We have all seen those toothpaste and teeth whitening commercials where someone looks at photos of their smile and they have a “yikes” moment. You can probably relate. However, that doesn’t mean that you are going to run out about buy whatever whitening product they are advertising. Teeth whitening products can be expensive. Plus, they can irritate sensitive teeth. As with everything, there are lots of DIY remedies that promise to whiten teeth. Baking soda is one of those ingredients that seems to solve many a beauty problem, but does it actually whiten your teeth?

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The short answer is technically yes. Dr. Laura Ruof says, “Baking soda is fairly abrasive, so yes it will technically whiten your teeth by removing surface stains.” Before you go running to the cupboard to brush your teeth with baking soda, note that it isn’t the best move. While the baking soda may remove surface stains, Dr. Ruof does not recommend using it as a whitening agent. Because of its abrasive nature, it is not gentle on tooth enamel. You might not think that is a big deal, but being concerned about your tooth enamel is important. Dr. Ruof explains, “We only have the tooth enamel we are born with, so once it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s important to use products that are both effective yet gentle and non-abrasive on the enamel whenever possible.”

If you regularly use baking soda on your teeth, eroding your tooth enamel won’t be your only issue. Dr. Ruof cautions that it can also irritate your gums too. Suddenly that cheap whitening method doesn’t seem so good now, does it?

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If you’re looking at teeth whitening products, you should also avoid any toothpastes or pastes with baking soda in them because they too will be abrasive. The ideal whitening products are those that whiten without scratching your tooth enamel. Dr. Ruof says that there are at-home kits that gently polish your enamel, similar to the way they do during your regular trip to the dentist. She recommends the DenTek Professional Whitening Polisher. She states, “It’s a cost effective way to gently keep your teeth looking white and feeling really clean in between appointments.”

And just like your dentist always tells you, do not forget to floss everyday. If you want an incentive to floss, DenTek Fresh & White Silky Whitening Floss Picks help to whiten between the teeth.DenTek Whitening Polisher

So the next time you are looking to whiten your teeth, skip the baking soda regardless of how tempting it is to use it just because you already have a box in the cupboard. Use it for baking instead, and stick with whitening products that won’t damage your precious tooth enamel. Baking soda may be cheap, but if it costs you your tooth enamel, that is not a good deal.

(Photo: iStock)