We all know that brushing our teeth is important. But have you ever wondered what exactly is in toothpaste and how it actually works to clean our teeth?
Toothpaste is a gel or paste that is used with a toothbrush to clean and maintain the health of our teeth. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which helps to prevent cavities by making our teeth more resistant to decay.
The main ingredients in toothpaste are:
Water: Toothpaste is mostly water. This helps to keep the toothpaste from drying out and also makes it easy to spread on your toothbrush.
Fluoride: As we mentioned, fluoride is a key ingredient in toothpaste. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities by making our teeth more resistant to decay.
Glycerin: Glycerin is a type of alcohol that helps to keep the toothpaste from drying out.
Sodium Hydroxide: Sodium hydroxide is a cleansing agent that helps to remove dirt and debris from our teeth.
Cellulose Gum: Cellulose gum is a type of fiber that helps to thicken the toothpaste and give it its gel-like consistency.
Titanium Dioxide: Titanium dioxide is a white pigment that helps to give toothpaste its characteristic white color.
Flavorings: Flavorings are added to toothpaste to give it a pleasant taste. Common flavorings include mint, wintergreen, and citrus.
Sweeteners: Sweeteners are added to toothpaste to offset the bitter taste of the fluoride. Common sweeteners include sucralose, saccharin, and xylitol.
Most toothpastes also contain additional ingredients, such as preservatives, binders, and abrasives.
Most toothpastes today contain fluoride, which helps to prevent cavities by making our teeth more resistant to decay. However, there is some controversy surrounding the use of fluoride in toothpaste. Some people believe that fluoride is a dangerous chemical that can have negative health effects, while others believe that it is a safe and effective way to prevent cavities.
The truth is that fluoride is a safe and effective way to prevent cavities, as long as it is used in the proper amount. Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis, which is a condition that results in the streaking or discoloration of the teeth. However, dental fluorosis is only a cosmetic concern and does not have any negative effect on the health of the teeth or the mouth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that fluoride be added to public water supplies in order to help prevent cavities. The ADA also recommends that toothpaste containing fluoride be used by children and adults to help prevent cavities.
If you are concerned about the amount of fluoride in your toothpaste, you can always choose a toothpaste that is labeled “fluoride-free.” However, it is important to note that fluoride-free toothpastes are not as effective at preventing cavities as toothpastes that contain fluoride.
The bottom line is that brushing your teeth with toothpaste is an important part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride and brush your teeth twice a day for best results.