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.

Why Coffee Is So Bad For Your Oral Health

young beautiful woman drink coffee

Coffee is equally as famous for perking people up in the morning or at any time of the day as it is notorious for causing ugly stains on the teeth. Also, the stains aren’t the only problem, as coffee can contribute to tooth and enamel erosion, bad breath, and a number of other dental problems.

How Coffee Stains Teeth

The tooth enamel is considered as the hardest and most mineralized substance of the human body. It is also not flat and smooth, containing a huge number of microscopic pits and ridges that can particles from the many food and beverages we eat and consume.

Normally, the saliva is able to clean these microscopic pits and ridges. This, and the fact that most people do brush their teeth regularly, all but ensure that the tooth enamels remains relatively strong and healthy.

Coffee, however, contains an ingredient called tannins that break down in water. You can also find the same ingredients in other beverages such as wine or tea.  These tannins can cause color compounds to embed on those microscopic cracks and ridges, which with regular consumption, may cause unwanted, yellow and permanent stains on your teeth.

The Other Dangers of Coffee Consumption

Like any other drink that’s not water, coffee can help promote the increased production of acids in your mouth. This can cause tooth and enamel erosion, which can make your teeth thin and brittle and lead to tooth sensitivity. Also, coffee sticks to the tongue and may cause halitosis or better known as bad breath. Although bad breath may also be caused by the caffeine in your coffee that slows down saliva production and dries out your mouth.

The worst part here is that regular coffee consumption can also put you at a higher risk for gum disease. This is because as the coffee erodes the enamel of your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth have exactly what it needs to build up sticky plaque and irritate your gums.

Good News For Coffee Lovers

While coffee isn’t the healthiest beverage that you can expose your teeth to, it’s not exactly the worst. In fact, it is still possible to drink coffee regularly and maintain a white and healthy smile. Although, this won’t come easy.

For starters, you’ll want to stop putting creamer and sugar in your coffee and start getting used to drinking your coffee black. This may not be how you prefer your coffee, but black coffee isn’t as bad for your teeth. Also, despite still being coffee and the much-bitter taste, science has actually proven that drinking black coffee is the healthiest way to drink coffee and enjoy its many health benefits, including healthier and stronger teeth.

Another thing you can do is to make sure that you drink your coffee in just one sitting and brushing your teeth a few minutes after finishing the mug. By doing so, you help prevent bacteria buildup throughout the day.

Make sure to remember to take care of your teeth and at the same, drink coffee in moderation, and you should still be able to enjoy your favorite cup of joe without having to worry about what it does to your oral health.

If you’re suffering from damaged or discolored teeth due to the effects of coffee, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule a consultation to improve your smile. Or visit www.gmdental.com for information regarding Dr. Gerald Middleton.