Everything You Need To Know About Toothpaste

Shopping for toothpaste can be flat out intimidating.  There are so many options.  So many different claims of this or that.  So many ingredients!  What in the world should you be using?  Let’s discuss the main things to look for in your toothpaste:

Flavor

The gel or paste that you use generally contains pleasant flavoring that helps your mouth feel clean and delightful. These flavors include lemon-lime, cinnamon and mint flavors for adults, and bubblegum for kids.

Abrasives

Toothpastes and even gels contain a scratchy material that helps polish your teeth. This ingredient is an abrasive agent. It helps remove plaque and food particles from the surfaces of your teeth, yet is gentle enough not to damage the enamel.

Other Ingredients Found in Some Toothpastes

A humectant is a substance that prevents the toothpaste from drying out and going to waste no matter how many times you remove the cap. Glycerol is a commonly found humectant in toothpastes.
Thickeners are added to tooth gels and pastes because it helps the product maintain the right consistency to stay on your toothbrush. After all, if the product is too runny, it would likely slide off your toothbrush before reaching your mouth.
Tooth cleaning products also contain harmless detergents. One of the most common is sodium laurel sulfate. This causes the toothpastes to foam and allows the product to get in between the teeth and into the crevices.
For many decades, fluoride has been added to most tooth cleaning products. This is due to its effectiveness in preventing decay and keeping your teeth healthy and strong. Even if you have fluoridated water, the concentration in toothpaste is still beneficial to your teeth.
Different chemical compounds are added to some toothpastes that help prevent the buildup of tartar. Reducing tartar buildup aids in preventing cavities and other mouth problems, such as gum disease.
One of the most popular ingredients in toothpastes for adults is a whitener. This chemical binds to the stains and helps lift them from the surface of the teeth.
Some people have sensitive teeth; this makes drinking hot or cold liquids painful and can cause discomfort when eating certain foods. Te chemicals in toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth block nerve pathways in the teeth that send pain signals. It generally takes a few weeks for the product to work. Therefore, patience is necessary.
No matter what type of toothpaste you use, always look for the seal of approval by the ADA. This ensures that the product has been tested by experts in the dental community and does what the label promises.
At McKenzie Family Dentistry, we love our patients and want to be a resource to help you and answer all your dental questions!  Call us, message us, or post a question on social media!  We’re here to help you and your family live in the best dental health possible!
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