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The Dangers of Salt and Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening

Posted by Taylor Schachter on Jan 14 2020, 01:55 PM

The Dangers of Salt and Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening

A recent report by CNN has highlighted the dangers of whitening your teeth with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or with table salt (sodium chloride). Though these products are relatively natural, they can still be harmful to the teeth, or more specifically to the enamel of the teeth.

That’s because table salt is coarse and can scratch enamel, and baking soda can be nearly as harmful, though it is comparatively finer and thus not quite as dangerous. It could come as a surprise to some, as brushing with baking soda has been around for decades and is often used as an ingredient in traditional drug store toothpastes.

The good news is that baking soda is still safe, and can even still be used as toothpaste in a pinch, but as a whitening agent we strongly caution its use. That’s because it’s not really effective at whitening. In fact, while it may look effective, it’s really just temporarily removing surface stains.

As for salt, the same holds true. Salt acts as a surface abrasive and can definitely make teeth look whiter, but it can really damage your tooth enamel, and unfortunately once your enamel is damaged, it’s damaged for life. You may have even heard of some people using charcoal to whiten their teeth. This is dangerous for the same reasons that salt is: because it is abrasive and damaging to enamel.

The good news is that there are safe and effective ways to lighten the stains our teeth develop over time. While avoiding foods like red wine and coffee may not be an option for everyone, these beverages are well-known for causing stains. The same applies to smoking, though quitting this bad habit is essential for not just your teeth, but also your total body health.

Many effective whitening products are available over the counter and through Dr. Abelar. If you are concerned about the color of your teeth, schedule an appointment for a consultation today. From whitening trays to laser whitening to even veneers, he can help you find a solution that will whiten your teeth and won’t damage them in the process.

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