Wouldn’t it be great to have a million dollar smile? Doesn’t it make you upset when you watch television and movies to find yourself exposed to only people with amazing, perfect, white teeth? Well, you can take some comfort in knowing that most of these smiles were bought and paid for. Whether they are the work of braces and expensive teeth whitening techniques or they are resultant from these stars undergoing complete cosmetic oral overhauls; try saying that ten times fast. Most of these celebrities and TV personalities spent thousands of dollars on their perfect teeth. So, for us members of society who are not a part of TV Land, what are some things that we can do to try and make our smiles at least brighter like the stars?
One idea that has been thrown around for years is the idea that baking soda can help you to brighten your pearly whites. I know I have heard this before. I do not know who told me and I can not say I have tried it but I can say that I have thought about it. I am sure you have also. So let’s take a closer look at this thing and see if we can figure out whether or not baking soda can really whiten your teeth; and cheaply and effectively to boot?
For starters, we should figure out what baking soda is. Baking soda in its chemical form is known as sodium bicarbonate, represented by the chemical compound NaHCO3. It can be found naturally in many mineral springs and it can also be produced artificially. It also dissolves very easily in water. The most common form of baking soda would be what we often find in our kitchen. Maybe under the brand name Arm and Hammer, for example.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. In order to truly “whiten” your teeth you must have a dentist develop crowns or veneers for your mouth. However, there are ways to “lighten” and polish your teeth, which allow them to reflect more light (brightening teeth) and give them a “whiter” appearance.
Baking soda gives your teeth a whiter appearance by removing tough stains. Baking soda works to actively remove dulling plaque and deep stains that are embedded deep in tooth surface crevices by dissolving into these areas. Once dissolved in water, baking soda changes its chemical make up slightly and it gives off free radicals which penetrate the surface of the tooth’s enamel and combine with stain molecules breaking carbon double bonds; changing stain molecules from a darker coloured substance to a clear one allowing baking soda to help lighten and “whiten” teeth. If your teeth have more yellow and brown stains these are easier to change than gray stains. So the answer I have come up with is YES. Technically baking soda does help to “whiten” teeth.
Now, if you are considering attempting to whiten your teeth you should be aware that the American Dental Association suggests that you do so in the presence of your dentist. However, there is a lot of material out there to support the safety of baking soda both on your teeth and gums. Decide for yourself whether or not to see if baking soda whitens your teeth. Be aware that there are plenty of toothpastes out there that do contain baking soda and maybe you want to try these first. However, baking soda itself does work and it is fairly cheap to buy. (A box of baking soda might set you back $1-$3 and the toothpaste around $2-$3, while cosmetic teeth whitening treatment can set you back anywhere from $800 to $2000 per treatment). You can also keep it in your fridge. Baking soda can also help to freshen breath, dissolve plaque, and prevent decay; along with gently removing stains and helping to whiten your teeth.