Toothpaste is an important part of our daily routine. It brings us a healthy smile and a fresh feeling to start the day on a positive note. Most of us are aware of the benefits of toothpaste, but few of us know how and why toothpaste works.
Ingredients and functions of toothpaste
Fluoride: Sodium fluoride polishes and helps prevent cavities in the teeth. It may also lessen mouth odor.
Abrasives: Help remove food particles and stains from teeth. Magnesium, calcium carbonate and phosphate salts are some of the abrasives found in toothpastes. Make sure to use toothpaste with mild abrasives, as high abrasive content is likely to damage your teeth.
Humectants: Humectants like glycerol, glycol, propylene and sorbitol help retain water in the toothpaste and keep it from drying out.
Flavoring agents: Sweeteners, mainly saccharin, is used in the toothpaste to add taste to it. Sweeteners used in toothpaste do not decay the tooth.
Binders: Binders are thickening agents like mineral or seaweed colloids, natural gums or synthetic cellulose that are used to stabilize the toothpaste formula.
Detergents: Detergents or surfactants are used to generate the foaming action. Sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium N-lauryl sarcosinate are the common detergents used in toothpaste.
Colorant: Colorants decide the look of the toothpaste. The color and the transparency level are given by the colorant.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has kept certain standards to determine the safety and effectiveness of any toothpaste. It is therefore advisable to go for a brand that carries the Seal of Acceptance by the ADA.
Toothpaste plays a pivotal role in maintaining our oral health. Make it a regular habit to brush your teeth twice a day, for maximum oral protection!