A Look at Some of the Common Toothpaste Ingredients
Almost everybody uses toothpaste nowadays. From a point where toothpastes were considered luxuries of sorts, to be used only by the people who fancied them; they have developed in the span of a few decades to be considered essential toiletries – in much the same way as soap. But much as everybody uses toothpaste nowadays, very few of us pause to look at the products carefully. Few of us, for instance, bother to look at the ingredients that go into the making of the toothpaste that we use everyday. Yet one hallmark of being rational beings (which is what most of us consider ourselves as being) is that of being conscious about the various things we take into our bodies.
Of course, that realization (that we are using toothpastes whose composition we are not aware of)should not be a source of guilt in ourselves. Rather, it should be a source of inspiration to learn more about what goes into the making of toothpaste. To get you started on that road, we now proceed to explore some of the commonest toothpaste ingredients.
Now virtually every toothpaste tube contains fluoride. This is an important nutrient for the well being of the teeth. It is a nutrient that the toothpaste passes on directly to the tooth during the brushing exercises, so that you must not swallow the toothpaste in an attempt to get fluorine (as that would be exposing yourself to toxicity). The fluorine that the teeth absorb directly during the tooth-brushing exercise is adequate for their wellbeing.
Every toothpaste tube also contains another substance known as the abrasive. This is what makes the toothpaste useful as a teeth cleaning agent, as it aids a great deal in scrubbing plaque and food particulates from the teeth, which are some of the main things people use toothpastes in search of. The abrasive used in most toothpaste brands is of a chemical variety, but we are increasingly seeing modern toothpaste brands opting for mechanical abrasives (such as crushed mica). This is after the realization that the purely chemical abrasives had the unwanted effect of causing much enamel erosion, which would in most cases lead to increased tooth sensitivity.
Almost every toothpaste tube contains a foaming agent. This is what makes the toothpaste, in the mouth, to feel like ‘soap’ and make the teeth-cleaning carried out with it to be so pleasant. The specific foaming agent used will differ from one toothpaste brand to another. The most commonly used across board, though, is sodium lauryl-sulfate, which is also the very substance used in other cleaning agents (hence the more reason you mustn’t swallow toothpaste).
Most modern toothpaste brands will also have an anti-bacterial formulation in them. Specific examples of these, which are very commonly used, are substances such as zinc chloride and triclosan. The idea is to kill the bacteria in the mouth, thus keeping the mouth fresh, somewhat combating halitosis, and playing an important role in the
prevention of gum disease; which tends to manifest whenever bacteria are allowed to breed unchecked in the mouth.