Toothpaste is a standard part of at-home oral care for many people. It promotes oral hygiene by removing dental plaque and food from teeth and contains ingredients to suppress bad breath and fight tooth decay. In order to know what type of toothpaste is right for you, it’s helpful to understand what’s in it and if it offers the solutions, you are looking for.
What ingredients are in toothpaste?
Generally speaking, most commercial products contain active ingredients that serve specific purposes:
- An abrasive to clean the tooth’s surface
- Fluoride to protect enamel and prevent tooth decay
- Flavours for taste
- Detergents to create the foaming effect
- Humectants to prevent the product from drying out
- Thickeners to ensure consistency
- Binding agents to, well, bind everything together
- Preservatives for shelf life
The most common ingredients found in store-bought toothpaste include fluoride, glycerol, sorbitol, calcium carbonate, and sodium lauryl sulphate. Every brand has a specific formulation. If you are curious about what is in your toothpaste, look at the back of the box to see the ingredient list.
People who want to stay away from fluoride or sodium lauryl sulphate can benefit from natural options or make their own at home.
Does desensitizing toothpaste work?
This product contains ingredients that block the sensation from the surface of the tooth to the nerve. Results are not immediate, but after several applications (usually over two weeks) of most people notice reduced sensitivity.
Does whitening toothpaste work?
It depends on the type of stain.
This product works to remove stains from the surface of your teeth. It can not change the natural colour of your teeth or remove a stain from below the surface of the tooth. To lighten the colour of your teeth or remove deep-rooted stains, professional teeth whitening is required.
Click here, to watch our video about the effectiveness of tooth whitening toothpaste.
Does charcoal work?
This product has had a moment in the spotlight as a natural way to whiten teeth. However, research shared in this article suggests that charcoal may actually damage tooth enamel. There simply isn’t enough research to conclude that it’s beneficial or safe. If you’re interested in natural toothpaste solutions consider alternatives to charcoal that are proven effective and safe to use.
Don’t forget to brush
Toothpaste is not the most important part of the equation. Brushing is! Using a toothbrush or WaterPik to move the bacteria away from the teeth, gums, tongue and cheeks is what matters most. Click here to brush up on how to brush your teeth properly.
If you have questions about oral hygiene or at home oral care call 905-338-6684 or fill out the form to connect with Oakville dentist Dr. Bis.