Toothpaste Changes After 118 Years
In upcoming months, I will answer questions on high technology dentistry. Please direct inquiries to my website at www.cranska.com or email email@example.com with your questions.
Toothpaste in a tube has been sold since 1896. The options you have when you buy a tube are numerous and can be overwhelming. You need to consider your personal needs and those of your children and adult family members. With all the changes and improvements of this era, how can anyone determine what is best for them? And what are the benefits and risks of the different products?
Q: There are so many toothpastes to choose from. Why all the choices?
A: Toothpaste (also known as dentifrice) is an important addition to your daily oral brushing routine to clean and maintain the look and health of your teeth and gums. Toothpaste (whether paste or gel) improves your tooth brushing technique with additional mechanical help in removing dental plaque. Plaque is a bacteria-filled biofilm, the major component that causes tooth decay and gum disease.
The major ingredients of all toothpaste are abrasive agents, detergents, thickeners, flavorings and fluoride. Then the differences you need to consider are the additional properties, such as desensitizing, tartar control, whitening, gum care, all-natural ingredients, etc.
Q: What do I look for to purchase the best toothpaste for my family?
A: I tell all my patients, what matters most is to use toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This ensures the product has fluoride that meets the ADA requirements for safety and effectiveness in reducing tooth decay with its use. This ADA seal has been on approved fluoride toothpastes since 1955. The seal only relates to the product’s fluoride content, how it is released and its effectiveness.
Personal preference of taste and feel is important. Ingredients that irritate your teeth, cheeks or lips, don’t make your mouth feel fresh and clean or teeth that are sensitive require a product change.
The best advice in selecting among these products is to ask your dentist or dental hygienist about your individual needs at the present time.
Q: Do my children need their own toothpastes?
A: All ADA Seal toothpastes are made for all ages. These fluoride dentifrices have been shown to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride makes the tooth enamel more resistant to acid damage and remineralizes areas that have started to decay. Fluoride pastes are still needed and effective in areas where the water is fluoridated.
To use fluoride containing toothpaste, a child needs to have the ability to spit and rinse out their mouth after brushing. Place only a small amount of paste (size of a small pea) on the child’s brush, brush, then spit and rinse with water. For young children who would swallow paste, use a wet brush with no paste or a paste that does not have fluoride. Ingestion can lead to tooth discoloration in permanent teeth.
Q: Are whitening toothpastes for daily use changing tooth color or just removing stains?
A: Toothpaste is not in contact long enough to alter the actual color of teeth. A person born with yellow teeth can undergo tooth whitening and achieve whiter teeth. Whitening toothpaste contains abrasives and chemical compounds made to polish the stains off tooth surfaces.
Remember it is important to instill good oral hygiene habits with your children. Your interest and supervision is needed and eventually will be appreciated. Brush and floss.