Welcome back to the blog! This time we wanted to give an in depth look at the cornerstone of any oral hygiene routine; you use it twice a day, probably even have a favorite brand, but how much do you really know about it? That’s right we’re talking about toothpaste!
Early toothpaste was improved by the Greeks and Romans (of course!) when they added abrasive agents, such as crushed bones and oyster shells, to the recipes.
Modern toothpaste, however, is a bit different. Made up of 20-42% water, and then three main components: abrasives (no longer crushed bone), detergents, and fluoride.
- Abrasives typically make up about 50% of the paste itself. It is used to remove plaque and calculus build up, all to help deter cavities as well as polish the tooth.
- Detergents are utilized as a foaming device, meant to create a standard distribution of the toothpaste and improving the cleaning effectiveness.
- Fluoride is the number one active agent in fighting cavities found in toothpaste. It is naturally occurring, found in plants, animals, and some water sources but all in small amounts. By having additional fluoride, the toothpaste can aid in the protection of your tooth enamel reducing dental cavities.
A number of other miscellaneous ingredients are found, all serving specific purposes such as maintaining consistency, adding flavor, and increasing the reformation of enamel.
That’s all for standard toothpaste, but that’s hardly the end of it all. Whitening toothpastes different in that they contain peroxide, an ingredient also found in tooth whitening gels. However, it is still the abrasive that removes the stains. Excessive use of whitening toothpaste should be avoided as it can cause damage to tooth enamel.
This has been a very brief dive into the science of toothpaste. We hope by reading, you’ve learned a little bit more about what goes into the toothpaste and their uses as well as ingredients. Nothing is thrown in ‘just for fun’ when it comes to health, everything serves a purpose. We’ll catch you next time on the blog with more useful information until then keep flossing!