Post #39 – What is toothpaste made of?

What is toothpaste made of?

Toothpaste is a paste that when used with a toothbrush will aid to promote better oral hygiene. Tooth paste contains many ingredients. The most important ingredients are:

Abrasives

Aids in removing plaque from teeth. At least 50% of your toothpaste is made of abrasives. You may be wondering if they actually harm teeth. In fact, they do cause a small amount of enamel erosion over time. Therefore, it is important to use pastes that contain a lesser amount. The abrasive effect of toothpaste is indicated by its RDA value.

Fluoride

It is the main active ingredient that helps teeth to be more resilient to acid attacks, hence, lowering the chance of caries formation. Over the counter toothpastes have 0.24% and prescription strength have 1.1% fluoride. Toothpaste is not intended to be swallowed but a small amount is generally not very harmful if accidentally swallowed. If you do swallow a large amount, you should seek medical attention.

Detergents

Account for the foam you see while brushing. And no! it is not your laundry type detergent. Most brands contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Some brands of toothpaste have more and some have lesser amounts of this detergent. That is why some toothpastes foam more than others. Recent studies have indicated that this will not have any impact on the level of plaque removal.

Flavoring & Perfume

Their primary purpose is to make the toothpaste taste and smell good. The most common flavoring is mint.

Tooth paste
Tooth paste 2
Potassium Nitrate

This is another active ingredient that is present in anti sensitivity toothpastes. It has the ability to seal exposed dentinal tubules that usually become exposed as you develop gum recession. In order for this to be effective, you have to use the toothpaste for a few weeks. If it does help you, then you would have to use it every day in order to maintain the benefit it provides.

Note of Interest

Keep in mind that brushing without toothpaste is still a good way of removing plaque and keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It is not the toothpaste that does the job but rather your toothbrush. So if you happen not to have any toothpaste at hand just wet your toothbrush with water and brush away your pearly whites!

If you have questions about toothpastes or oral hygiene, please do not hesitate to contact us at 561-898-1010 for a consultation.