Oral health and hygiene are the most important aspect of an individual’s well-being. The pearly whites are the first thing that one notices if somebody meets with a smile. A dull, stained, yellowish or greyish set in between the lips is definitely not a beautiful sight. So choosing the toothpaste that suits an individual can become a confusing and overwhelming task. While the market is full of different types and shades of toothpaste, the guidelines to pick the right one are suggested by a few. The confusion is magnified by the strange-sounding names of the ingredients. To pick up the right kind of toothpaste one should understand the basics of toothpaste
Why use Toothpaste?
Toothpaste helps remove food particles, plaque, and germs that cause decay in teeth and gums. They come in two forms: a paste and a gel. While the paste is opaque, gels are transparent or translucent. They are used to prevent decay, cavities, discolouration of the teeth and bad breath in the mouth. Most toothpastes have the following ingredients.
- Fluoride: This is a mineral that is found in all toothpaste. They can be in the form of sodium fluoride, monofluorophosphate or stannous fluoride. It helps in fighting tooth decay.
- Calcium Carbonate /Silica/ Alumina: These are abrasives. They help in scraping off the food particles or plaque formations. They also help in removing stains.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate: This helps in the formation of foam.
- Glycerine: Helps in maintaining the moisture of the teeth and gums.
- Sorbitol: Gives a sweet aftertaste to the paste.
- Flavouring agents: Leaves a pleasant feeling after brushing.
- Zinc Citrate: Helps in removing scales or plaque.
Pick a toothpaste that suits your needs
Sensitivity is an irritating feeling that one experiences when hot or cold food touches the teeth. There are many reasons for the pain and discomfort. It can be caused by harsh brushing, cracked teeth, thin enamel or even because of too much acidic food. In all such cases, the nerve reacts when it comes in contact with the temperature of the food or liquid. Toothpaste for such a dental issue contains few ingredients like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These ingredients seal the nerve ends on the enamel or the roots. Thus, preventing the temperature of the food from affecting the nerves and curbing the pain or discomfort. There are a few kinds of toothpaste that also have advanced ingredients that prevent sensitivity.
Cavity, Gum Diseases and Plaque
For people who are suffering from cavities, gum diseases or plaque formation, it is advisable to choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride or abrasive agents. Fluoride is a mineral that in building the lost enamel and thus prevents cavities. Having said that, fluoride-enhanced toothpaste will not be able to cure the already existing cavity. Gum disease like gingivitis or bleeding gums is because of bacteria build-up. In such cases, one should use a toothpaste containing zinc citrate or pyrophosphates.
They aid in the prevention of plaque and eventually tartar formation. Plaque is a regular formation that happens because of the interaction of bacteria and food particles. If plaque is not cleaned well and regularly, it hardens to become tartar. Removal of tarter by just brushing is difficult. Minute specs of tarter can be removed by vigorous brushing with toothpaste that contains pyrophosphate. Ideally, removal of tarter formation is done by dentists.
A white set of 32 is always a delight to see. Everyone wishes for a perfectly aligned set that is sparkling white. The market is filled with many innumerable kinds of toothpaste that claim to be the best. Toothpaste for whitening teeth has an ingredient that scrubs off plaque or stains from the teeth. They do not have any bleaching agent but particles that act as abrasives. These particles work as a polishing agent. A toothpaste containing charcoal is one such example. The minute particles of charcoal are the abrasive agents that polish the teeth. These types of toothpaste do come with side effects. Usage of such toothpaste for a longer duration would lead to wear and tear or erosion of the teeth enamel. This is a permanent condition and one needs to take cognisant of this.
It is pertinent to understand the type of teeth or the oral condition oneself before venturing out to pick up a toothpaste off the counter. Toothpastes are essential for oral hygiene. And without them, the enamel of the teeth would rot. In fact, proper brushing with the right amount of toothpaste enhances the longevity of the dental condition. Thus, identifying and addressing individual needs is key to choosing the right kind of toothpaste.