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    • 20 NOV 18
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    Ingredients in Your Toothpaste

    A beautiful woman that is smiling and brushing her teeth.

    When you brush your teeth, do you ever stop to think about what is actually in the toothpaste you put in your mouth? Toothpaste ingredients can be very important to your help, as they can help you avoid oral health diseases or they can harm your mouth. When it comes to your oral health, see what the most common toothpaste ingredients are and what ingredients to be cautious of!

     

    Ingredients in Your Toothpaste

    There are common ingredients in most toothpastes out there. The top ones include:

    • Fluoride: This is the 13th most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Since its introduction into oral health products, it has reduced decay statistics by at least 25%. This ingredient coats the teeth in a protective layer against acids and sugars and helps to prevent demineralization of your teeth. It is added to public water sources to better help the public prevent decay.
    • Sorbitol: This is a sweetening agent so toothpaste isn’t incredibly nasty in your mouth. It also helps hold toothpaste ingredients together in a paste. This ingredient is also in chewing gum.
    • Glycerol: This ingredient keeps toothpaste wet and smooth instead of dry and gritty. It’s this substance if you see any ingredient that starts with “glyc”.
    • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This is in many toothpastes and helps create foamy bubbles when brushing. However, it can be irritating if you get mouth sores or canker sores often.
    • Calcium Carbonate: This is an abrasive used to remove surface stains and plaque on your teeth as you scrub. There are various abrasives in every toothpaste such as silica, aluminum oxides, phosphate salts, magnesium carbonate and more.

     

    A black-bristled toothbrush with various liquids and powders in the photo that are all toothpaste ingredients.

     

    Caution with Ingredients

    Most toothpaste ingredients are safe and won’t cause you any problems. Just be aware that some have certain ingredients in them that could potentially be harmful. That is why you want to be weary of dollar store “no name” brands and very cheap toothpastes. Be aware of:

    • Hydrogen Peroxide: This is a teeth-whitening agent that has bleaching properties. Carbamide peroxide is also a whitening agent. Hydrogen peroxide will only be up to 3% in toothpastes (compared to much more in professional whitening treatments in-office), while CP will be between 15% and 22%. These doses are safe for use, but don’t consume any of the toothpaste and don’t use these toothpastes for children.
    • Fluoride: This is on the good list and the bad. Fluoride is proven to help protect the teeth from disease, but it can be harmful in large doses. It is found in pesticides and other industrial products, but so is water, which isn’t harmful. Simply be cautious to not swallow fluoride toothpastes or products.
    • Triclosan: The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that this ingredient is a pesticide. Try to use toothpastes without this ingredient, if possible.

     

    Some ingredients like DEA, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate can cause potential health risks when used incorrectly. No matter the type of toothpaste you use, make sure you are cautious in your use and that you don’t swallow toothpaste. Always use it and then spit it out. Use only appropriate child or infant toothpaste for children that are free of harmful substances and ingredients. Always check the label and contact a poison control center if more toothpaste is swallowed than is generally used for brushing.

     

    A close-up view of a person's hand as they apply toothpaste to a white toothbrush.

    The Why and How of Brushing Your Teeth

    There is a proper way to brush your teeth, and it’s not simply running a toothbrush through your mouth for 10 seconds. First, you definitely want to use toothpaste with your toothbrush, and you want to wet it before or after you apply the toothpaste. This gives it some power to create suds so you get a better clean. Make sure that you use a new toothbrush about every 3 months, or that you switch it out when the bristles become frayed. Keep your toothbrush in a clean, dry place like a toothbrush holder once you have dried off the toothbrush after use. Keeping it in open air exposes it to bacteria, especially in bathrooms.

     

    The American Dental Association recommends that patients brush their teeth at least twice a day. Each time you brush, you need to do it for about 2 minutes each time in order to cover all of your tooth surfaces sufficiently. You want to brush in all different directions, making sure to hit along your gum line really well at a 45-degree angle. This is where plaque resides the most, and where it’s the easiest for gum recession to happen and tooth decay. If you choose to use fluoride toothpaste, read the packaging labels. Many will want you to wait 20-30 minutes before eating and drinking for best protection results.

     

    Always follow up your brushing with proper flossing. If you have braces or you are pregnant, you want to brush your teeth after every meal. Food either gets stuck in the brackets easy (with braces), or the acidity of the mouth changes (pregnancy) that can increase tooth decay risk.

     

    Having Great Oral Health for Life

    Did you know that tooth decay is the most chronic disease in the United States? The National Institutes of Health reports that tooth decay is the most “chronic, prevalent disease” that affects both children and adults. Gum disease also affects a staggering amount of Americans, affecting 64.7 million adults and many more children. The crazy part about both of these epidemics is that both diseases are preventable. All you have to do is brush and floss your teeth twice a day and see your dentist for checkups and cleanings.

     

    No matter what toothpaste you decide to use, just make sure you are using one. Toothpastes work much better than water alone at preventing oral health diseases and getting rid of mouth bacteria. Most contain fluoride to help strengthen your teeth so you keep them beautiful for longer. To know what brands we trust the most and tips for good oral health, call Dr. Evanson’s office today at (720) 409-0008!

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