Over the last two decades, the amount and variety of different products available for toothpaste have increased dramatically. There is now toothpaste available for whitening, sensitivity, and toothpaste that aims to improve enamel, taste better and get rid of bad breath once and for all. With all of these options, what ingredients are actually in our toothpaste, and what should we look for when we buy the best toothpaste for our teeth?
Watch the video below to learn what the American Dental Association has to say in regards to the ingredients in our toothpaste:
“Toothpaste is essential to taking care of your teeth and gums. Hopefully, you’re using it every morning and at night. But do you know what’s in your toothpaste and why?The most important active ingredient in your toothpaste is fluoride. All toothpaste with the ADA seal contains fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and fight decay. There are three types of fluoride commonly used, and they’re all effective. You can also find a variety of active ingredients in other products for very specialized reasons, like ingredients that help reduce sensitivity to hot, cold, sugary foods. One of these, potassium nitrate, directly affects the nerves in the tiny tubules of your teeth. Other desensitizing ingredients actually seal off the tubules from the outside of your teeth. Either way, tooth sensitivity is reduced. Pyrophosphates and zinc citrate help reduce the building of hardened plaque called tartar. Once formed, tartar can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. Triclosan and stannous fluoride help fight plaque and gingivitis, an early form of gum disease, and can also help reduce bad breath. There are also inactive ingredients common to all toothpaste. Whether it’s a paste, gel, or powder, every toothpaste contains a cleaning and polishing agent to gently reduce plaque, debris, and surface stains. In your toothpaste, those mild abrasives might be called calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, or most commonly, some form of silica. Some toothpastes are called whitening toothpaste because they contain a special silica abrasive that removes the surface stain better than normal toothpaste but without causing damage to the enamel. Other inactive ingredients common to all toothpaste include detergents create the foaming action you see. One common detergent is sodium lauryl sulfate. Glycerol, propylene glycol, and sorbitol are all humectants. They keep your toothpaste from drying out the tooth. Flavoring agents, such as saccharin or natural oils provide taste. No ADA-accepted product contains sugar or any other ingredient that would promote tooth decay. And finally, thickening agents, or binders, are added to keep the formula all together. Yes, there’s many different kinds of toothpaste for many different uses. To help sort them out, look for the ADA seal because products with the ADA seal say what they do and do what they say. And one more thing: no matter what toothpaste you use, be sure to brush twice a day for a full two minutes. This allows enough time to effectively remove the plaque and it gives the tooth’s enamel proper exposure time to the fluoride. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your dentist.”
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