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What’s in toothpaste and how should I pick?

 

whats in toothpaste and how do I pick

whats in toothpaste and how do I pick

Toothpaste no longer comes in simple choices of fluoride and fresh breath. Paste is not even the only option! You also have a choice of an array of colors and flavors. With so many varieties available, it may be difficult to know which features or combinations of ingredients are best for your mouth. Dr. Chauvin and our amazing Lafayette Louisiana team are here to help!

When it comes to dental care products, toothpaste is one of the most important components of proper dental hygiene for kids and adults. It cleans and polishes your teeth and removes bacteria and plaque that cause gum disease, dental decay, and bad breath. Toothpastes contain various ingredients that work in different ways. Detergents produce foaming action to better remove plaque and food particles. Abrasives help remove stains, and fluoride strengthens and protects teeth. The toothpaste you choose should reflect your personal dental care needs.

Types of toothpaste

  • Fluoride Toothpaste –  The most common ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride.  It aids in cleaning the teeth and strengthening the enamel.
  • Desensitizing Toothpaste – Contains active ingredients such as potassium nitrate or arginine that assist in blocking the nerve pathways from the tooth.
  • Whitening Toothpaste –  Usually does not contain bleaches but contain relatively coarse abrasives which function by abrading the stains on the tooth surface, giving a whitening effect. You may want to keep in mind that whitening toothpaste does not do the job of a professional bleaching – it simply helps to remove minor stains and touch up a faded smile and are often too harsh for the average tooth.
  • Tartar Controlled Toothpaste – These help to prevent any further build up of tarter but cannot reach the tartar that collects below your gum line. However some companies are looking to produce toothpaste which fights gum disease.
  • Smokers Toothpaste –  These are specially designed to remove nicotine and tar stains on teeth caused by smoking.
  • Children’s Toothpaste –  These are fairly similar to the adult versions the only difference being that they will contain a smaller amount of fluoride and have more child friendly flavors.

One very important thing to know about your toothpaste is it’s abrasivity.  Toothpaste makers regularly measure their product’s abrasivity. It’s necessary for FDA approval, and usually is not included in marketing. Abrasivity measurements are given by what’s known as an RDA value which stands for radioactive dentin abrasion or relative dentin abrasivity.

There is an ever changing chart to keep up with the values. Anything below 70-80 RDA is considered low abrasive.

 

RDA Dentifrice brand and variety Source
07 straight baking soda Church & Dwight
08 Arm & Hammer Tooth Powder Church & Dwight
30 Elmex Sensitive Plus Elmex
35 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Church & Dwight
42 Arm & Hammer Advance White Baking Soda Peroxide Church & Dwight
44 Squigle Enamel Saver Squigle
48 Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive Church & Dwight
49 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Tartar Control Church & Dwight
49 Tom’s of Maine Sensitive (given as 40’s) Tom’s
52 Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular Church & Dwight
53 Rembrandt Original (RDA) Rembrandt
54 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint Church & Dwight
57 Tom’s of Maine Children’s, Wintermint (given as mid-50’s) Tom’s
62 Supersmile Supersmile
63 Rembrandt Mint (‘Heffernan RDA’) Rembrandt
68 Colgate Regular Colgate-Palmolive
70 Colgate Total Colgate-Palmolive
70 Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive Church & Dwight
70 Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint (given as 50-70) Colgate-Palmolive
79 Sensodyne Colgate-Palmolive
80 AIM Unilever
80 Close-Up Unilever
83 Colgate Sensitive Maximum Strength Colgate-Palmolive
91 Aquafresh Sensitive Colgate-Palmolive
93 Tom’s of Maine Regular (given as high 80’s low 90’s) Squigle (Tom’s)
94 Rembrandt Plus Rembrandt
94 Plus White Indiana study
95 Crest Regular (possibly 99) P&G (P&G)
101 Natural White Indiana study
103 Mentadent Squigle
103 Arm & Hammer Sensation Church & Dwight
104 Sensodyne Extra Whitening Colgate-Palmolive
106 Colgate Platinum Indiana study
106 Arm & Hammer Advance White Paste Church & Dwight
107 Crest Sensitivity Protection Colgate-Palmolive
110 Colgate Herbal Colgate-Palmolive
110 Amway Glister (given as upper bound) Patent US06174515
113 Aquafresh Whitening Indiana study
117 Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel Church & Dwight
117 Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control Church & Dwight
120 Close-Up with Baking Soda (canadian) Unilever
124 Colgate Whitening Indiana study
130 Crest Extra Whitening Indiana study
133 Ultra brite (or 120-140) Indiana study (or Colgate-Palmolive)
144 Crest MultiCare Whitening P&G
145 Ultra brite Advanced Whitening Formula P&G
145 Colgate Baking Sode & Peroxide Whitening (given as 135-145) Colgate-Palmolive
150 Pepsodent (given as upper bound) Unilever
165 Colgate Tartar Control (given as 155-165) Colgate-Palmolive
168 Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mint Church & Dwight
200 Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/Whitening or Icy Blast/Whitening (given as 190-200) Colgate-Palmolive
200 recommended limit FDA
250 recommended limit ADA

 

The ADA Seal

The most important thing you should look for when buying toothpaste is the seal of the ADA (American Dental Association). According to Dr. Ada Cooper, an ADA spokesperson, “This shows the product has been tested, its claims are legitimate and its ingredients are effective.”

The ADA seal indicates that the toothpaste contains fluoride, an ingredient that removes plaque. One of the biggest threats to your dental health, plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums and can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

You may also want to consider the flavor of your toothpaste. You are more likely to use toothpaste in a flavor you enjoy. If you’re curious about testing a new flavor, but aren’t sure whether you will like it, try a travel-sized tube instead of a full size. Or, ask your favorite Lafayette La dentist, Dr. Chauvin for a sample during your next dental visit!

 

Visiting your dentist

Once you find the toothpaste that is right for you it is important to keep up with good dental hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day and make sure you schedule your routine teeth cleaning every six months with Dr. Chauvin.

Why sharks don’t get cavities – A lesson in fluoride

Sharks have the healthiest teeth in the animal kingdom. That’s pretty impressive seeing as sharks average around 15 rows of teeth in each jaw. Some sharks end up growing and shedding up to 30,000 teeth in their lifetime. Great pearly White Shark, that’s a lot of teeth! How do sharks keep all their teeth looking so porcelain and clean? Well for one, they don’t drink a lot of sugary beverages or candies. It also turns out that sharks have a fluoride coating on their teeth. In fact, their teeth contain 100% fluoride.   Makes sense that they would have their own type of travel toothpaste since they always seem to be on the move.

Why is fluoride so important?

Fluoride is an active ingredient in most toothpastes and is even added to water throughout the country. It’s extremely important in fighting against tooth decay. It protects teeth by restoring the loss of minerals on the tooth enamel. When our teeth lose those minerals on the enamel, it opens the doors to cavities. Think of fluoride as a protective shield, keeping acids that eat through the tooth’s surface at bay. If plaque and tartar are allowed to accumulate on teeth for an extended period of time, it can allow for dangerous bacteria to grow next to the gums. By getting routine teeth cleanings harmful build is removed from your tooth and leaves the tooth surface smooth and clean in order to stop bacteria from developing.

 

How to make sure you are getting enough fluoride:

  • Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral and is found in various foods and water.
  • Mouthwashes and toothpastes often contain fluoride. Your dentist may even apply higher doses of fluoride in a gel or foam form when you have a checkup.
  • Sometimes a doctor may decide that you need a fluoride supplement. These are available in liquid or tablet form.
  • Fluoride is also important for adults – It’s important to continue to use fluoride toothpaste even after the ‘formative years’ for teeth
  • Too much fluoride can be a bad thing. Knowing how much your city puts in water is important.

 

It just doesn’t seem fair that a mammal with thousands of replaceable teeth also has the advantage of never getting cavities. Throw a dog a bone! Unfortunately, humans can’t regenerate teeth each time we get a new cavity, so remember to brush and floss daily because this is the only real set of teeth you’ll have!

If you have questions about whether you’re getting enough fluoride, contact us to make an appointment for a routine cleaning.

mouth guard

Custom night guard benefits

A custom night guard protects people that have problems with bruxism. Bruxism is the compression and gritting of teeth. For some people, it is a mild annoyance. For others, this can become a serious issue that becomes difficult to control and treat at advanced stages.Typically, bruxism happens in your sleep.

The damage caused by bruxism can include:

  • Serrations in the teeth
  • Deterioration of the biting surface area
  • Tooth fractures or breaks
  • Tooth loss
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain
  • Neck pain

As a person grinds their teeth, the incisors and canines move against one another sideways. This causes the degradation of the enamel, which leads to dulled biting edges. Bruxism not only causes problems for the individual suffering for it, but also for those around them. Some people grind their molars loudly while they sleep. If they are sleeping with anyone, that person is going to have a hard time trying to stay asleep.

Teeth grinding leads to serious dental harm, if left untreated. Many people are usually either unaware they have a problem, or aren’t as severely affected as others. That is because only five to ten percent people develop severe symptoms.

Treatment for Bruxism:mouth guard

Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct treatment for bruxism itself. The best way to prevent additional damage is with a custom night guard. While this helps protect a person’s teeth, it doesn’t do much for the head and muscle pain caused by grinding. There are a few things someone can do to try to reduce the severity of their grinding:

  • Reduce caffeine consumption
  • Stay away from alcohol
  • Avoid chewing on things that aren’t food, especially chewing gum
  • Be more observant during the day. If you find yourself clenching, put the tip of your tongue in between your teeth. This forces your jaw to relax.
  • Before bed, place a warm washcloth on your jaw to relax the muscles.

While these won’t necessarily eliminate the problem, they can help reduce the severity of it. Over the counter night guards are available, but if they don’t fit well, they can actually make the problem worse. A custom night guard will be measured to fit your mouth exactly. A dentist will use putty to take a mold of your mouth, and then he’ll send the impression off to be turned into a night guard. The end result is a perfect mold of your mouth that will protect your teeth and help you manage your grinding. Questions? Give us a call!