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Orthodontics/baking soda and braces

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Question
Hello Dr. Waterman my question is I have heard that baking soda whitens teeth and I recently just had braces put on about a week ago and would really like to have my teeth white before I get them off because as soon as I get my braces off they are doing bonding on my front tooth that has some decalcification and as you know the bonding material is not susceptible to bleaching or whitening of any kind so I was wondering if it would be ok for me to brush with baking soda and of course toothpaste while I have my braces on thank you in advance Dr. Waterman have a blessed day!

Answer
I'm not an orthodontist (kind of you to think so) - I provide resource information on various aspects of this field. After doing some research (see http://blog.toothygrinsstore.com/2013/01/do-not-brush-your-teeth-with-baking-sod and http://www.crestprohealth.com/dental-hygiene-topics/care-for-your-mouth/brushing), it seems to me that you should NOT do this, or else not without specific directions on frequency from your dentist or orthodontist. The abrasiveness will damage the enamel on your teeth and the edges of your gums.

Even the Arm & Hammer website ("the" baking soda company) says to use a baking-soda TOOTHPASTE rather than straight baking soda. So, perhaps you'd like to try that; either way, do ask your own dentist/orthodontist before trying anything different from your regular paste. They deal with this all the time, and should have answers to your questions. Hope this helps - here's to a successful braces experience.

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Pamela Waterman

Expertise

I can supply tips, hints, recipes and resources about a braces-friendly lifestyle, for parents of children and teens in braces as well as for adults in braces. Although I am not a medical/dental professional, I have colleagues in the field and will do my best to point you to additional resources.

Experience

I am the author of two specialty award-winning cookbooks of soft-food recipes and tips targeted to all ages of braces-wearers (including adults) and give workshops to dental hygienists to help them help their patients with this type of information. I have worn braces both as a teen and as an adult, and am from a family of three generations of braces patients. I regularly contribute information to the public website of the American Association of Orthodontists and Orthotown magazine.

Organizations
Women in Orthodontics, American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, Independent Book Publishers Association, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Publications
Orthotown, Cricket, Family Fun, Highlights, Better Homes and Gardens Kids' Rooms, Chicago Tribune, East Valley Tribune (Phoenix AZ), Healthy Alternatives, Organic & Natural, Desktop Engineering, Machine Design

Education/Credentials
BS Astrophysics, MS Radio Astronomy/Electrical Engineering

Awards and Honors
Good Parenting Award from ParentalWisdom.com Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist Glyph Award - Best Cookbook, Arizona Book Publishing Association Finalist - Next Generation Indie Books, Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group

Past/Present Clients
American Association of Orthodontists, Smile for a Lifetime

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