You often go to the store, compare different kinds of toothpaste & choose the best for your family. But are you aware of the ingredients packed in that tube?
What is in Your Toothpaste?
Have you ever stood at the toothpaste aisle, and wondered how to choose the best one? They all promise clean white teeth—so what is the difference? Truth is, toothpastes are all pretty similar when you look at the ingredients. So, let’s take a look at what makes a toothpaste.
Almost Every Toothpaste Contains:
Binders – Binders thicken the toothpaste and hold the solid and liquid components together. This is especially important during the storage and transportation of the product. Binders also affect the speed and volume of toothpaste foam production, how the flavor release and product dispersal, the appearance of the toothpaste, and how well it rinses off the toothbrush.
Abrasives – Abrasives are used to scrub the outside of the teeth to get rid of plaque and loosen particles on teeth. Abrasives may affect the paste’s consistency, cost, and taste and opacity. Some abrasives are harsher than others. And we do advise our patients not to choose a very abrasive paste for this reason as the can sometimes result in unnecessary damage to the tooth enamel. The best option often contains a combination of abrasives.
Sudsers – Sudsers are also known as foaming agents and give toothpaste that
bubbly feeling. The sudsers also lower the surface tension of water so that bubbles are formed from the paste. Sudsers help remove particles from teeth.
Humectants – Humectants keep the solid and liquid parts of toothpaste together and retain water. They also can add a coolness and/or sweetness to the toothpaste which makes toothpaste taste and feel pleasant in the mouth when used.
Flavor (unique additives) – Toothpastes have flavors to make them more palatable. Mint is the most common flavor used because it imparts a feeling of freshness, however there are other popular flavors such as spearmint, peppermint, wintergreen, and cinnamon.
Sweeteners – In addition to flavors, toothpastes contain sweeteners to make it taste palatable.
Fluorides – Fluorides reduce decay by increasing the strength of teeth. Sodium fluoride is the most commonly used fluoride.
Tooth whitener – Sodium perborate is used as a tooth whitening ingredient. Tooth whiteners remove or reduce stains on the tooth enamel. Not all toothpastes contain a tooth whitener, but many do.
Preservative – Most toothpastes contain the preservative p-hydrozybenzoate. This allows the toothpaste to last during storage, transportation and while sitting on your bathroom sink!
The thing that makes toothpastes, or more effective, is not really the base ingredients, but the quantity of each. More abrasive toothpastes can harm enamel, less sudsy toothpastes don’t produce the bubble effect necessary to get to all surfaces, and texture, flavor and appearance go a long way in how comfortable we are with using the product. If you have questions about the brands of toothpaste that we recommend at the North Stapley Dental Care office, just give us a call at (480) 418-0459 ask at your next appointment.