The only ingredient I use to brush my teeth

[AD info: This is not a sponsored post. The consultation with Dr Sebah was a gifted experience. The products are gifted press samples]

There are so many different toothpastes on sale its hard to tell one from the other – let alone which ones are best for your teeth. I used to buy whichever was on offer at the time, but I noticed some left my teeth looking and feeling cleaner than others. So I started to think about what was actually doing the job – because yes, “minty freshness” is all well and good, but you can get that from a pack of Tic Tacs (and I’ve never seen them on any dentist’s recommendation list…)

So when I got offered a consultation with Dr Jerome Sebah from The Dentist Gallery, I knew I wanted to find out from him what I should be putting on my teeth – and his recommendation was quite surprising. He told me baking soda (or bicarbonate of sodanot baking powder) was the best, most natural, and least abrasive ingredient to brush teeth with – giving a thorough clean, but not wearing away at enamel and damaging the surface of the teeth

“Julia Roberts only brushes her teeth with baking soda – and she has great teeth! I read that in InStyle, that’s how I know about it. Her Grandfather who taught her the trick…”


Before I go any further – yes, I’ve had my teeth whitened, and I’m not saying you’ll get a perfect smile by hacking at your teeth with baking soda for 2 hours a day. But, since I’ve switched to baking soda-based products, I’ve noticed my teeth look and feel a lot cleaner. When it comes to surface stains, they appear far less noticeable.

I always think health should come before cosmetics, so when I’m looking at skincare or grooming products I’m always looking for the ones that benefit both. But I suppose that’s not something you really think about with toothpaste, because you’d assume they wouldn’t be on the market if they weren’t. That doesn’t mean there’s only “good” and “bad” – but some are better than others.

“When they rank the abrasiveness of toothpaste, they attach a toothbrush to a motor, put the brush against a sheet of resin, and switch the motor on for 10 minutes. The brush rubs against the resin about 300 times – that’s like 2,000 times per hour – then they measure how much has gone. That’s how they rank the abrasiveness of toothpaste.

“If you do that with just baking soda, it’s the least abrasive you can have – any other toothpaste will be minimum 5 times more abrasive than just baking soda.”

I guess it’s the difference between abrasive and chemical exfoliants – scrubs will give you immediate results and leave you looking and feeling good in the short term, but do more harm than good in the long term. It’s the same with toothpastes. The ones that are harsher will undoubtedly have a more immediate impact, but when used consistently may bring have other effects that are less desirable – which kind of defeats the purpose.

And while oral products high in charcoal – one of the latest trends taking the market by storm – undeniably leave teeth looking cleaner and whiter, they can also be pretty dehydrating; whereas baking soda has proven long-term health benefits.

“Another benefit of baking soda is that it increases the pH levels of the saliva. Most Arm and Hammer toothpastes – which are high in baking soda – have a pH of around 8.5, so if your saliva is acidic it will balance the pH – and once your saliva isn’t acidic, you won’t get decay. Bacteria need a pH of under 7 (acidic) to grow.

Arm and Hammer toothpaste is the least abrasive toothpaste, because instead of the silicate that other toothpastes have, they use baking soda. Baking soda is made out of salt and carbon dioxide – that’s how they produce it – so it’s not gritty. It doesn’t hurt the enamel. It removes the stains, but it doesn’t scratch.

I’ll be talking about my teeth whitening experience in a post in a couple of weeks time, but if you have any questions about any of the products I’ve talked about here, how to go about teeth whitening, or anything else about Dr Sebah/The Dentist Gallery, leave me a comment below and I’ll try my best to help.


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