Fun Facts About Toothpaste
A lot of people care less to know about what other ingredients there are in toothpaste gel beside fluoride. Beyond advertising, there’s a lot more to that crystalline gel than meets the eye. And the different varieties of toothpaste make it all the more harder for a regular consumer to pick the best one for their needs. Over the years, toothpaste has evolved from a dull, white, pasty substance to a more appealing gimmicky gel-endorsed by small children, medical professionals and the undying snowboarder-to lure people to brush their teeth more often.
Toothpaste does the job of helping the toothbrush scrape off the films of bacterial plaque that have latched on to our teeth. Typical toothpaste’s main agents or “active ingredients”are fluoride, triclosan, baking soda, and xylitol. The combined forces of these five main ingredients give our teeth a deep clean, a white luster and a fresh feel after thorough brushing. And over the years, more and more ingredients have been added to the usual toothpaste formula, like allantoin, ginseng and seaweed extracts, and a variety of herbal oils. These ingredients do serve a practical purpose, as they help strengthen both the tooth enamel and the gums.
There is no doubt fluoride helps strengthen our teeth and eliminate bacteria-producing acids. But high amounts of fluoride can detriment the teeth. Too much fluoride intake, especially on children below 12 years old, can cause enamel fluorosis, a condition that is marked by discoloration on the teeth. Although too much fluoride may have its cons, the benefits overweigh the threats. Only few cases of fluorosis have been recorded and fortunately, they have only been mild ones. The fluoridation of the water supply in the United States has brought about critical reviews on whether or not America needs it. And to our surprise, the children do need it because cases of cavities and tartar on children below 10 years old have significantly decreased in the last decade.
Going back to the topic on toothpastes, did you know that toothpastes are actually abrasive substances? Abrasive means intended for scraping, so it’s actually pure cleaning material that you’re brushing your teeth with and not just some overhyped gel.
Toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors. The once dull taste of toothpaste has evolved into something more of a treat to both young and old people. The standard flavoring of toothpaste is spearmint, peppermint or just plain mint. There have also been other flavors that are intended for smaller children and people who cannot bear the taste of mint: bubble gum, cinnamon, tangerine, orange flavors; not to mention whisky and kinky flavors. Toothpaste still serves and continues to improve in its purpose of cleaning the teeth, despite all these years of modifications in the flavor. The stronger flavor actually makes up for the stronger active ingredients present in the gel.
There have been “natural toothpaste” varieties being sold in the market since the past decade or so, and a majority of these natural toothpastes abandon the use of fluoride and stuck with (obviously) all-natural ingredients like the extracts, mints, cleansing agents and the oils that were previously mentioned.
So if you’re looking for a change of taste in toothpaste, we say go for it. As long as the flavor you’re switching to is packed with all the active ingredients toothpaste should contain, your teeth are in safe hands.