How Does Toothpaste Work and Which One Is Best For Me?

toothpaste on toothbrush for healthy teeth

Most of us find eating a very pleasurable experience, but you need strong and healthy teeth to eat comfortably. Regularly cleaning your teeth is crucial for maintaining healthy and disease-free teeth. Whenever we eat something, our teeth are coated in leftover food particles. This food debris feeds the bacteria found in dental plaque. 

Dental plaque is a sticky biofilm that coats the surface of teeth and needs to be removed mechanically by brushing and flossing your teeth. Using toothpaste to help remove dental plaque more effectively is an essential part of your regular teeth cleaning regime, but it is important to ensure you pick a reputable toothpaste brand. However, choosing the best toothpaste may seem confusing as there is a massive choice available. Understanding how tooth paste ingredients work and the different types available can help you make a more informed choice.

 

Common Ingredients in Toothpaste

Each toothpaste has a slightly different formula, but some ingredients are common to most and are designed to help keep your teeth healthy and clean. These include:

  • Detergent helps your toothpaste foam when you use it, so you can tell it is doing its job. However, some people are sensitive towards this ingredient, called sodium lauryl sulfate, so if this applies to you, look for toothpaste that doesn’t contain this foaming agent.
  • A humectant helps ensure your toothpaste remains moist, making it easy to squeeze out onto your toothbrush.
  • A thickening agent helps ensure your toothpaste has the right texture.
  • Preservatives help prevent the growth of bacteria in your toothpaste.
  • An abrasive agent helps to gently polish your teeth, removing plaque and some surface stains.
  • Colouring and flavouring agents give your toothpaste a more appealing colour and taste.

 

Fluoride Toothpaste

Most toothpaste also contains fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral found in some drinking water and soil and rocks. Fluoride is an important ingredient because it helps strengthen tooth enamel after exposure to acids created by harmful bacteria. These acids remove some important minerals from teeth, including calcium and phosphate, during demineralisation. Fluoride helps to reverse this process, so some of the minerals are redeposited back into your tooth enamel, strengthening it during a process called remineralisation.

 

Choosing the Best Toothpaste

When you go to choose the best tooth paste for your oral hygiene routine, you’ll find a terrific variety available. Most will claim to protect your teeth against cavities, dental plaque and gingivitis (gum inflammation). Others are designed to help fight tartar, whiten teeth or freshen breath. Choosing the right toothpaste brand depends on your dental health and whether you have any specific requirements. One good example is tooth sensitivity. 

 

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Many people have sensitive teeth, where it is uncomfortable or painful to eat and drink anything very hot and cold or sweet and sour. In this case, you may want to try a toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth. These typically work very well and contain ingredients that gradually block the sensations creating discomfort. The effect is cumulative, so you need to use them for several weeks to get maximum benefit. However, because undiagnosed dental problems can cause tooth sensitivity, it’s always best to visit your dentist in Gosnells first and have a dental checkup. 

 

Whitening Toothpaste

A whitening tooth paste can contain slightly abrasive ingredients designed to remove surface stains from teeth, and charcoal toothpaste is a good example. Some may also contain teeth bleaching agents to brighten your smile. If you want to choose toothpaste for whitening your teeth, make sure it isn’t too abrasive, as otherwise, you could damage your tooth enamel. If you aren’t sure, ask your dentist in Gosnells for their recommended toothpaste to whiten teeth safely. Alternatively, Tandara Dental also provides professional teeth whitening services – contact us and find out more before your next visit.

 

Tartar Toothpaste

This toothpaste is designed to help prevent tartar buildup and can help to freshen breath. Tartar is hardened plaque, also called calculus, and form around and just below the gum line. The tartar in dental plaque can inflame and infect your gums, causing gum disease, so it is important to remove calculus thoroughly. 

 

Natural Toothpaste

One of the latest toothpaste trends is to use natural toothpaste. A natural tooth paste might sound appealing but might not contain fluoride, so that you may be missing out on this beneficial ingredient. These toothpaste brands can contain ingredients such as aloe vera, but there might be little evidence that they will work well to protect your teeth. Another very important part of the equation is ensuring you brush your teeth thoroughly.

 

Ensuring You Have an Excellent Tooth Brushing Routine

Brushing your teeth at least twice daily is essential, ideally first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Make sure you have the right toothbrush as it should have soft bristles, and the head should be small enough to fit right to the back of your mouth so you can clean those hard to reach back teeth.

Use small circular motions to clean your teeth, and you don’t need to press hard. Ensure your toothbrush is at a 45° angle as you brush your teeth, so it can reach right down to the gum line and just below as this is where plaque tends to build up. It’s helpful to think of your mouth as being split into four or six quarters so you can concentrate on cleaning one section at a time. If you have an electric toothbrush, it will probably alert you every 20 to 30 seconds, so you know when it’s time to begin cleaning the next section of your mouth. Also, an electric toothbrush will have a built-in timer that ensures you brush for at least two minutes. If you prefer to use a manual toothbrush, use the timer on your phone or keep a small timer in the bathroom to make sure you brush for long enough.

While a general teeth cleaning routine will remove most dental plaque, it’s likely some will remain even if you clean your teeth meticulously. This is why it’s essential to see your dentist and a hygienist for a dental clean.

 

How Often Do I Need to Visit a Dentist?

You should also make sure you have a professional teeth cleaning at your dental office in Gosnells regularly. Most people need to visit Tandara Dental Centre every six months or at least once a year for oral health care. When you first visit our practice, we can assess your oral health and determine how frequently you should see us so you can maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Our dentist can check the condition of your teeth and gums during your regular dental checkup, ensuring any small problems are detected more quickly and are treated promptly. In addition, our hygienist can make sure all plaque and calculus is thoroughly removed from your teeth during your regular teeth cleaning. They can also discuss which toothpaste brands might suit you best and provide useful tips for improving your oral hygiene routine. Regularly seeing our dentist is a simple routine that helps to ensure you enjoy all the benefits of great oral health and a well-maintained smile.

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At Tandara Dental Centre in Gosnells, we’re happy to discuss all of your care options with you, so that you can choose the one that’s best for your smile. Contact us today to schedule!