Having a set of white teeth has a way of boosting your confidence. Fortunately, there are lots of teeth whitening alternatives that you do not need to spend a lot of money to get. The most popular among them is the use of baking soda and lemon. You may have heard of baking soda in this context, but lemon for teeth whitening? Rest assured that each of these items has benefits of their own when used individually. But can you combine them? Keep reading to find out.
Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening
Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate. It is a caustic agent that can remove stains caused by smoking or drinking coffee or tea. It can also remove dirt on the surface of the teeth, making it white and smooth. So, baking soda can bleach teeth to an extent and prevent discoloration. You may want to read about tooth discoloration here.
How Can You Use Baking Soda to Whiten Your Teeth?
Below are different ways to use baking soda for teeth whitening.
1. Mix It with Water
This is the most common way people use this substance on their teeth. Mix 1 ½ – 3 g (¼ – ½ teaspoon) baking soda in a bowl or cup. Add some quantity of water that will be enough to make a paste. Dip your toothbrush in the paste and apply it to your teeth. Scrub gently in circular motions for one or two minutes. Avoid brushing hard as it can damage your teeth.
You can also use your fingers to apply the paste. Rub it in circles and do not apply force. If you have receding gums, do not brush below your teeth and the gum line with the mixture
After brushing for one to two minutes, spit out the remnants, and rinse properly with water or a mouthwash. Do not forget to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly. You can do this every day for one to two weeks. Later on, you can cut down to 1 or 2 times every week.
2. Mix It with Your Toothpaste
Drop your regular quantity of toothpaste on your toothbrush, then sprinkle a little quantity of baking soda on it. Use it to brush your teeth for two minutes in a circular motion, then spit it out. Swish some water around your mouth to rinse the white residue. You can repeat this every day for one to two weeks.
3. Mix It with Hydrogen Peroxide
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with ½ teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Stir to get a consistent mix. Use the mixture to brush your teeth for two minutes, then rinse off with water. You can use this method once each week. Also, if you feel any burning sensation when using this method, stop brushing and quickly rinse your mouth with cool water.
Hydrogen peroxide can whiten teeth, but you need to use it with caution to avoid damaging the teeth. You cannot use it if you have sensitive or receding gums because it can damage or irritate the exposed roots. Additionally, before you use this method, ensure that the hydrogen peroxide has a concentration of 3 percent or less.
4. Make a Solution and Gargle
Make a solution with 6 g (1 teaspoon) of baking soda and 240 ml (1 cup) of water. Stir until the baking soda dissolves. Sip a little quantity of the solution and gargle for 30 seconds. Spit it out and repeat until you have gargled the entire solution. You can gargle this solution every day.
Other Benefits of Baking Soda on Oral Health
Apart from whitening the teeth, baking soda can be used to maintain excellent oral health. It is a cheaper but temporary solution to dental issues such as gum disease, ulcers, mouth sores, and bad breath.
For bad breath, dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of water and use as a mouth rinse. This will balance the acid level in your mouth and prevent or treat bad breath.
Furthermore, if you have mouth sores or ulcers, you can dissolve 1 to 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water. Use the solution as a mouth rinse to facilitate the healing process.
If you have gum disease, add a little quantity of baking soda to your toothpaste before brushing. This will prevent plaque from accumulating.
Lemon for Teeth Whitening
Lemon is a common home ingredient that is used in whitening the teeth. Due to its acidic nature, it can make your teeth whiter. But that is also an indication that your teeth are losing calcium. Since your teeth need calcium to stay healthy and strong, you need to apply caution when using lemon. You can use it occasionally and still get your desired result.
How to Use Lemon for Teeth Whitening
There are various ways to use lemon. Its juice can be used to brush the teeth straight away. The lemon peel can be rubbed on the teeth to achieve the same result. However, some people prefer combining lemon with other ingredients. One such combination is with table salt.
It is important to thoroughly rinse your teeth with water before the mixture is applied. Apply a drop of lemon juice and a pinch of salt on your toothbrush. Use it to brush your teeth for some minutes, then rinse. You can finish by using fluoride toothpaste to complete the brushing. Your teeth will look clean and white.
Can You Combine Baking Soda and Lemon for Teeth Whitening?
You can combine baking soda and lemon to whiten teeth. But before you combine them, you need to know about acids and bases. A pH scale is used to measure the acidity or basicity of a substance. It ranges from 1 – 14 where values lower than 7 are acidic and those greater than 7 are basic. The pH of baking soda is around 9 which makes it basic while that of lemon is 2, making it very acidic.
Most people who prefer to combine both ingredients believe that the basic nature of baking soda will neutralize lemon’s acidity. But there is no proof that baking soda will neutralize it completely. Also, when preparing a homemade combination, it is difficult to know if you have an accurate ratio of acid to base.
Excess acid from lemon juice can damage your tooth enamel, which is the part that prevents the teeth from decaying. Unlike the other protective covers of the body like the fingernails, your enamel will not grow back if it gets damaged.
There is enough proof that baking soda can clean and whiten teeth, but the use of lemon may be unsafe. So, it will be best not to combine them.
What Can You Do Instead?
Instead of trying to combine baking soda and lemon, there are other things you can do to whiten your teeth. You can check out TrySnow.com to see various natural methods that are safe for you. Additionally, you can see a dentist who will prescribe a safe medication or treatment for you.
Baking soda can be combined in various ways to whiten teeth. But to get the most out of it, try brushing with a combination of one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of water. Also, there are different kinds of toothpastes that contain baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. You can use it once every week. Lemons, on the other hand, are good but not for your teeth, so keep them away.
Remember that the use of these ingredients only provides temporary solutions. You need to visit a dentist when you notice a discoloration of your teeth.