Is Baking Soda a Good Alternative Toothpaste?


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brush-baking-sodaOral hygiene is an important factor to our health that we should be aware and work to maintain. For many people who are learning about more natural ways of eating, living and treating our body’s, using the typical toothpaste brands that contains fluoride quickly becomes a non option. For me, I transitioned from toothpaste with fluoride to fluoride free toothpaste. From there I made my way to brushing with baking soda.

What’s wrong with regular toothpaste?

When it comes to regular toothpaste, there are better and safer alternatives. If you read the tube or box your toothpaste comes in, you will notice a warning stating that if you swallow the toothpaste, you should call poison control. The reason being is, toothpaste contains several potentially dangerous chemicals, one of these is called fluoride. Although fluoride has been shown to potentially achieve results in re-strengthening enamel, it is also a toxic substance linked to many health problems. The reason why fluoride is not recommended is because the majority of the time it is used in toothpaste and at the dentist, too much is being applied and therefore it is doing more harm than good. With there being more effective and safer alternatives, using fluoride is not a healthy choice. Using too much fluoride can make the teeth too brittle and therefore more susceptible to cavities and dental fluorosis. Considering that 1 in 3 children in the US now have dental fluorosis, we are clearly using too much fluoride. Another reason is that toothpastes contain ingredients like polyethylene glycols, triclosan, strontium, benzene, and tin, which are all potentially harmful to human health. Toothpaste also contains high levels of glycerin. When there is high levels of glycerin left on our teeth, it takes quite a long time before it wears off and our enamel can properly strengthen again. This leaves teeth susceptible to cavities. Finally, toothpaste does not contain many natural ingredients. This of course is your choice as to whether or not you want to stick to products that are as natural as possible. You can read more about fluoride here.

Is baking soda a good option?

I first came across the idea of using baking soda when doing fluoride research for a short documentary I made called Fluoride: The Hard to Swallow Truth. I made the change over from fluoride free toothpaste to baking soda and was very happy with the results. Then I began hearing about the potential of baking soda being too abrasive for teeth and gums and that it could actually wear away at the enamel. So I began to research this to find out whether this was a good option for me, especially since I was recommending it to other people as well. I found that YES, baking soda is a good option; here’s why.

Understanding abrasivity

When a toothpaste is produced it must get FDA approval before it can be sold to the public. One of the tests that is conducted before its approval is to determine its RDA value (radioactive dentin abrasion or relative dentin abrasivity). To determine the RDA value of toothpaste, the lab tester begins with an extracted human or cow tooth. The tooth is irradiated in a neutron flux, mounted in methylmethacrylate (bone glue), stripped of its enamel, inserted into a brushing-machine, and brushed by ADA standards (reference toothbrush, 150g pressure, 1500 strokes, 4-to-1 water-toothpaste slurry). The radioactivity of the rinsewater is then measured and recorded. For experimental control, the test is repeated with an ADA reference toothpaste made of calcium pryophosphate, with this measurement given a value of 100 to calibrate the relative scale. (2)

The following are the RDA levels for popular toothpastes including baking soda which was also tested.

RDA Dentifrice brand and variety Source
07 straight baking soda Church & Dwight
08 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder Church & Dwight
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus Elmex
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Church & Dwight
42 Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide Church & Dwight
44 Squigle Enamel Saver Squigle
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive Church & Dwight
49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control Church & Dwight
49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive (given as 40’s) Tom’s
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular Church & Dwight
53 Rembrandt Original (RDA) Rembrandt
54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint Church & Dwight
57 Tom’s of Maine Children’s, Wintermint (given as mid-50’s) Tom’s
62 Supersmile Supersmile
63 Rembrandt Mint (‘Heffernan RDA’) Rembrandt
68 Colgate Regular Colgate-Palmolive
70 Colgate Total Colgate-Palmolive
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive Church & Dwight
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint (given as 50-70) Colgate-Palmolive
79 Sensodyne Colgate-Palmolive
80 AIM Unilever
80 Close-Up Unilever
83 Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength Colgate-Palmolive
91 Aquafresh Sensitive Colgate-Palmolive
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular (given as high 80’s low 90’s) Squigle (Tom’s)
94 Rembrandt Plus Rembrandt
94 Plus White Indiana study
95 Crest Regular (possibly 99) P&G (P&G)
101 Natural White Indiana study
103 Mentadent Squigle
103 Arm & Hammer Sensation Church & Dwight
104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening Colgate-Palmolive
106 Colgate Platinum Indiana study
106 Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste Church & Dwight
107 Crest Sensitivity Protection Colgate-Palmolive
110 Colgate Herbal Colgate-Palmolive
110 Amway Glister (given as upper bound) Patent US06174515
113 Aquafresh Whitening Indiana study
117 Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel Church & Dwight
117 Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control Church & Dwight
120 Close-Up with Baking Soda (canadian) Unilever
124 Colgate Whitening Indiana study
130 Crest Extra Whitening Indiana study
133 Ultra brite (or 120-140) Indiana study (or Colgate-Palmolive)
144 Crest MultiCare Whitening P&G
145 Ultra brite Advanced Whitening Formula P&G
145 Colgate Baking Sode & Peroxide Whitening (given as 135-145) Colgate-Palmolive
150 Pepsodent (given as upper bound) Unilever
165 Colgate Tartar Control (given as 155-165) Colgate-Palmolive
168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint Church & Dwight
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening (given as 190-200) Colgate-Palmolive
200 recommended limit FDA
250 recommended limit ADA

As we observe in the chart, baking soda, when used correctly, is actually less abrasive than all toothpastes. Given the unnatural nature of toothpaste and the efficacy of baking soda when it comes to keeping teeth clean and the mouth at a good Ph level, using baking soda to brush your teeth is actually more favorable than natural toothpastes.

How to brush with baking soda

Brushing with baking soda is quite simple. First start with a fresh toothbrush that does not contain any of the left over residues from your toothpaste.
1. Take a pinch of baking soda and put it into a small glass or small bowl.
2. Add a small amount of pure water (ideally not tap water) to the bowl and mix it into the baking soda. The solution should be slightly runny as you don’t want too many of the granules present. Dip your toothbrush in to get some of the solution on the brush.
3. Brush starting with your molars and then moving to the facings and backs of your teeth.
4. (optional) Once done, you can add some more water to the glass or bowl and swish it around your mouth. This will help keep your mouth alkaline.
5. Rinse out your mouth with pure water as you normally would after brushing.

Try this out for yourself and share your thoughts on how this works for you. Remember, if you have learned that baking soda is too abrasive, it may misguided information or people may have been incorrectly using baking soda to brush. As always, feel it out for yourself and make adjustments accordingly.

Sources

(2) http://satyen.com/toothpastes.shtml

http://www.healingteethnaturally.com/dental-systemic-health-hazards-toothpaste.html

http://www.bewellbuzz.com/general/flouride-dangers-toothpaste/


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More From 'Health'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Rodrigo

    Share this on your social networks, and inform your family & friends.

  2. Antranette

    I just recently switch to baking soda. Finding out it was my toothpaste. Been sick for almost six months. No, appetite, foaming on tongue and dry mouth. I’m feeling so much better. I will never stop using baking soda. This is a great information!!!

  3. Cindy

    Is it ok to use baking soda twice a day to brush your teeth.

    • So long as you remember to mix it with water so it’s more of a slurry, you should be good :)

      • Cindy

        So its ok for twice day and ok for everyday and nothing else to use.

  4. Eduardo

    Is there anyway I could add flavor to the baking soda solution ? Maybe mint or something…? One of the things normal toothpaste has is that is contains that ”mint” flavor which is a really cool sensation at the time you are bushing your teeth. Maybe there is something you can add to a baking soda solution to ”imitate” this …..

    • Christine

      Yes you can use essential oils of any flavor you wish.

  5. ConSumaSalud
  6. nina

    We have to remember that every thing revolves around money. So of course the government or scientists will say that natural things don’t work. If they told everyone that it was safer and helped with the health of our teeth, the tooth paste companies and dentists wouldn’t make as much money. Same thing with food they’re even beginning to mess with our so called natural food, so that of we want to eat healthy we must pay an arm and a leg and get organic. don’t believe every scientific study or what the government recommeds, they care about your money not your health. not even 50 years ago ppl survived without all this processed crap, now all of a sudden everyone is dying from crazy diseases and cancers.

  7. Linzi

    This would be more convincing if you posted primary scientific literature as your “sources” and not other websites opinions.

    • luke

      Linzi you can look up the studies yourself. Flouride calcifies a gland in your brain called the pineal gland. It is a developmental neurotoxin and accumulates in the bones. It lowers IQ, It is a non essential nutrient, its efficacy at preventing cavities is disputed. It has a sort of hardening effect on teeth, making them more brittle and requires topical application to be effective.

      These are simple truths, more research needs to be done on fluoride but you won’t see that being done by any sort conventionally supported form of financial support, because the WHO has declared fluoridation as one of the top 10 greatest health achievements. It is pure, intentional evil.

  8. wanda

    I’ve just begun to use baking soda this week and today I thought I’d find out about any harmful effects it may have. Most articles I’ve read thusfar, except for this one suggests that we use baking soda only a few times a week because of its abrasive harm to our enamel. I can say I don’t understand the science that Joe sampled in this article, but it’s worth me looking further into the research.
    Another question I have is, what does the baking soda do to crowns? Or existing cavities that need filling? I have quite a bit of sensitivity today on an existing cavity that needs filling. Also, what about brushing our tongues with the remainder of the paste on the toothbrush….any comments on this?

    • Don’t do it!!! Fluoride is a gift from God mainly for our teeth. People in foreign countries have bad or no teeth because they have no access to fluoride. My brother has been brushing with baking soda since he was a kid and every teeth is rotten now that he is an adult DONT DO IT

      • ConSumaSalud

        Well Tracy, fluoride is important not only for our teeth, bones too. Actually, we are giving to the body, fluoride, in many ways: green tea, vegetables, water, air, etc.etc.
        Fluoride is good if we do not get more than we need.
        The excess of this component can be very harmful.
        Fluoride can damage pineal gland and this is what balance all the endocrine system. Can cause Hypothyroidism.

      • Susan

        He could have been using it incorrectly by not putting enough water in it. He may also have not had the correct toothbrush. He may not floss. He may have other poor choices.

  9. Shizuka Torukoseki

    This is great to know. Traditional toothpaste actually causes the insides of my cheeks and lips to peel. Something tells me that’s not healthy.

    • Katie

      Shizuka- I thought I was the only one! I remember in my teens and 20s, especially if I switched brands/types of toothpaste, for the first few days up to a week or two, the inside of my cheeks and gums would peel! Crazy! A few weeks ago, I started making homemade toothpaste- 1/4C coconut oil, 1/4C baking soda, up to a teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt, and peppermint essential oil. Love how clean my teeth feel :)

  10. Lauren

    Thanks for the the article. I have always gotten sick after brushing my teeth with regular toothpaste. Now that I am pregnant and sick to begin with I switched to baking soda so I wouldn’t gag. I am happy to find that not only is it safe but good to brush with baking soda.

  11. Butt

    I’ve been using baking soda only for a week now and I have nothing but good things to say about it, less sensitive, whiter, mouth feels cleaner. One issue I have with your article is that you say that baking soda may be bad for your enamel then prove it’s not with a study that involves a tooth pre-stripped of enamel. So how can we know if it’s bad for enamel?
    “The tooth is irradiated in a neutron flux, mounted in methylmethacrylate (bone glue), STRIPPED of its enamel, inserted into a brushing-machine”
    So the the abrasivity “test” was conducted on a tooth without enamel, so how does this prove it’s not harmful to enamel?
    Either way I’m sure regular toothpaste is worse for your enamel, I can’t prove it but I could feel it wearing down my teeth, doing everything it claims it protect them from.
    Maybe I misunderstood it, great article by the way, sorry to nitpick but after all this is the internets.
    Peace!

  12. joem789

    I have been using baking soda exclusively for brushing for well over a year. It has not harmed my teeth. Toothpaste (Crest) gave me mouth problems for many years. Thrush. Gingivitis. Tartar. All the things your dentist claims that toothpaste gets rid of. Guess who has to fix those problems? The dentist. He’s a fucking liar. Promotes garbage toothpaste to keep himself in business.

    Baking soda cured all my problems. I can brush once a day and my teeth still stay generally white. I get no cavities now. But I actually had a few when I used toothpaste.

    But keep in mind that products that contain baking soda, like traditional toothpastes, do not work. Once baking soda is dissolved or comes in contact with acidic ingredients, it is neutralized.

    • Renee

      I have just been reading your comment… do you mean that when we dissolve baking soda in water it is neutralized? I have just started using baking soda rather than toothpaste and am finding out if there is a “best” way to use it. Thanks!!

      • Hi Renee, I get a shot glass and fill it about 1/3 baking soda and 1/3 water to make a nice paste. Then use that to brush my teeth and tongue with a soft tooth brush. Then I swish with Hydrogen Peroxide (spit out the h202 do not swallow it lol) . Using equal parts baking soda and water should be good

      • Katie

        I mix 1/4C baking soda with 1/4C coconut oil (cold-pressed, organic, unrefined…we buy ours at Costco for the absolute best value) and add up to a teaspoon of salt (REAL salt, not the over processed crap), and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Store it in a pyrex (or other glass container), scoop a little out on a toothbrush and there you have it! If you’re not familiar with using coconut oil, it is generally solid at room temperature but melts pretty easily- i leave it in a jar/glass bowl on the bathroom sink while I shower which allows it to soften enough to mix the other ingredients in. Or you can soften it by putting it in a small glass bowl that will sit in a bigger glass bowl with warm/hot water. I don’t recommend microwaving it.

  13. Marcie Moya

    Pls explain what is H202. And need more details about oil pulling please. My front tooth is hurting and sensitive and it appears my gum is turning a tine it red. I’m sorried–but no evidLP!!! mrcmo2012@gmail.com

    • H2O2 is hydrogen peroxyde

  14. Monique

    Thank you for your article and thanks to the people how left comments. I’m convinced that I can use baking soda now for toothpaste. I’m so glad because your teeth are so clean and fresh after brushing with baking soda. And fluor is so bad for your health. Yes, i’m also happy with the comments from people how tell that they use baking soda for years and years and have healthy teeths with good enamel.

  15. Susan

    Thank you so much, Unfortunatley I’ve had dried lips for as long as I remember, and it took me awhile to figure out that it was because of my toothpaste. Baking Soda is harmless, and my lips began to heal again so THANK YOU!!

  16. rita

    There is not one scientific fact in your entire article.

    • Diana

      The question is about whether or not baking soda is abrasive, and he offers you scientific tests results, performed by the ADA, proving that it is not. It might just not be the science you’re looking for but there are scientific facts here.

  17. Gina

    What about killing bacteria?
    Bacteria causes both tooth decay and cavities. Conventional toothpaste kills bacteria, however baking soda does not. Do you add anything to your routine to aide this?

    • The Truth

      If you are a Vegan you don’t have to worry about the “bacteria” that you speak of.

      • Everyone has bacteria in their mouths. No matter what your diet is, bacteria is present all the time, even if you are an anal tooth cleaner. Without the bacteria, bad shit would happen to you.

    • Swishing some hydrogen peroxide will take care of that for you. Conventional toothpaste has fluoride and should not be put in your mouth at any cost. If you eat healthy and brush regularly with baking soda you wouldnt have to worry about bacteria. Bacteria can be good too.

      • alan

        Yes I agree with this. The baking soda is good for neutralising the acidity which attacks the teeth and it inhibits the bacteria but does not kill them.
        The peroxide kills them but this is a strong chemical that can be harmful if used frequently. So I suggest using the baking soda daily and the peroxide once a week or once a month.

    • Oil pulling with 2 tsp of Coconut Oil for 20 minutes a day with take care of everything baking soda does not.

    • Alison

      As I dental hygienist, I can tell you that plaque removal through the mechanical action of brushing and flossing is the most important part of keeping your mouth healthy. You are removing most of the bacteria this way regardless of whether toothpaste is even used. I hope this information helps you. I am planning to switch to baking soda myself- after researching it I can’t find any reason not to switch.

    • Katie

      Coconut oil is also good for killing bad stuff. Mix that with your baking soda. Coconut oil is also anti-inflammatory which can help if your gums are initially a bit sensitive to the baking soda.

  18. Very good!! I wrote a article about baking soda in portuguese:
    http://zenstyle.com.br/saude/clareamento-dental-com-bicarbonado-de-sodio-realmente-funciona/

    Thank you!

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