You wake up in the morning and start your daily routine. As you reach in the cabinet, you notice the tube of toothpaste is running thin. Squeezing out the very last bit of toothpaste onto your toothbrush, you mark a reminder to go to the store and re-up on your toothpaste supply. But, what should you really be looking for when it comes to buying toothpaste?
While the role of toothpaste has never changed, not every toothpaste is created the same. Some have different ingredients, others had different intentions for oral care. It is important to know what you are buying, especially if your family will be using it too. First, let’s talk about the ingredients commonly found in toothpaste.
Main ingredients in toothpaste
Have you ever turned the box that your toothpaste comes in to view the ingredients? You will likely find long names for chemical compounds. But what do they mean?
Removing food from your teeth is sometimes a difficult task. This is why many companies use abrasive agents to help out. Abrasive agents are scratchy substances that are added to toothpaste to help in the not only remove food particles, but also bacteria, and stains. Calcium carbonate is the most common abrasive agent, but only one of many.
How do you think companies are able to give the morning goop a nice flavor of cinnamon or mint? To give toothpaste a flavor, companies almost always introduce artificial sweeteners to enhance the toothpaste flavor. This is a psychological effect to make you want to use the toothpaste created by their brand. While other natural toothpaste companies have cut down on artificial sweeteners, most adults default to these artificially sweetened types.
This is one of those ingredients you are less aware of. In order to keep the toothpaste in gel form, companies need to use humectants. Simply put, these moisturizing agents help keep paste and gel toothpaste from drying out. More often, companies use synthetic humectants like glycerol.
In order to keep the gel or paste a specific consistency, the use of thickening agents is implemented. Such agents help the toothpaste remain consistent and makes it easier for the paste to come out of the tube properly.
The use of detergents is widely known to help products foam up. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the most common detergent used in products, but it also a very controversial one. When looking for a toothpaste, look for SLS-free indicators on the packaging for a safe and healthy alternate toothpaste.
Now, that we’ve covered the basic ingredients commonly found in toothpaste, let’s look at the different types of toothpaste found in most stores.
Fluoride has been a popular topic in the past. This active ingredient is known to help slow down tooth enamel decomposition over time. When someone consumes too much sugar or start, the bacteria in your mouth begins to feed off of these ingredients and as a result, a layer of acid is left on your teeth. If unmanaged, this acid will break down your enamel and leave you with oral health issues like sensitivity and cavities.
Other benefits of fluoride based toothpaste include:
Reversal of early-stage enamel damage
Increased tooth strength
Resistance to tooth decay
Decreased tooth sensitivity
Lower risk of developing gingivitis
Be sure to always look for certified indicators from the American Dental Association.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
Controlling tartar is a key factor in oral health. Even if you take care of your teeth at home, you will always have bacteria in your mouth. Tartar control toothpaste’s main function is simply that; to control the buildup of tartar in on your teeth. If you have issues with plaque, you will likely want to use this type of toothpaste. When plaque, a colorless, sticky culprit forms on teeth, you begin the descent into tartar world if not maintained. Over time, plaque buildup will lead to tartar build up. Since tartar is extremely difficult to remove from the teeth it will require the help from a licensed dental health professional.
If you are the type of person that always wants your pearly whites to shine bright or if you’ve had trouble with staining from smoking or coffee, you will want to look for a whitening toothpaste. Teeth whitening products contact peroxide, an essential ingredient that is the most effective in removing stains from the outer layer of the enamel. In fact, peroxide is also known for many other benefits including the prevention of periodontal disease and gingivitis.
However, it is important to note that most teeth whitening products and toothpaste can cause sensitivity. It is best to speak with your Dentist prior to a do-it-yourself regimen.
As soon as your child starts to show teeth, it is important to begin an oral care routine. This will help your child from developing oral issues like tooth decay and promote healthier gum and development well into their future. It’s also critical to choose a safe toothpaste that has limited artificial ingredients. Dentists recommend choosing a fluoride-free toothpaste for children as high concentrations of fluoride can cause a spike in your son or daughter’s body.
In our world today, many people are becoming more and more concerned with that they are putting in their bodies. Research on independent ingredients found in traditional toothpaste can cause harm over-extended use. One of the beautiful benefits or natural toothpaste is that it consists of herbal and earth-based ingredients. That means most of the ingredients are found without the need of lab creation. You can usually find natural toothpaste in stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Fresh Thyme Market, but at a slightly higher price. Much like the organic foods movement, natural products tend to price higher than that of their artificial friends. Although they can be a bit more pricey, they can work the same way.
Now, that we’ve covered the different types of toothpaste, you can get back to the shopping. We’d love to know what type of toothpaste you picked. Drop us a comment on Facebook and let us know!