Why Is Brushing with Toothpaste Important?
Using toothpaste to brush your teeth is essential for your dental health. Using the correct brushing technique with toothpaste can help eliminate plaque, a harmful bacterium that causes gum disease and tooth decay.
Toothpaste contains fluoride, which helps to prevent tooth decay and promote remineralization. Toothpaste also contains several ingredients that clean and polish the tooth enamel leaving your mouth refreshed.
What Type of Toothpaste Should You Use?
The toothpaste brand that you choose to purchase doesn’t matter, as long as it contains fluoride.
You should also ensure that the brand has the American Dental Association seal to be sure of its safety and efficacy proven by clinical trials:
Is It Safe to Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
Even though fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical, it turns out to be harmful when ingested in extremely large quantities.
According to the ADA:
“For children younger than 3 years, parents and caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using a fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.
For children 3 to 6 years of age, parents and caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Teeth should be brushed thoroughly twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Children’s brushing should be supervised to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste.”
Fluoride becomes more of a concern in children because of how too much fluoride can affect the developing adult teeth later in life. Fluorosis appears as white spots or sometimes as rough pitted surfaces. It is mostly of cosmetic concern since it does not affect dental function. It can affect children up to the age of 8.
Note: no type of toothpaste should be ingested in large quantities, fluoride or not.”
The Five Major Types of Toothpaste
1. Whitening Toothpaste
Dental stains are mostly caused by smoke, soft drinks, coffee, and tea. Teeth-whitening toothpaste contains a more abrasive cleanser in it that helps eliminate or reduce these stains.
However, these abrasive ingredients have a significant disadvantage. They can wear down the enamel over time.
It is therefore advised not to use tooth whitening toothpaste for prolonged periods. You can choose to use the standard toothpaste if you need to brush more than twice a day.
2. Children’s Toothpaste
Children’s toothpaste contains no fluoride compared to the adult ones. This is to minimize the health risks posed to the kids who might swallow too much fluoride accidentally.
This type of toothpaste also has fewer abrasives in it. This is because children’s teeth are much more sensitive. Children’s toothpaste is also candy-flavored to make it more appealing and increase overall use.
3. Tartar Control Toothpaste
This type of toothpaste contains sodium pyrophosphate, which prevents the formation of tartar or ‘hardened plaque’ on your teeth. It also contains sodium hexametaphosphate, which also keeps tartar and stains from forming above your gum line.
But, tartar control toothpaste is only preventative. If you already have stubborn tartar on your teeth, then you’ll need to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning.
4. Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste
You should probably consider the sensitive teeth toothpaste if your teeth are sensitive to cold and hot substances. It contains potassium nitrate, which minimizes the painful sensations of the sensitive teeth.
5. Herbal Toothpaste
Herbal toothpaste is the best option for individuals who need natural alternatives or those who are sensitive to ingredients contained in the regular toothpaste.
However, most of these kinds of toothpaste do not contain fluoride, which is highly recommended by dentists due to the enamel protective properties and teeth strengthening.
You should also be careful when purchasing certain types of herbal toothpastes. It should not contain dyes, cinnamon, or any other untested ingredients.
How Much Toothpaste Should You Use?
The quantity of toothpaste on your toothbrush for effective cleaning is probably less than you’re using now. Use no more than a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. This size is enough to form enough foam that will cover all your teeth. Kids below six years should use a minimal amount of toothpaste when brushing – about the size of a grain of rice.
If you’re not sure about your toothpaste or any other of your oral hygiene treatment, Ideal Dental can help you come up with a good plan and can recommend the best toothpaste for you. Our certified and licensed dental professionals are readily available to meet your dental needs. Please reach out to us for your dental services.
Ideal Dental was founded in 2008 and has over 80 locations across the state of Texas. Ideal Dental offices provide patients with a wide range of dental services including general dentistry, teeth whitening, orthodontics, oral surgery and emergency dental. Ideal Dental’s mission is to put smiles on the faces of hundreds of patients that visit its offices daily.