Is baking soda a good replacement for toothpaste?

Baking soda as a toothpaste is sort of "the right church but the wrong pew."

Sodium bicarbonate (i.e., baking soda) is a great alkalizer and helps to neutralize acids in the mouth (the "right church") but as a regular toothpaste ingredient, it can also be quite abrasive and can wear the enamel of the tooth (the "wrong pew"). Still, ingredients that help to promote alkalinity are a great way to restore balance to the important natural ecology of the mouth, which is known as the oral biofilm. When the oral biofilm is in balance with a healthy ph, it has an important protective function and aids in digestion. I recommend using a pinch of sodium bicarbonate under the tongue a few times per day, rather than brushing with it, as a great support to oral health. 

Baking soda is a great ingredient to be included in toothpaste, but baking soda on its own is not a replacement for toothpaste. To keep your teeth strong and healthy and prevent cavities, you need fluoride, which baking soda does not provide. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, so choose the one you like best. Baking soda in fluoride toothpaste is an added bonus, because it helps to clean your teeth and can also help keep your mouth feeling fresh.
No, I do not recommend baking soda instead of toothpaste. You should use toothpaste that contains fluoride to help prevent cavities. Toothpaste that contains baking soda as well as fluoride would also be a good compromise for you if you like using baking soda in your oral hygiene regimen.

Continue Learning about Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily constitute the basics of good oral hygiene. Keeping other parts of your mouth, such as your gums, healthy can benefit your overall health by preventing the spread of germs and dis...

ease. At-home care should be supplemented by professional care. When plaque or tartar develops, a dentist or oral hygienist will use special tools to scrape (scale) the teeth clean without damage. Flouride treatment can help keep teeth cavity-free. Learn more about healthy oral hygiene with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.