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Greensboro, NC 27408

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May 19, 2014

Baking Soda As A Toothpaste Alternative?

More than 42,000 people in the United States will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Awareness of prevention and early diagnosis of the disease by the public is low. Cure rates are also low but with early detection and treatment, survival rates are 80-90%.

Brushing one's teeth with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) dates back to ancient Egypt. Actress Julia Roberts owes her bright smile to her grandfather's tip of using baking soda. But sodium bicarbonate does more than keep the teeth white. It changes the pH (acidity level) in the mouth thus disrupting elevated levels of bacteria and fungi that threaten the health status of the entire body.

With proper brushing techniques and frequencies, baking soda eliminates biofilms (the sticky stuff that turns into hard tarter that the hygienist has to remove). It decreases the acidity of dental plaque through buffering thus reducing or preventing dental decay. Baking soda can even increase the calcium uptake by dental enamel. And, it has been found to be less abrasive to enamel and dentin than other commercial toothpastes.

Baking soda is a common product found in almost every household since the 1840's. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and effective at reducing oral pH and signs of gingivitis (bleeding gums). But, it is not an approved dentifrice by the American Dental Association because it lacks fluoride. There are, however, many baking soda based toothpastes on the market that contain sodium bicarbonate as well as fluoride. Arm & Hammer makes a series of dentifrices called "Complete Care." I particularly like Complete Care with Enamel Strengthening because it includes liquid calcium. The sodium bicarbonate makes the teeth more receptive to uptake this available calcium ion, thus providing a more lustrous smile.

So, if you want a smile like Julia Roberts, try using a baking soda based toothpaste.

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