Toothpaste – Do You Know How They Work?

How toothpaste works

Since time immemorial mankind has witnessed the usage of certain day-to-day items but many people have never been curious enough to understand the exact purpose or role of that commodity in their lives.

Have you ever understood the purpose of the monthly guest in your toiletries which you refill without fail because you know it is an essential part of your life? Maybe you have, maybe you have not.

The global market for toothpastes is huge and the top brands selling toothpastes include Colgate, Sensodyne, and Crest among many others.

What is Toothpaste and Uses of Toothpaste

Toothpaste is a dentifrice meaning a substance used for cleaning of teeth. Toothpaste is used all across the world in various colors, and flavors as an adjunct to toothbrushes or simply with fingers. The toothpaste cleans, polishes, removes stains, reduces the occurrence of tooth decay, and helps reduce bad breath.

How Does Toothpaste Work

The magic ingredients in Toothpaste which protect our teeth

Toothpaste helps us in keeping the enamel strong and safe. They contain ingredients with specific properties and purpose that helps to keep the teeth healthy.

Aluminium Oxide, Calcium Pyrophosphate, Carbonates such as Sodium Bicarbonate, Calcium Carbonate, and SilicaABRASIVESCleaning action is mainly because of ‘abrasives’ which are solid, insoluble particles.

It contains various other components such as binders, humectants, surfactants, fluoride actives, preservatives, sweeteners, and flavoring agents. They each have their own specific role in making the dentifrice useful for the consumer.

Medicated toothpastes and chemical toothpastes are common but what about Herbal ones?

Herbal toothpaste contains natural abrasives like Neem, Turmeric, and Cloves which help with stains and dental decay as well as reducing sensitivity.

The benefit of herbal ingredients is the lack of side effects and multitude of long-term gains. Essential oils, natural flavoring agents, and goodness of plant products make them consumer friendly.

The Asian continent is known for herbal products and leads the market in popularly used herbal toothpastes. A lot of people around the world prefer herbal toothpastes because of the popular belief that they are made from natural ingredients and have no side effects.

High time we know our real tooth saviors!

Most toothpaste contain fluoride compounds such as Sodium Fluoride or Stannous fluoride. Fluoride helps the enamel in many ways. It gives it strength and mechanical durability, it acts on enzymes released by decay-causing bacteria and destabilizes them. Apart from toothpaste, fluorides are applied professionally by dentists in other forms as well such as solutions, gels, and foams.

Fluorides also help in reducing sensitivity by making the enamel strong as it reacts with the calcium hydroxyapatite crystals which make up the basic structure of tooth enamel.

The surfactants help in foaming action which makes it easy for the debris around and on the tooth to be removed easily. Common surfactants are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Polyethylene Glycol(PEG).

What is your role?

There are no bad toothpaste but only bad decisions when it comes to choosing the right toothpaste for you. One must choose the toothpaste based on the requirement and after a detailed dentist consultation and recommendation.

  • For sensitivity- Toothpaste targeting sensitivity relief.
  • For yellow discolorations- Abrasive containing such as those with activated charcoal or gel-based
  • For general use- herbal or non-herbal
  • For surgical cases- toothpaste with chlorhexidine mouthwash as an adjunct temporarily
  • For surgical cases- toothpaste with chlorhexidine mouthwash as an adjunct temporarily
For healthy teeth
  1. Using toothpaste correctly, in the right amount (pea-sized bit), for the right duration (2-3 minutes) and frequency is vital for a healthy mouth.
  2.  Dentists around the world recommend brushing using toothbrush and toothpaste at least twice a day. 
  3. After every meal, one should rinse their mouth to remove excess debris or bacteria, or food particles.

Our oral cavity is a mirror to our entire body and it is important that we keep the image clean.