Find the right toothpaste…

Preventative Dentistry

Which Toothpaste Ingredients Really Help?

In today’s dental hygiene aisle, you can find row after row of toothpastes that offer all kinds of special ingredients and useful properties.  However, not all of these additives are equal.  Some aren’t as effective as the packaging would have you believe, and a few might even create more problems than they claim to solve.  Still, there are some toothpaste ingredients that definitely and provably help, and when you use a toothpaste with all these ingredients it’ll do your teeth a world of good.

Abrasives

Almost every toothpaste in the world includes some kind of abrasive.  The abrasive is very fine, which is why toothpaste doesn’t feel gritty, but it’s still hard enough to scrape off the layer of plaque on your teeth without damaging your enamel.  Most types of polish also use abrasives, and in fact there are many home remedies that use toothpaste as a kind of emergency polish.

Fluoride

Fluoride helps keep your teeth strong by reversing some of the daily damage to your tooth enamel by the bacteria in your mouth.  That’s why most cities in America fluoridate their water, but you can get a more direct application by using toothpaste with fluoride.  In fact, the benefit of fluoridated toothpaste is so obvious that it’s become a very common ingredient in most of the popular formulas.

Desensitizers

Some people have overly sensitive teeth that make it hard to drink hot or cold liquids or to eat certain kinds of foods.  This condition can also make brushing your teeth feel unpleasant.  That’s why many companies offer toothpaste “for sensitive teeth” that contain ingredients like potassium nitrate and stannous fluoride.  These ingredients work by turning off local nerve cells or by creating thin layer to protect them, and they can make your mouth much more comfortable for several hours after you brush.

Peroxides

There are several toothpastes that say they can whiten teeth, but in many cases all they really do is brush off plaque and make you feel better about your mouth.  The most effective toothpastes for whitening include small amounts of peroxides, a chemical that can remove stains in teeth.  However, the amount of peroxides in toothpaste is very small, so the best way to whiten your teeth is to schedule a visit with your dentist.

Antimicrobials

Since bacteria cause so much trouble in your mouth, many toothpastes include antimicrobial chemicals that can reduce the bacteria population in your mouth.  By doing this, antimicrobials can fight cavities and help you avoid gum infections like gingivitis.  Mouthwashes also fight bacteria, although they can also have some downsides.

You can find plenty of toothpastes with unique and naturally sourced ingredients, but it’s more important to find a toothpaste that works rather than one that claims it comes from natural sources.  You should also remember to get your teeth cleaned at a dentist twice each year, and if you live in our area you can come to West LA Dentistry.  Not only can we find cavities early during a checkup, we can also scrape off the tartar, fluoridate your teeth, and whiten your teeth during your visit.

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