Newington Dental – Fluoride Toothpaste
There are always many different brands and types of toothpaste available. Often the options here are similar; the most important thing is to brush twice daily, whatever the brand of toothpaste being used. Yet at the same time, a different type of toothpaste may offer some advantages.
There has been a small trend in recent years towards natural toothpaste, and other natural products. These tend to be chemical free, or should we say artificial chemical free, items. For other commodities this is often this is not a bad idea; natural food is usually preferable to junk food. But with natural toothpaste this can mean missing out on fluoride. And this does deprive us of a health benefit.
Fluoride is included in most toothpastes because it has solid dental benefits. A fairly small amount of fluoride can harden tooth enamel and prevent decay. It can even reverse demineralized tooth enamel, so cavities just starting to form can be reversed with fluoride.
There is no real downside to fluoride, as long as it is used correctly. We should avoid swallowing it, as ingesting fluoride in larger quantities may causes uneven tooth colour. But if we spit out the toothpaste (or mouthwash) afterward there should be no problems.
If we prefer natural toothpaste, we can still get fluoride in a mouthwash, or as a gel treatment.
Newington Dental – Other additives
Many toothpastes contain lauryl sulphate. This is the agent that causes the toothpaste to foam when we brush. The came ingredient is found in many soaps and shampoos. This is of no concern to most people, except that lauryl sulphate will badly affect canker sores, causing a strong stinging sensation. Think of this as aggravating an allergy. People with canker sores or similar afflictions will prefer natural toothpaste without lauryl sulphate.
Some toothpastes have a whitening action. They achieve this by adding a mildly abrasive compound to the toothpaste, such as charcoal or bi carb of soda. We should be wary of these products as abrasive paste will start to wear away the tooth enamel, which is terrible. Perhaps if used just once per week these abrasive products are fine. Use other types of toothpaste for the rest of the week. Talk to the dentist about other ways to whiten teeth.
Diligent daily brushing and flossing will prevent most dental problems. Visit the dentist twice per year for a check-up.
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