Even though baking soda toothpaste have never been shown to whiten clearly a user’s teeth, Americans believe that the ingredient has that magical, desired effect.(1) As a result, the number of toothpaste with baking soda cited as a key ingredient have skyrocketed in the past few decades.
On the other hand, studies have shown that baking soda toothpaste are most definitely a good way to reduce dreaded plaque.(2) A set of five studies concluded that those brushing with baking soda toothpaste had a statistically greater reduction of plaque than those using toothpaste that did not contain the cooking ingredient.
In three of the five studies, the increased weighting of baking soda in the survey led to a roughly corresponding rise in the reduction of plaque. And in one of these three of the five studies, the proof was statistically iron-clad. The American Dental Association actually approved baking soda as a tooth cleanser way back in the 1920s, so if desired, it is indeed safe to even brush with a 100% mix of just the cooking ingredient and water.
Fluoride vs. Regular Baking Soda
Although it is entirely safe to brush teeth even with a mix of regular baking soda from the kitchen with toothpaste, there is no evidence to suggest this method is more effective than using fluoride-based products.(3) In fact, no clinical studies have yet determined that baking soda matches or even trumps fluoride.
As an abrasive, baking soda most definitely can remove stains or yellowing from the teeth. The cooking staple can also buffer acids in the mouth, leading to a more balanced, non-cavity conducive environment.
Baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, has been used in American and British kitchens with regularity for only the past few hundred years.(4) As an alkali, it reacts to acids by effervescing and producing carbon dioxide. It can however also lead to a reduction of vitamins B1 and C.
(1) New York Magazine – “The White Brigade”, January 17, 1994, Retrieved January 22, 2011 from
(2) National Institutes of Health – Enhancement of Plaque Removal Efficacy By Tooth Brushing with Baking Soda Dentifrices, Retrieved June 22, 2011 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19278079
(3) THV – Dr. Josh Answers Your Dental Questions, Retrieved June 22, 2011 from http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/160997/126/Dr-Josh-answers-your-dental-questions
(4) FoodTimeline.org – Baking Soda, Retrieved June 22, 2011 from http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaq.html#bakingpowder