Natural cleaning power


  Posted by: Dental Design      17th January 2021

As the ongoing fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, the people of the UK are more aware of the importance of good hygiene on a personal level as well as at home. Reducing the chances of infection with frequent handwashing and surface disinfection has become accepted as part of life and is expected to continue in the long-term. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported that the majority of British adults have increased the frequency of hand washing with soap and water since the coronavirus pandemic[1] and most wear face coverings outside the home to help slow the spread of this deadly disease.[2]

With the focus on wellness and cleanliness, the demand for house and personal hygiene products has expanded astronomically. In May 2020, sales of hand sanitisers rose by a staggering 901 percent. According to The Grocer, sales of bleach also grew by 32 percent, antiseptics and liquid detergent by 74.9 percent, and surface care products by 63.4 per cent.[3] Correspondingly, a cleaning craze has swept the nation and we have seen a surge of cleaning videos and television programmes as well as cleaning tips and advice on numerous YouTube channels and social media platforms.

As a result of the pandemic, the population has changed its shopping behaviour. Online shopping figures have rocketed[4] and people are less likely to shop around as much because they feel safer buying everything in one place or in fewer places.2 They also tend to choose well established brands and products that they can trust. In addition, there is a strong desire among consumers for natural products and young people, in particular, are concerned about the safety of the ingredients in the products they use. Certainly, a recent survey revealed that 71 percent of consumers said that they prioritise health and safety of products and 70 percent said they prioritise products free of certain toxic chemicals.[5] People also appear to be much more interested in the ‘green’ credentials of what they are using and harnessing the natural properties of ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.

You only have to type ‘baking soda’ into an online search engine to see the thousands of uses it has. It is an inexpensive, readily available product that is hardworking and versatile as both a cleaning and rising agent. Baking soda – sometimes known as sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3 – is a natural, sustainable product of low toxicity and favoured for its deodorising, acid neutralising and antibacterial activity. Indeed, baking soda has been used for hundreds of years in and around the home and yet, many people do not realise how very effective it can be as part of preventive oral hygiene.[6] 

As dental professionals continually remind patients, the key to good oral health is the removal of dental plaque. As a causative factor for dental decay and periodontal disease, patients are instructed to brush the teeth twice a day and clean interdentally to adequately remove bacterial biofilm. Of course, a toothpaste that contains fluoride is recommended to capture minerals in saliva to help remineralise and strengthen the tooth enamel. Nevertheless, studies confirm that toothpastes that also contain baking soda enhance plaque removal efficacy to a significantly greater extent than non-baking soda products.[7] Furthermore, they are more effective for removing plaque in harder-to-reach areas.[8]

Some dental professionals have expressed concern about the abrasiveness of baking soda. However, this natural compound is of low intrinsic hardness and is highly soluble, which essentially reduces the relative dentine abrasiveness (RDA) of these dental products. It has also been revealed that baking soda is ideal for both penetrating bacterial biofilm and elevating biofilm acid pH to alkaline levels, thereby reducing its cariogenic potential and favouring remineralisation.[9] In a study to measure the effects of sodium bicarbonate toothpastes on levels of cariogenic bacteria in human saliva, toothpastes containing baking soda produced a statistically significant reduction in the number of salivary mutans over a four week period, compared to a placebo toothpaste.[10]

Arm & Hammer™ is largely responsible for making baking soda the household staple it is today. It has a fine pedigree for manufacturing high quality products from a sustainable, naturally occurring mineral that has clinically proven cleaning powers. It’s a brand that people know and by recommending the range of Arm & Hammer™ baking soda toothpastes, you can offer your patients the benefits a gentle but effective clean that is designed to address their specific dental needs and improve their oral health.

Cleaning is definitely on trend in the UK, with good health and hygiene at the forefront of everyone’s mind. As a result, the relevance of your robust, professional advice along with products that your patients can trust have never been so important.


For more information about the carefully formulated Arm & Hammer toothpaste range, please visit
or email:

Arm & Hammer oral healthcare products are available at Boots, Superdrug, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons throughout the UK.


Author: Maxwell O’Neill, professional educator for Waterpik


[1] Office for National Statistics. Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 9 April 2020. [Accessed 10th September 2020]

[2] Office for National Statistics. Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 4 September 2020. [Accessed 10th September 2020]

[3] Dawson A. The Grocer. 29 June 2020. Don’t try this at home: hygiene category report 2020. [Accessed 10th September 2020]

[4] Office for National Statistics. Internet sales as a percentage of totoal retail sales (ratio) (%). 21 August 2020. [Accessed 10th September 2020]

[5] “Better-for-you” Products clean up market share. WN lifestyle Home. June 2019. [Accessed 10th September 2020]

[6] Madeswaran S. et al. Sodium bicarbonate: A review and its uses in dentistry. Indian Journal of Dental Research. Nov 2018: 29(5) 672-677.;year=2018;volume=29;issue=5;spage=672;epage=677;aulast=Madeswaran

[Accessed 10th September 2020

[7] Putt M.S. et al. Enhancement of plaque removal efficacy by tooth brushing with baking soda dentifrices: results of five clincal studies. J Clin Dent. 2008;19(4):111-9. [10th September 2020.]

[8] Thong S. Enhancement of plaque removal by baking soda toothpastes from less accessible areas in the dentition. J Clin Dent. 2011;22(5):171-8. [Accessed 10th September 2020

[9] Zero D.T. Evidence of biofilm acid neutralisation by baking soda. JADA Nov 2017: 148 (11 suppl) 10S-14S. [Accessed 10th September 2020]

[10] Legier-Vargas K. et al. Effects of sodium bicarbonate dentifrices on levels of cariogenic bacteria in human saliva. Caries Res. 1995;29(2):143-7. [Accessed 10th September 2020.]

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