Why Do We Use Toothpaste?

woman brushing teethYou probably already know that the best way to take care of teeth is to brush and floss regularly. Both not only help remove food particles from the teeth, but also protect it from gum disease and tooth decay.

Brushing, however, is only as effective if you actually use toothpaste and believe it or not, some people actually do not use toothpaste. And, speaking of toothpaste, aren’t you wondering why we even use it in the first place?

The Importance of Toothpaste

Plaque is a sticky, harmful bacteria that grow on teeth. If not controlled, plaque buildup can cause a variety of dental problems, such as cavities, gum disease and even tooth loss.

Saliva is the teeth and gum’s first line of defense against plaque, as it washes away all the particles from the teeth. However, saliva alone can’t wash away all the bacteria and this is where brushing with toothpaste and flossing comes in.

The use of toothpaste aids greatly in the removal of plaque and in strengthening the whole tooth structure, making it more resistant to tooth decay. Also, using toothpaste that contains fluoride helps promote remineralization in the teeth. The other ingredients found in toothpaste also help clean and polish teeth, which helps keep teeth looking polished and clean. Lastly, the toothpaste leaves a fresh feeling in your mouth and reduces odor in the mouth, which can do wonders to your confidence.

What Toothpaste To Use

The truth is that it rarely matters what brand of toothpaste you buy. It doesn’t even matter if it’s in paste, gel, or powder form. The only important thing is that the toothpaste you’re using contains fluoride.

The fluoride is the key ingredient that makes toothpastes so effective in fighting plaque and keeping your teeth clean and polished. Although, you’ll want to make sure that the toothpaste brand you’re using bears the seal of approval of an esteemed organization, such as the ADA or American Dental Association. This seal is proof that the product has been tested properly for safety and efficacy in a series of controlled, clinical trials.

If, however, your teeth are sensitive to hot or cold, you may want to use toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain either strontium chloride or potassium nitrate, useful ingredients that desensitize your teeth by blocking the tubes in teeth connected to nerves and providing necessary protection to any exposed dentin.

How Much You Should Use

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to put a lot of gel or paste on your toothbrush for it to be effective. In fact, a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on the top half of your toothbrush is more than enough. Also, make sure that you brush correctly by holding the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush from the inside, outside and then in between your teeth. You’ll know if you’re brushing enough if the paste foams enough to cover your whole teeth.

Brushing with toothpaste and flossing are two of the best things that you can do help remove plaque and food particles from your teeth and gum line. However, you shouldn’t also forget to visit your dentist every six months for dental checkups and professional cleaning.

If you are in need of a routine checkup or professional cleaning, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule an appointment today! Or visit www.gmdental.com for additional information.