What’s in Toothpaste?

Woman Looking at ToothpasteAnd Why Is Using It Important?

Toothpaste is the first line of defense for your teeth and overall oral health. A proper oral hygiene regimen means you should be brushing twice a day—once before bedtime and once in the morning. That’s because, during the night, saliva flow lessens and bacteria growth is at its highest, so it’s important to brush before and after this period, when your teeth are at their most vulnerable. Brushing is the best way to prevent the buildup of plaque, which can eventually lead to cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.

How does toothpaste work?

The primary function of toothpaste is a mild abrasive to help remove food debris and sticky buildup from your teeth. With a gentle scrubbing action, toothpaste helps prevent the accumulation of plaque/tartar as well as remove stains. Additionally, toothpaste contains a foaming agent that helps to dislodge food debris and then carry it away from the teeth.

What are the “active” ingredients?

There are many different possible active ingredients, each with a specific purpose and function. The most common and widely known being fluoride. Fluoride promotes healthy teeth by assisting in the remineralization of enamel. Every day, our tooth enamel gets worn away due to acidity in the food we eat, as well as that produced by harmful bacteria. Fluoride, applied topically to the teeth, helps reverse this process and has been shown to reduce the occurrence of cavities.

Other typical active ingredients are those chosen for their whitening properties. These may include peroxide, or sodium triphosphate, which help to break down and dissolve stains.

Furthermore, toothpaste may have special ingredients added to combat bad breath (halitosis) as well as periodontal (gum) disease. Most commonly, these include triclosan or zinc chloride.

Which Toothpaste Should I Use?

The toothpaste that’s right for you depends on your specific needs. Call our office at (916) 483-5900 to ask for a recommendation!

About Dr. William J. Black

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the UCLA School of Dentistry where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Black has 8 children, works actively with the Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys gardening.

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