Loading

Toothpaste

“The use of fluoride-containing dentifrice (toothpaste) is critical for dental caries prevention.” U.S. Surgeon General’s Report

Is it important to use toothpaste?
What important active ingredients do toothpastes contain?
Why is fluoride an important ingredient of toothpaste?
Is fluoride in toothpaste safe for children?
What are desensitizing agents?
Why are anti-bacterial agents necessary in toothpaste?
Why are plaque and calculus reducing agents necessary in toothpaste?
Why are abrasives used in toothpaste?
Why have whitening toothpastes become popular?
What claims do different toothpaste manufacturers make for their products?
What are the natural alternatives to conventional toothpastes?

1. Is it important to use toothpaste?

It is. Toothpaste protects, cleans and polishes teeth. It makes oral hygiene more efficient.
It has a fresh taste and smell, and freshens the breath.
Modern toothpastes contain ingredients which are crucial to oral health. Brushing twice a day with toothpaste is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth.

2. What important active ingredients do toothpastes contain?

Some or all of the following may be included in the same toothpaste:
Plaque and calculus reducing agents
Anti-bacterial substances
Fluoride
Breath fresheners
Desensitizing agents
Abrasives
Whitening ingredients

3. Why is fluoride an important ingredient of toothpaste?

Fluoride can reduce and even prevent tooth decay:
It rematerializes (hardens) the initial softening of tooth enamel in the decay process.
It increases the resistance of teeth to decay.
It decreases the formation of decay-inducing acid in dental plaque.
Most toothpaste contains fluoride.

4. Is fluoride in toothpaste safe for children?

There are toothpastes with a suitable fluoride content for children, but these should be used sparingly and wiped away with a muslin cloth for children under two years old.
Before using fluoride toothpaste, children should be able to rinse out the toothpaste after their teeth are brushed. The amount of fluoride swallowed after rinsing is not significant or harmful.
Only a pea-sized “blob” of toothpaste should be used for small children, and their brushing should be supervised up to the age of six.
Toothpastes are for brushing teeth and should not be swallowed. This is worth remembering, particularly with children.
Try to minimize the swallowing of toothpaste.

5. What are desensitizing agents?

Desensitizing agents make the dentine in a tooth less sensitive to hot and cold, and to sweet flavors.
Dentine is normally covered by the enamel over the crown of a tooth and by the cementum over the roots.
When the enamel layer near the gum margin has worn thin, the dentine becomes exposed.
The same applies when the cementum of the roots has been worn away.
Teeth then become sensitive to temperature changes or to sweetness.
The main desensitizing agents are strontium and potassium chloride.
Regular use of toothpaste containing desensitizing agents will diminish or even cure the problem.

6. Why are anti-bacterial agents necessary in toothpaste?

Anti-bacterial agents help to prevent the formation and build-up of bacteria and plaque, which cause decay and gum disease. Bacteria are normally present in the mouth.
Triclosan is one of the main anti-bacterial agents used in toothpaste.

7. Why are plaque and calculus reducing agents necessary in toothpaste?

Plaque is the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay.
Brushing twice a day with toothpaste that contains plaque-reducing agents, will help to control plaque.
Plaque can harden into tartar or calculus, which can only be removed by a dentist.
An anti-calculus agent may help to prevent plaque from hardening on the teeth.

8. Why are abrasives used in toothpaste?

Abrasives are used to remove stains from teeth and make them look whiter and cleaner. Abrasives usually contain fine sand which assists the cleaning.
Toothpastes that are designed for smokers with nicotine-stained teeth usually contain abrasives.

9. Why have whitening toothpastes become popular?

Whiter teeth are seen as more youthful and attractive.
Teeth naturally darken and yellow with age.
Whitening toothpastes can gradually lighten the color of the teeth, or can maintain the lighter color achieved by other whitening treatments.
These toothpastes usually contain mild abrasives and/or bleaching agents.

10. What claims do different toothpaste manufacturers make for their products?

Toothpastes perform a number of functions. Here are some of the manufacturers’ claims relating to:
Breath freshening
Freshens breath.
Freshens breath for longer.
Protects against bad breath.
Has a natural breath freshener.
Tastes fresh and minty.
Removes bacteria build-up that can cause bad breath.
Prevention of decay and gum disease
Reduces cavities and plaque.
Helps stop adult tooth decay.
Helps retard and prevent decay on roots of teeth and along gum lines.
Has an anti-cavity oral cleanser.
Helps prevent gum line erosion.
Remineralizes and strengthens tooth enamel.
Has anti-bacterial (germ-fighting) ingredients.
Reduces plaque and tartar.
Promotes healthy teeth and gums.
Fortifies weak and sensitive gums.
Helps fight receding gums.
Sensitive teeth
Formulated for people with sensitive teeth.
Clinically proven relief from the pain of sensitive teeth.
Tooth whitening
Whitens teeth.
Dramatically whitens teeth.
Gentle whitening for people with sensitive teeth.
Clinically proven to significantly whiten teeth.
Restores teeth to their natural whiteness.
Helps restore ageing teeth and gums to a healthier, white and younger look.
More whitening, less abrasion.
Lower in abrasion. Leaves no rough surfaces for stains to adhere to.
Removes stain and reduces stain build-up.
Gently yet effectively removes stains.

11. What are the natural alternatives to conventional toothpastes?

There are many types of toothpaste which contain natural ingredients, and claim to be natural toothpastes.
These contain no harsh abrasives, synthetic sweeteners or artificial flavors or colorings.
Some common natural ingredients in dental products are:
Tea Tree oil
Baking soda
Wintergreen
Aloe Vera
Echinacea
Claims made for natural toothpastes are:
Made from fresh herb extracts and essential oils in an all natural base.
All natural. Contains fresh plant extracts.
Contains no saccharin or artificial sweetener.
100% natural, no detergents, no artificial coloring and cruelty free.
Soothing and stimulating.
Anise flavor will freshen your teeth.
Non abrasive.

Back to Library

-->
,