The use of toothpaste started with the early Egyptians, somewhere around 5,000 BC. They used pepper, dried flowers and rock salt for oral care. Over the centuries, the tools used to clean the teeth have evolved and the most popular oral hygiene product today is what we now know as toothpaste.
It is considered a basic necessity today as we are expected to brush our teeth at least two to three times daily in addition to flossing. But what makes one toothpaste superior to another? Is there really a difference between the brands and types of toothpastes available today?
You may be wondering if some ingredients are truly more effective in whitening the teeth or removing badbreath. Here are some basic things to consider when choosing which toothpasteis better for your oral care.
Fluoride – Good or Bad?
Fluoride is considered an important ingredient in toothpaste by many dentists. It has plenty of benefits for the teeth and mouth even for those who have sensitive gums. It helps fight decay and cavities. Though different toothpastes may differ in fluoride formulation, they basically do the same thing.
Some natural toothpastes do not contain fluoride. This is based on studies that show some problems associated with fluoride but according to the American Dental Association, fluoride is generally safe though it is not highly recommended for children under six.
Potassium Nitrate (Desensitizing Toothpaste)
One ingredient that may make some toothpastes more effective than others is potassium nitrate. It is not found in most ordinary toothpastes. Those who have sensitive teeth and gums will benefit from this ingredient because it helps repair weakened tooth enamel. Toothpastes that contain potassium nitrate could help reduce pain associated with sensitive teeth because it blocks the nerve pathways leading to the teeth’s inner pulp.
These types of toothpastes are often called desensitizing toothpaste. It is recommended for those who experience pain when taking in hot or cold food and drinks.
People who have serious tartar issues in their teeth should consider choosing a toothpaste containing pyrophosphates. This ingredient helps reduce the buildup of tartar deposits. Of course, it should be noted that this is not a replacement for a proper teeth cleaning or oral prophylaxis which should be done at least twice a year.
If you have been delaying your dental visits for a thorough cleaning, no amount of pyrophosphate will help to completely remove the tartar in your teeth.
When talking about toothpaste to improve oral health, the issue of whitening is always present. Do whitening toothpastes really work as they claim? Some experts say that they may not be as helpful.
The ingredients found in whitening toothpastes are powerful in providing a better smile. They are generally safe but they may not be the best for people with sensitive teeth. The chemical agents in these types of toothpastes can irritate sensitive teeth and gums and may worsen their symptoms.
If you think you need a whitening toothpaste and have sensitive teeth, it’s best to consult with a dentist for alternatives that will whiten but at the same time, be gentle for your gums and teeth.
Baking Soda Toothpaste
Toothpastes that contain baking soda are also a great choice for those with sensitive teeth because baking soda has a lower abrasive quality than other cleaning agents found in most toothpastes. Baking soda toothpaste can provide the same clean feeling without the irritation and pain caused by ordinary toothpastes.
At the end of the day, choosing soda are is better for your oral care would really depend on your whitening toothpastes individual needs. Some types of toothpaste can be very effective in whitening but may not be the ideal choice for those with sensitive teeth.