Baking soda has been safely used as a dental care product for decades. Using baking soda on a toddler's teeth is safe as long as a few simple considerations are followed. In addition, many dental associations have approved toothpaste and tooth-powder products that contain baking soda. For parents who wish to avoid tooth care products with fluoride, baking soda may be a good alternative if you get your dentist's approval.
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Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, a toddler may use a small amount of baking soda moistened with water to gently scrub away plaque and food particles. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are more effective at reaching deposits under the gum line and reduce wear and tear on the tooth enamel. The use of baking soda on your child's teeth is not harmful and can even be used if your child has sensitive gums or teeth, states Shwetha Dental Hospital.
Why It's Effective
Baking soda is an effective tooth-care product because it is mildly abrasive, which helps it remove sticky plaque and stubborn sugar deposits in the grooves of the teeth. It can be used as a natural tooth whitener as well, according to the dentists at Quarry Bend Dental. The natural freshening ability of baking soda reduces halitosis, or bad breath.
Because pure baking soda does not contain fluoride, some parents may find it preferable to fluoride products, which can be toxic if too much is swallowed, according to the National Institutes of Health. Many natural tooth-care products intended for babies and toddlers now boast fluoride-free formulas with baking soda as the main ingredient, but the American Dental Association recommends the use of fluoride-containing products for the reduction of cavities, in kids 2 and older, because fluoride seems to help prevent dental disease, states Kids Health.
Baking soda is a food product as well as a natural cleaning product with many functions. Consuming large amounts of it may cause loose stools or diarrhea, and excessive consumption over time may lead to the formation of kidney stones. Always supervise your toddler's brushing, permitting only a dusting of soda on her toothbrush and making sure she spits and rinses. The American Dental Association recommends supervising your child's brushing until the age of 6.