain
Authors: Mankodi SM, Conforti N, Berkowitz H.; Dental Products Testing, Inc., Lake Worth, Florida, Jupiter, Florida, USA.
Journal: Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry, 2001 Jul;22(7A):29-32..
Study Purpose: To compare the efficacy of twice-daily use of 3 baking soda-containing chewing gums in removing natural tooth stain when used in conjunction with a program of regular oral hygiene.
Results: All 3 chewing gums significantly reduced extrinsic stain and improved the whitened appearance of teeth. The authors conclude that the findings suggest that chewing baking soda-containg gums after meals, coupled with good oral hygiene practices will improve staining and the whiten appearance of teeth.
“Dental Bytes.” New Jersey Dental School. 6 Feb. 2004. Web. 28 July 2010. http://dentalschool.umdnj.edu/patients/dental-bytes.htm.
Carr RDH, MA, Michele P. “Ask an Expert: Baking Soda.” NetWellness Homepage. 2 May 2006. Web. 28 July 2010. http://netwellness.uc.edu/question.cfm/38818.htm.
Kleber, CJ, MS Putt, and BJ Nelson. “In Vitro Tooth Whitening by a Sodium Bicarbonate/peroxide Dentifrice.” PubMed.gov. 1998. Web. 28 July 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9835828.