Understand What’s in Your Toothpaste
All the advertising dollars spent on toothpaste suggest that we should be using a whitening paste, tartar control and of course, gum care to keep us from having gum disease. However, what’s the real truth? What should we look for in our toothpaste?
Tartar control toothpaste should remove tartar, but most studies show that it actually does not remove tartar. However, they do help to prevent tartar from building up.
Unfortunately, tartar that builds up below the gum line is the reason for gum disease and tartar pastes don’t help reduce the tartar build up in this area. Companies are working on solving this issue, but this is why it’s important to visit the dentist two times per year, as they can help to remove the build up on the gums.
Many consumers wonder which are better, gels or pastes? Most people assume that gems are less abrasive, but they’re actually not! Gels include silica, which is sand like substance and for this reason, gels are actually more abrasive. Both are safe and considered effective cleaners, so this is just a matter of preference.
There’s been a question mark on gum-care toothpastes and how effective they really are. Gum care pastes use stannous fluoride rather than using sodium fluoride which is found in all other pastes. Stannous fluoride is said to not protect against cavities as well as sodium.
Toothpastes made with baking soda have made a recent come back, despite proven results showing there’s a major difference than other pastes. Baking soda does have a flavor, which many people enjoy. This basically means people will brush longer if they enjoy the flavor. Many of these pastes include peroxides, which can be dangerous. In fact, they’ve been banned in Canada.
Whitening pastes are also on the abrasive side. This should not be used as your exclusive paste, but can be used every other day or so. Brands that include sodium pyrophosphate are extremely abrasive. It’s still unclear how effective these whitening pastes are.
Hopefully this has helped you understand what you’re actually using to clean your teeth. Most importantly, brush for a couple minutes twice per day and always use a fluoride paste. You only get one set of teeth, so take care of them before it’s too late!