If you have wondered down the dental aisle in your local drugstore or supermarket recently, then you’ll have noticed the bewildering range of toothpastes for sale. Perhaps you’ve taken things a step further and read some of the claims made on the packets that make a simple tube of toothpaste
Your Toothpaste Can’t Work Miracles
It would be great if there was toothpaste that could perform miracles for dental health, but the truth is that it can’t. What it will do is provide benefits that are largely cosmetic, and good dental health is down to the mechanical action of cleaning your teeth. So if that’s true, just what do all those ingredients do? Here’s a quick rundown of what you are likely to find in your toothpaste.
Fluoride is actually useful as it helps to harden your tooth enamel, reducing your risk of tooth decay. To get optimal benefits, spit but don’t rinse after brushing as that way more fluoride will remain on your teeth.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Better Known as Soap
It is great when toothpaste foams up isn’t it? It gives the sensation of being cleaner, but that is all it is as there isn’t enough sodium lauryl sulfate to actually break down the plaque on your teeth.
Hydrated Silica for that Whiter Smile
Hydrated silica is an abrasive that will polish your teeth, but this ingredient can be quite harsh and the effects are minimal. For a whiter (and healthier) smile you are better off seeing our hygienist at regular intervals.
Potassium Nitrate or Stannous Fluoride to Desensitize Teeth
Desensitizing toothpaste is hugely popular as who wants to feel pain when they eat ice cream? Just make sure that tooth sensitivity isn’t caused by a cavity or a leaky filling as desensitizing toothpaste will only mask the symptoms and it won’t repair your teeth.
Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate for Tartar Control
The issue here is that in order to work, this active ingredient has to be dissolved in a stronger than normal detergent. If you are sensitive to a higher pH level then this could be unpleasant. Provided your teeth are regularly professionally cleaned and your oral hygiene is generally good then a bit of tartar shouldn’t be that harmful.
This is an antimicrobial and while regular brushing and flossing should remove most microbes, its addition to your toothpaste certainly doesn’t do any harm.
Provided you choose toothpaste that has received the seal of approval from the American Dental Association, then you should be okay. You only need to use a pea-sized amount and effective brushing is far more about technique and time spent cleaning your teeth thoroughly and methodically.