“I see no clinical reason why someone would brush their teeth with salt,” stated Dr. Matt Messina, an Ohio-based dentist and assistant professor on the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. “There is no scientific evidence that brushing with salt has any sort of whitening effect on teeth.”
The identical might be stated for baking soda, though there’s extra of a scientific foundation to the worth of utilizing sodium bicarbonate to brush your enamel, Messina defined. It’s a light abrasive, and chemically additionally a light bleach, which may neutralize cavity-causing acids. So when commercially accessible toothpaste did not exist, he stated, baking soda made sense for its skill to polish enamel and cut back acidity.
But that was then; in the present day, you’ve bought higher choices. In reality, exposing enamel to salt or baking soda may erode the tooth’s floor enamel over time. Enamel is just like the completed floor of a flooring: It’s a skinny, arduous outer layer that protects every tooth. When enamel is worn away by an irritant, equivalent to salt, decay can happen as micro organism in plaque are in a position to penetrate enamel extra rapidly, the place they produce acids that may lead to cavities.
Nerve harm can happen as effectively, and gums might change into extra delicate, defined Dr. Gerald Grossman, a New York-based beauty dentist and diplomate of the American Board of Aesthetic Dentistry.
Since salt and baking soda are abrasive they might take away stains from enamel, however that is like making an attempt to lighten your flooring by sanding them down, stated Messina, who can be a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. It’ll work — however ultimately you’d sand away the ground’s total floor.
“You might see short-term whitening with an abrasive, as it will remove surface stains and teeth may get whiter quickly, but the long-term damage is in no way worth that,” Messina stated. The erosion of enamel also can trigger enamel to change into extra yellow over the long-term, because the yellow-colored dentin, the inside layer of tooth, is uncovered.
There’s no means to know the way a lot is an excessive amount of scrubbing with salt, as a result of all people’s case is totally different, Messina defined. “But enamel doesn’t grow back … once it’s gone, it’s gone.”
The finest means to whiten enamel
To maintain your enamel as white as potential, it is essential to brush and clear between your enamel and floss regularly with a toothpaste accepted by the American Dental Association. “Clean teeth are whiter and healthier,” Messina stated.
Sodium chloride — aka salt — could be used as an ingredient in toothpaste, however whether it is, “the percent in the toothpaste would be very, very small,” Grossman stated. “It’s not like taking a ¼ tsp of salt and putting it into your paste and brushing your teeth,” he added. “It would be in solution. There is nothing there that would be abrasive.”
If common brushing and flossing is not giving you the outcomes you need, each Grossman and Messina advocate a personalised, in-office session with a dentist. “There are safe and effective whitening techniques, but they will be different for each individual person,” Messina stated.
Grossman recommends a bleaching system with a light-activated expertise, in addition to customized dwelling trays that may assist preserve whiter enamel as you proceed to eat and drink your favourite meals and drinks — you know, your morning Joe, that cup of pink wine, and that tasty pasta with tomato sauce.
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, an writer and a CNN health and nutrition contributor.