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Simple, elegant and Effective Teeth Cleaner - Bicarbonate Soda

Simple, elegant and Effective Teeth Cleaner - Bicarbonate Soda

How often do you hear of people's parents who only ever used bicarbonate soda to clean their teeth? If you are ever fortunate enough to hear this directly from someone who has done it all their life, take a look at their teeth. You will probably see a perfectly clean set of very pearly whites.

Brushing with bicarbonate soda is as simple as putting a bit of naturally harvested, food grade bicarbonate soda on your toothbrush and brushing away as normal - preferrably with a bamboo toothbrush.



If you have been using a commercial toothpaste, you might find the taste a little odd at first, but you will quickly get used to it. 

If you are storing your teeth cleaning bicarbonate soda in the bathroom, keep it in an airtight glass jar, preferably with a non metal lid.

The question of abrasiveness of Bicarbonate Soda comes up often. Bicarbonate soda has a RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasiveness) level of around 7. Relative Dentin Abrasiveness is the international standard for measuring toothpaste abrasiveness.  Anything under 70 - 80 is considered to be low abrasive. (For context, anything less than 250 is considered safe for a lifetime of use. There appear to be a few debates around whether 100 - 250 RDA is potentially harmful.)


 0 - 70 Low Abrasive 
70 - 100 Medium Abrasive
100 - 250 Highly Abrasive

According to Lincoln Dental Center, here are a few ratings to give you an idea of bicarb and other dental products. You can find more information on RDA on Oral Health Group.

We have found results that might be of value from different sites, consistent with these published by Mike Williamson, but all commercial toothpaste makers are required to have an RDA, even if it is not listed on the label. 


RDA Toothpaste  RDA  Toothpaste
 04 Toothbrush & water  87 Nature's Gate 
 07 Bicarbonate Soda  90 Sensodyne Fresh MInt 
 34 Pronamel by Sensodyne  100 Sensodyne Original / Tartare Control 
 63 Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect   110 Crest Regular
 68 Colgate Regular  150 Pepsodent
 70 Colgate Total / 2-in-1 Fresh Mint  176 Nature's Gate Paste
 79 Sensodyne  200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening


Images: Shutterstock | Brush Better | Unsplash - Nick Karvounis
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Science Notes

Bicarbonate soda NaHCO3 is alkaline, and has broad based cleaning properties.

In your mouth, sodium bicarbonate will react with acid to increase the pH and also neutralize the harmful effects of bacterial metabolic acids.

Related Tip

Since 1998, the RDA value is set by the standards DIN EN ISO 11609.

RDA values are established in the laboratory for a toothpaste by comparing the amount of dentin tooth structure worn away by normal brushing compared to a standard reference abrasive assigned an RDA value of 100.