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.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.)
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.
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.
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.