Baking soda as an abrasive in toothpastes: Mechanism of action and safety and effectiveness considerations

Anderson T. Hara, Cecilia P. Turssi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Toothpastes can be formulated with different abrasive systems, depending on their intended clinical application. This formulation potentially affects their effectiveness and safety and, therefore, requires proper understanding. In this article, the authors focused on abrasive aspects of toothpastes containing sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which have gained considerable attention because of their low abrasivity and good compatibility, while providing clinical effectiveness (further detailed in the other articles of this special issue). The authors first appraised the role of toothpaste abrasivity on tooth wear, exploring some underlying processes and the existing methods to determine toothpaste abrasivity. Types of Studies Reviewed: The authors reviewed the available data on the abrasivity of toothpastes containing baking soda and reported a summary of findings highlighting the clinical implications. Conclusions: On the basis of the collected evidence, baking soda has an intrinsic low-abrasive nature because of its comparatively lower hardness in relation to enamel and dentin. Baking soda toothpastes also may contain other ingredients, which can increase their stain removal effectiveness and, consequently, abrasivity. Practical Implications: Even those formulations have abrasivity well within the safety limit regulatory agencies have established and, therefore, can be considered safe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S27-S33
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Baking soda
  • dentin
  • enamel
  • toothpaste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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