You may have seen toothpaste that proudly contains baking soda. So what’s the big deal?
Baking soda is commonly touted as a cleaning agent. While it’s abrasive enough to knock stains and gunk off your teeth, it’s actually softer than your enamel which means it won’t scratch or scrape.
Cavities are dug into your teeth by acid created by bacteria. What’s the opposite of an acid? Scientists call it a base. Acids and bases neutralize each other. That is, if you have a cup of acid and you put a cup of equally strong base into it, it won’t be either acid or base anymore.
Baking soda is a very mild base. It can help neutralize the acid created by the bacteria in your mouth. Less acid means less chance for cavities to form.
Baking soda sounds pretty good so far, doesn’t it? And it is. However, it’s not perfect.
Baking soda doesn’t replenish lost enamel and isn’t very good at breaking up hardened plaque. It doesn’t supercharge the minerals rebuilding your tooth enamel the way fluoride does. While it might be nice to have some baking soda in your toothpaste, it’s not nearly as important as having fluoride.
If you’re not sure which toothpaste would be best for you, ask a childrens dentist.