How Necessary is Toothpaste?
Essentially, toothpaste is a luxury designed to make your breath minty fresh. However, this cooling paste is not necessary from a practical standpoint. Plaque, food, and grime can all be removed from your teeth with your toothbrush alone. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease and cavities. If plaque is not consistently removed from your gums and tooth enamel it has the potential to harden into a stickier substance known as tartar. Unfortunately, tartar breads bacteria eventually causing your teeth to rot and be brazen with disease. The best way to control plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy is to brush thoroughly, twice a day, each and every day. The one kicker is that you ultimately do not need toothpaste to perform this task. A simple soft toothbrush and a great brushing technique is truly all that is necessary to remove plaque growth. Restricting your sugar intake and flossing daily in addition to receiving routine checkups with professional cleanings is a sure fire way to keep your teeth squeaky clean.
Although you may not need toothpaste, there are a couple of factors that may make you want to use toothpaste. Put simply, toothpaste ensures your breath smells fresh and that your mouth tastes good. In fact, the most popular flavour of toothpaste in the United States is mint. Another main ingredient of toothpaste is fluoride. Dentists agree that a topical fluoride treatment will aid in tooth strength keeping the enamel in tact and cavity resistant. Toothpaste also helps keep superficial dental issues at bay as well, like yellowing and tooth sensitivity. One pro tip when utilizing toothpaste is to remember that a little bit goes a long way! For a good toothpaste recommendation ask your dental practitioner which one is most effective in preventing gum disease and early tooth decay.
As you shop around for a toothpaste that works best for you, it is extremely important that you pay attention to the pastes ingredients. Standard toothpastes usually contain just about the same set of ingredients, which includes an abrasive to clean debris/bacterial film from your tooth enamel (i.e. calcium carbonate or hydrated aluminum oxide), a detergent for cleaning/foaming (i.e. sodium N-Lauroyl sarcosinate or sodium lauryl sulfate), fluoride (ADA approved), a flavor sweetener (i.e. saccharine), treatment additives for tartar/sensitivity control (i.e. tetrasodium pyrophosphate and potassium nitrate), humectants to moisten the paste (i.e. propylene or glycerol), and binders to stabilize the formula (i.e. mineral colloids or synthetic cellulose). Organic toothpaste on the other hand contains much less chemicals. Organic toothpaste is normally sulfate free, paraben free, free of Laureth Sulfate/Sodium Lauryl and does not contain any artificial or synthetic flavorings, sweeteners, and/or colorings. Additionally, organic toothpaste makes the effort to swap out Formaldehyde and EDTA for natural preservatives instead. Utilizing organic toothpaste may help against lip rashes, canker sores, and small pimples surrounding the mouth as it is Laureth Sulfate/Sodium Lauryl free! Unfortunately, many people are sensitive to these two chemicals which can be strongly present with standard toothpastes.
Regardless of toothpaste origin and flavor, a good oral hygiene regime is key. The marriage of a good oral regime and routine dental visits with professional cleanings is the best way to keep your smile in tip top shape. Professional cleanings are a vital step to incorporate within a healthy oral routine along with a great consistent at home brushing technique. While toothpaste may not be essential, it is an immense help when it comes to keeping your breath fresh, teeth white, and plaque at bay.