All my life, I have never used one particular brand of toothpaste because I never saw the need to and I like change every now and then butArtistic Touch Dentistry wants you to know what’s in toothpaste and which types of toothpaste you should stick to.
Toothpaste is not always a paste; it can be a gel, powder or paste. I’m partial to the gel toothpastes, usually the green or blue ones. However, my mother refuses to use anything but paste, she doesn’t even like it when it has a gel line running through it. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), “toothpaste is important to oral health because it helps to remove plaque and its bacterial buildup on teeth and fights off periodontal (gum) disease. Most toothpaste also contains fluoride, which bolsters tooth enamel and fights tooth decay.”
But what exactly is in toothpaste? Is there a significant difference between all the different forms it takes? The exact composition of different toothpastes may vary slightly depending on the benefits being touted by the particular brand (such as whitening teeth or reducing gum inflammation). In general the ADA concluded that toothpastes include the following ingredients:
- Gentle abrasives, such as magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and phosphate salts.
- Glycerol, sorbitol, or other so-called “humectants,” substances that keep the toothpaste from drying out.
- Thickeners like seaweed or mineral colloids, synthetic cellulose, or natural gum to give the toothpaste a homogeneous appearance and texture.
- Fluoride to help make tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay.
- Flavoring agents that do not cause tooth decay, such as saccharin.
- Detergents, such as sodium lauryl sarcosinate, to make the toothpaste foamy.
While it can be confusing when you walk down the toothpaste aisle with all the different choices, our dentists at Artistic Touch Dentistry want to make sure you chose the right toothpaste for your teeth. Always make sure the toothpaste you chose is safe and will do what it claims. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates toothpastes containing fluoride since they make disease-fighting claims. These products will display a standard “drug facts” panel on the packaging listing active ingredients, warnings, and other relevant information. Toothpastes without fluoride are considered cosmetics and, therefore, do not fall under FDA supervision. With the ADA seal on it, you know that it will do what it says.
Now the decision may be, fluoride or no fluoride? Fluoride has broad benefits for people, both young and old. The fluoride in the toothpaste heals and remineralizes microscopic cavities as they form, it hardens the tooth surface, making it more resistant to the acid attack of bacteria, and slows down the action of these acid-producing bacteria.
Now if you have a particular tooth condition or gum condition, then don’t worry because there’s toothpaste out there for you! If you have sensitive teeth, look for products with ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. To fight gingivitis or tartar buildup, choose a toothpaste that contains pyrophosphates, triclosan, and zinc citrate. In addition, you can find products designed to combat bad breath or formulated with special abrasives to help whiten stained teeth.
So when you are wondering which toothpaste is right for you then give our dentists at Artistic Touch Dentistry a call and see how they can help you find the perfect toothpaste for your teeth!