Dr. Saumitra Saravana
Many Toothpastes, What to Choose?
One common question we get asked all the time is what toothpaste to use? Now, humans have been using all kinds of things for a long time to clean our teeth. Ancient Indians were using Neem tree barks to clean their teeth. Ashes made of Ox hooves, Burnt Eggshells, Crushed Bones, Oyster Shells, and Charcoals have all been used in the past. Chalk was initially used in the 1850s. Dr. Peabody, a Dentist incorporated soap into the product to make it foam. In 1873, Colgate started to mass produce toothpaste in a Jar! The first real health benefit from toothpastes came about in 1956 when Proctor and Gamble added Fluoride to their Crest toothpaste brand.
Most modern toothpastes have a few major ingredients to them. There is an abrasive that helps your brush scrub the biofilm off your teeth. There are detergents to generate foam, Fluoride to help re mineralize and strengthen our teeth and Flavoring agents. What you need to look for when shopping for toothpaste is an ADA Seal. The American Dental Association will certify commercially available products on their safety. This is very important because there was a recent incident, where a non-certified toothpaste was found to contain Antifreeze! (Which needless to say is Toxic.) When choosing toothpaste for older children, Fluoridated toothpaste is preferred. Younger children who can reliably spit out toothpaste can use Fluoridated toothpaste however kids who cannot be counted on spitting out things should be using non-fluoridated toothpaste. Adults who suffer from a dry mouth should use Toothpaste's without sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium N-Lauryl sarcosinate which are surfectants. This chemical helps in the foaming action of the toothpaste but dries out your mouth more. You could search online for a SLS Free Toothpaste to see what is available in your area.Biotene and Rembrandt companies make special toothpastes for patients with Dry Mouth. On a side note, patients who suffer from Dry Mouth should not use Alcohol based Mouthwashes such as Listerine or Scope. "Ugelstad Spheres" named for the Norwegian scientist who invented them are pretty useful for scrubbing teeth and faces. These get washed down the drain and are too small to be filtered. Eventually they end up in the river beds where fish eat them or dissolve in water releasing harmful PCBs. We are not sure how they effect us when eaten and speaking for myself the less plastic I consume, the better! They do also tend to get stuck in our patients gums after a bout of brushing. Canada and numerous American States have banned them and Colgate, P and G and Unilever have agreed to remove them from their products. As our patient we think you should stop using products containing these products today! Finally, our patients with sensitive teeth will find some relief by using toothpastes that have either as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to help reduce tooth sensitivity. One good way to use them is not use them as a toothpaste but as an ointment. So you would coat them on the sensitive teeth and let the paste sit on the teeth for a few minutes before rinsing off. We find that this gives a better relief than brushing your teeth for a few minutes. If your are looking for a dentist near you/ in Fredericksburg area or you need to get a free consult or have any questions about Dry Mouth call our office at 540 370 8504 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.