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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Do Not Brush Your Teeth With Baking Soda

Many People Are Advocating It,  But That Does Not Mean They Are Correct

* Be sure to share your opinion on this topic below in the comment section and read the comments that are there already.

I know that there are many people, even dental health professionals that extol the virtues of brushing with baking soda. 

Now, if you are using a toothpaste that contains baking soda, that is different than what I am talking about here.  That is a small amount of baking soda.  I'm addressing those who actually dip a wet toothbrush in pure baking soda and proceed to brush their teeth with it!

There are also those who advocate mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and brushing with that.  I also believe that is problematic too.  I would not personally do either.  

 

Ask The Right Professional If You Cannot Accept What I Am Saying


I'm going to share the subjective and anecdotal evidence I have against the practice.  And, I am going to ask you, if you still have any doubts, to ask a periodontist about brushing with baking soda. Specifically ask him if doing so can cause gum recession

Baking soda is very abrasive and definitely has the ability to erode your gum line (gum recession) as does brushing too hard in general, even without baking soda.

I asked my own periodontist about this and he said he could definitely see how baking soda could cause gum erosion due to its abrasive property.

Subjective But Important Information I Have Collected

I have two stories to relate to you hear.   You will make your own choices of course,  I am only sharing the information I have heard from two separate sources.

1.  A Dentist  - I know a prevention oriented dentist named Ellie Phillips.  You may have heard of her.  She sells the Zellies brand of xylitol mints and gums.  Has developed the Clean, White Teeth protocol, and has written a book:  Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye.

She has over 30 years of real clinical experience behind her.   She told me that anytime she has seen a patient with rapid and unexplained (not due to gum disease or other disease) gum recession, they have always been using either hydrogen peroxide or baking soda in their mouths!

Anyone who has noticed this in their practice over a 30 year period, is worth paying attention to, in my opinion.

2.  The Second piece of information on this came from one of my customers.  I often have lengthy discussions with my customers.  On this particular day, probably a couple of years ago, we talked about baking soda.

I explained what Dr. Phillips said in number 1 above.   This customer told me that she had tried baking soda but didn't like the taste so she did not continue.

Then she had an epiphany.  Her husband had been brushing with baking soda for years.  And he DID have an unnatural amount of gum recession.   She said compared to the rest of his family he had more recession than they did.

OK, those are my two pieces of information to share.

Again, you are going to make your own choices.  I know that!.

But, I feel better knowing that I at least shared what appears to be the truth with you.   I understand my evidence is subjective.  But that is the best I have to go on.

One thing I often say is this, "It is better to error on the side of caution".  This means, "It is better to be safe than sorry."

If you are truly interested in improving dental health,  one of the most useful tools I have found is this one:  read about it here.

 Get the short guide:   How To Stop Gum Disease In 4 Easy Steps  Free


I hope this information proved to be useful to you. Share your opinions and comments a little further down the page.



Sincerely,


ToothyGrinsStore.com
1-888-586-6849


PS:  add your voice to the discussion, ask a question or chime in to answer someone else's question.  It can really help people to hear from others.


47 comments :

  1. I'm so disappointed, my grandmother always had used baking soda for brushing teeth and I did growing up there on occasion. It did whiten the teeth. Interesting about them being abrasive. What about tooth paste that adds baking soda in?

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  2. I know a lot of people really use and believe in Baking Soda. That's why I kind of put in terms of here is the information I have...

    Baking Soda in toothpaste is a small amount. I don't think there would be too many problems with that. However, brushing gently is always advisable no matter what toothpaste one uses.

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    1. why is baking soda called highly abrasive when it is actually rated as less abrasive than most tooth pastes?

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  3. I know a lot of people that still do brush their teeth with baking soda and some of them have gum problems.

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    1. that makes sense in light of the information above.

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    2. You have to look at facts over long term. Baking soda is pure sodium carbonate. My best friend is a master chemist and he can tell you nothing bad about baking soda.
      Your article speaks of someone in a field that has a chance of being sponsored for their research, and money can change any outcome.

      I brush with pure baking soda mixed in water every day and have done so since i was a child and have never had one dentist checkup that had a bad report.

      My chemist friend even goes so far as to mix 8oz of water with 1tsp of soda every night before he heads to bed for complete body health, and they guy has literally never been sick.

      I put it in all my foods now (small amounts mind you) an it has even helped send my cancer into remission 2 years after i rejected chemo. Any oldtimer will tell you to always go with baking soda!!!

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    3. I don't think this particular dentist has an ulterior motive. She has been promoting prevention techniques for a long time. She has also encountered resistance from others in her field for her views on prevention.

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  4. http://www.levysmiles.com/docs/Abrasiveness_of_Common_Toothpase.pdf

    Baking soda has an RDA of 7. Toothpaste ranges 35-200. You tell me which is more abrasive.

    There is also anecdotal evidence of people who use baking soda and have amazing results over their lifetimes. How can that dentist (or any other) point to baking soda or peroxide as the problem without proper research to find causation, not simply that correlation?

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    1. Will, are you brushing with baking soda yourself, personally?

      I don't and I won't - her non-scientific observations are good enough for me. There is something to be said for experience.

      Research and data can be manipulated to say a lot of things. But, that doesn't mean it is always right. I'll take common sense whenever in doubt.

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    2. Was that an attempt at an ad hominem? I am on the fence about it and I've seen a lot of conflicting information about using baking soda on your teeth. Using baking soda would be much less expensive than toothpaste if the risks are a fiction. I very much want to find the truth in this confusing, frustrating controversy.

      Always trust in good scientific/empirical evidence. Studies absolutely can be botched and faked, but finding out who funded the study, how it was funded, and who stood to gain from the results can help steer you clear from the obviously wrong ones.

      Something everyone must remember, and most people seem to forget, is that correlation does not mean causation! Experience is well and good, but in this situation, it will not tell you specifically what is causing harm. A proper (independent, objective, and unbiased) scientific study, either observational or experimental, on the efficacy of baking soda would be quite helpful here. The only one I have found was favorable of baking soda, but used only fifteen people! Fifteen is not a statistically significant number, and so that study is pretty much worthless.


      That RDA index I linked is from ADA research. Being an organization with ties to the pharmaceutical industry, it is without a doubt corrupt and biased in some ways. But I do not understand how publishing information favoring baking soda, one that contradicts the abrasiveness assertion, would favor them or the companies of the toothpaste products they promote. If you were implying that this data was manipulated, I don't see how or where, or even why it would be.

      There is misinformation and lies about the use of baking soda for oral hygiene spread throughout the internet. The proof of that is in the many different opinions you can find. Maybe one day we'll find out the truth.

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    3. Not at all, my comments are strictly about the subject of brushing with baking soda. As I said before, common sense is often the best path to take. And since the question exists, why not error on the side of caution?

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    4. the reason I asked the question was to see where you are truly at on the subject. Are you someone who has doubts before you try it or someone who has been doing it for a long time and feels the need to defend the practice. A peron's starting point is very important. My question is not an attack, just trying to see where the starting point of your perspective was. As I mentioned above, I believe that when someone with 30 years of clinical experience says that she has noticed something, I'm willing to pay attention. I also said it is better to 'error on the side of caution".

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    5. I am on the fence about switching to straight baking soda. I've been using baking soda with castile soap for about six months as something of a personal experiment to see if I could do without commercial toothpaste and have seen no harm come to my gums. I have noticed no change in my gum line myself, and I have seen an orthodontist for an unrelated issue and he had nothing to say on the matter.
      I have, however, noticed staining on my teeth, which I cannot attribute to baking soda itself. I used straight castile soap the previous six months and my teeth got stained in a similar manner.
      Now for some compelling anecdotal evidence from my own experience. Last night, while writing my earlier response, I treated these stains with three applications of baking soda paste and rinsing with a baking soda solution. While they are not completely gone, I have noticed significant improvement. I did not expect to see such a change with a simple home remedy.
      If I continue to see results like this, I will only stop using baking soda if and when I experience pain or sensitivity. That's enough caution for me personally, because those are the first signs of gum or enamel damage.

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    6. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Will. Whatever happens, good or bad, I hope you will come back here and share what you have found with us. I think that would be beneficial to others who have the same question on this topic.

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    7. I am a huge baker and a lot of my recipes call for baking soda so according to you and your information every time I take a bite of a brownie I am causing abrasions on my teeth

      And another thing a lot of the time it is not straight baking soda they brush with, they add the same amount of water as baking soda and turn it into the same consistency as toothpaste

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    8. Will said: "The only one I have found was favorable of baking soda, but used only fifteen people! Fifteen is not a statistically significant number, and so that study is pretty much worthless."

      Not disagreeing with the points being made here, but statistical significance is determined through the use of statistical tests that include the sample size in the calculation. There are no definitive 'statistically significant numbers'. Generally, larger samples are better for many reasons but depending on the data and question being asked, a statistical test performed on 15 subjects can be produce statistically significant results.

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  5. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is essential so you cannot substitute toothpaste for baking soda. I tried dipping my toothpaste on the brush in baking soda and loved the way it made my teeth feel really clean and they looked instantly whiter with none of the pain and inconvenience of whitening products. But now I am worried about damage. I wonder if it would be ok to brush with baking soda for say a two week period once or twice a year to whiten?

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    1. Hi Laura, it would be difficult to say. I can tell you that my own periodontist told me that he can definitely see how the abrasive nature of baking soda could cause gum erosion. So, I think you need to be very careful about using it. Maybe you should talk it over with your dentist or hygienist. I guess I would say the safest thing to do is not use it at all.

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  6. yoyo wats up pple I just wanted to know is there anything else rather than baking soda you COULD use??

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    1. Hi Anonymous, you might take a look at this:

      http://blog.toothygrinsstore.com/2013/05/essential-oil-blend-of-almond-spearmint.html

      Maybe this is what you are looking for.

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  7. It is bad to brush continually with it, but once every two weeks or three times a month isn't bad. Just be sure to use enamel strengthening products as a safety measure.

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  8. Hi All, I have been using Baking Soda and hydrogen peroxide for so many years now, I could not tell you. I have perfect teeth and gums and have perfect dental check ups. I do use regular tooth paste everyday and the baking soda/peroxide combo once or twice a week. My teeth are very white. It works! Don't let one article scare you away from using baking soda.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with using baking soda for the long term.

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  9. I think you are thinking too negative on the use of baking soda. Just because your dentist talked about the possibilities of gum abrasion does not out weigh the many positive results of using baking soda for teeth. It's not that hard to avoid brushing gums and limit usage to once a week or two weeks. Your entire article is based on a unknown possibility. If you're going to post an article with such a negative nature please have studies or specific sources about the topic. You CAN die from a car accident every time you drive. You CAN die from being hit by car every time you walk on the street. Does such small possibilities scare you? Do you wanna preach people about these possibilities too?

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  10. I think I'll take my chances and stay clear of the cramp they put in our toothpaste. Why not do a study and fluoride and how it is a KNOWN cancer causing agent. Baking soda's "problems" don't sound so bad when compared to cancer!!

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    1. yes, if you have some information to share you can share it here: http://blog.toothygrinsstore.com/2013/06/what-do-you-think-about-fluoride-use.html

      there also 15 or so other comments there about fluoride

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  11. One swallow dies not a summer make, your conclusions are completely outweighed by the opposite opinion. I'll tell you this, I suffered from gingivitis for a long time and tried all sort of recommended potins and the like and were a waste of time baking soda cleared it up within 3 weeks. Also when you use baking soda plaque is noticeable by its absence. You done have to use baking soda EVERY day just a couple of times a week if you feel its too abrasive which it isn't for me

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. have you noticed any gum recession?

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  12. I cant understand why people are so stupid to brush with anything with Flouride in it. It is a toxic substance. Ridiculous. The only people who want to use this are Monsanto and Dupont.

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    1. Hey Will.. What's up buddy :-)

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    2. flouride protects our teeth.

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  13. Just another bit of info for the baking soda experiment.

    http://www.freysmiles.com/blog/view/toothpaste-abrasiveness-low-abrasive-toothpastes

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    1. I think that people may be focusing a little too much on "Abrasiveness measurements". I can clean my sink with baking soda, but the higher 'abrasive' toothpastes can't make my sink clean.

      In addition, consider that the observed recession may not have come from any abrasiveness factor. Perhaps there is another factor such as the strong alkaline nature of baking soda.

      Try thinking about this from other angles. All I see anyone doing here is talking about abrasiveness.

      You cannot discount the experience of someone with 30 years of clinical experience so easily. Think about it folks. Think about it carefully.

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  14. I have been brushing my teeth with a homemade baking soda mixture (diluted-not straight baking soda) for some time now. Without dental insurance, it was several years since I had been to the dentist. Last month was my first dental visit (since I obtained insurance) in awhile. The dentist could not believe that it had been so long since my last visit. I had very little staining, virtually no tartar buildup and she said my gum test was EXCELLENT. She said that she rarely sees patients with such great upkeep and just couldn't believe how well taken care of my teeth were.

    However, I am still wary of using baking soda on my teeth. As mentioned previously, there have been few empirical studies conducted and there is always the inevitable question of bias in any study with clear ties to "special interests."

    This has obviously worked wonderfully so far for me but ONLY because I insist on using a soft bristle brush, brushing EXTREMELY gently and rinsing very thoroughly with water after brushing. I have noticed that STRAIGHT,undiluted baking soda will irritate gums a bit if you're not rinsing properly with water afterward. Otherwise, I have experienced no tangible harm from this regimen.

    However, I appreciate your perspective. I believe that the doctor is "still out" on this one so to say, and until unbiased, thorough empirical studies are conducted, at this point all we have is speculation and individual accounts to guide our practices.

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    1. Thank you for sharing that. It sounds like a very sensible approach. Amazing to hear that your periodontal health was still excellent after that much time!

      one question I have, have you noticed any gum recession since you have been using the baking soda?

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    2. Hi anonymous. Will you share how many times you brush your teeth with the diluted baking soda? Do you think it will be effective in helping my teeth whiten if I use it once a week? Thank you.

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    3. Hi Dave, it is "err " not "error " on the side of caution.

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  15. I've been dipping my soft toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide and then into baking soda for about 20 years. I had some gum recession BEFORE that, but it has NOT increased one iota since. I use diluted food grade peroxide & non-aluminum-containing baking soda. I also rinse very thoroughly after brushing. I use it every day; can't stand the sugary, artificial taste of commercial toothpaste.

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    1. This sounds like the Keyes Method. Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad to hear that the recession has not increased.

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    2. I had never heard of the Keyes Method before! I just looked it up...interesting. I don't know if it makes any difference, but I'm also a vegan.

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    3. Yes it is interesting to read about. There is University Chair based on the Keyes method. But I forget which University.

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    4. I saw that. I forget which university, too. :)

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  16. I personally buy a special dental product made with mainly sodium bicarbonate. I don't get stained teeth so I use it three times in a week and then stop for a few months because i don't need it. I use herbal/menthol non-flouride toothpastes the rest of the time. I always get compliments on my teeth.

    I struggle to see how it can be abrasive. It has a hardness of 2.5... softer than chalk (3). Silica is added to lots of other toothpastes and has a hardness of 6 or 7!! Tooth enamel is 5. I think any abrasive effect is down to brushing style.

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  17. i am really confused i didnt tried it still but i want whiter teeth is bleaching from dentist is safer than this please someone answer me????????????

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    1. my personal opinion would be that it is much safer to use baking soda than it is to get them whitened at the dentist! i believe that the methods of modern dentists, like most medical professionals, is to sell solutions that will have us coming back for more, rather than real long term solutions. Bleaching products are very corrosive - they eat away at the enamel much worse than brushing with undiluted baking soda and a hard brush/brushing technique, not to mention that sodium bicarbonate is not harmful when absorbed through the gums or swallowed, where as bleaching products, and just fluoride containing toothpastes in general have been shown to cause various health effects, and even negative effects on the teeth and gums.

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    2. I'm not a big fan of teeth whitening products either. The one burning question that remains for me is: Is the alkaline nature of the baking soda a problem - or does it cause problems? That's the big question I am wondering about.

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