While we use toothpaste every day, very few people talk about it. Whether we choose a paste, gel or powder, we need it to remove plaque and protect our teeth. Let’s learn more about this great tool we use to give our teeth their sparkly shine.
Ingredients in Toothpaste
While every toothpaste can have slightly different variations, they all use the same common types of ingredients to protect your teeth. These include:
• Gentle abrasives - These can include silica gels, calcium carbonate, phosphate salts, magnesium carbonate and hydrated aluminum oxides.
• Thickeners - Sometimes seaweed or natural gum will be used to give the toothpaste its common texture and appearance.
• Flavoring - These do not promote tooth decay, but simply make the taste more pleasant for the user.
• Humectants - These ingredients such as glycerol or sorbitol will keep the toothpaste from drying out.
• Fluoride - This strengthens the tooth enamel and prevents decay.
• Detergents – This will be used to cause the foamy texture of the toothpaste.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste
When you walk into the drugstore, you are probably overwhelmed by the immense selection of toothpaste on the market. It is easy to feel inadequate in choosing what is best for you. Your first step is to ensure its safety. Always look for a clear list of ingredients and check for proper labeling.
You will also want to keep your eye out for the ADA seal of approval. This means that the manufacturer has been participating in a testing program run by the ADA. It ensures that the toothpaste is safe and effective.
If you have special needs, like sensitive teeth, you will want to look for a toothpaste geared to your conditions. They will contain various other ingredients that will target your specific concerns.
Talking to Your Dentist
Don’t try and navigate the toothpaste selection alone. Your Methuen family dentist is available to help you make the best decision for your dental needs. The dentist will have great recommendations about which products seem to work the best for other patients. Be sure to discuss any concerns or questions you might have at your next dental checkup.