How Does Toothpaste Work?

Have you ever wondered why we brush our teeth with toothpaste? It turns out that toothpaste does much more than make your breath smell minty fresh. Toothpaste is an important part of keeping your mouth healthy and clean. Keep reading to learn more about how toothpaste works.

Toothpaste Ingredients

Fluoride: Fluoride is an ingredient that is required by the American Dental Association. Fluoride strengthens your enamel and helps fight off tooth decay.

Abrasives: Abrasives are non-soluble particles that help dislodge things that get stuck in your teeth. Common abrasives in toothpaste include silicas, aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, and calcium hydrogen phosphates.

Detergents: Detergents create foam and bubbles when you brush. This helps spread the toothpaste around in your mouth so everything gets clean. The most common detergent used in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate.

Flavors: Flavoring helps make your breath fresh and it makes brushing more pleasant. Toothpaste can’t be flavored with sugar or anything else that could promote tooth decay—instead, toothpaste is usually flavored with mint oils like peppermint oil or spearmint oil.

Toothpaste will work best if you use correct brushing techniques. Check your habits to make sure you are brushing your teeth correctly:

  • Start by flossing your teeth to dislodge any particles that your toothbrush wont be able to reach. Flossing is just as important as brushing, so it is wise to make it part of your brushing routine.
  • Brush your teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush unless your dentist recommends something else. In general the bristles should also be rounded. Brushing with harder bristles could damage your enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable.
  • Brush for at least two minutes while moving the toothbrush in small circles like the wheels of a train. This is more effective than brushing back and forth.
  • Brush after each meal so sugar, acid, and other harmful substances don’t have time to sit on your teeth and promote bacteria growth.

To learn more about keeping your teeth healthy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Devin Okay. Regular checkups and dental cleanings are crucial to keeping your mouth healthy and your teeth strong

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