Centuries ago toothpaste was made from crushed bones and oyster shells to clean teeth. Modern toothpaste has come a long way from its predecessor and now serves several purposes. The majority of the products on the market have fluoride to make teeth stronger and protect them from cavities, mild abrasives to help with plaque removal, flavouring to freshen breath and additional ingredients to improve consistency and shelf-life.
Currently there are several dental products on the market that promise to provide several benefits in one formulation. We will discuss the most popular toothpastes you can get from your local supermarket or pharmacy.
1. Colgate Total Toothpaste
First Colgate toothpaste was released in 1873 and it was sold in a glass jar. First toothpaste in a tube was introduced in 1896.
Colgate 1915 magazine add
Image source: Wikipedia
Colgate Total was released 15 years ago and haws been one of the most popular toothpastes on the market.
Helps to reduce Tartar
Whitens (mild abrasive and plaque control)
12h Antibacterial Protection
Helps to prevent Cavities
Sodium Fluoride 0.22% W/W or 1000 parts per million. Makes teeth more resistant to dental decay and has anti-bacterial action. This is a commonly use fluoride formulation found in a lot of other toothpastes.
Triclosan 0.3% W/W with co-polymer which makes triclosan stick to teeth. Provides 12h anti-bacterial action guarding teeth against bacteria associated with dental decay and gum disease
There are several reasons why Colgate Total is a popular choice among consumers and professionals. Its antibacterial action has been clinically proven to reduce gum disease, improve bad breath due to long-lasting antibacterial action and prevent plaque build-up. The original formulation comes as classic white coloured toothpaste with a pleasant mint flavour and smooth consistency. It is also available in several other variation – Whitening, Fresh+ Whitening Gel, Clean Mint Paste, Enamel Strength and Deep Clean.
2. Oral-B Pro-Health All Around Protection Toothpaste
It was released in Australia earlier this year and it took developers several years to create the final product.
Prevents Gum Problems
Builds increasing protection against painful sensitivity
Whitens teeth by removing surface stains
Prevents Enamel Erosion
Stabilised Stannous Fluoride 0.454% W/W or 1450 parts per million. Stannous Fluoride toothpaste has been recommended to patients for decades due to its powerful anti-decay properties. It also makes teeth more resistant to erosion, helps to prevent and relieve sensitivity and has anti-bacterial action.
Sodium Fluoride 0.078% W/W. Commonly used fluoride formulation, helps to make teeth more resistant to decay.
Sodium Hexametaphosphate. Amplifies the action of fluoride and its benefits plus it helps to control staining and tartar build-up
It is a great product for those who have a high incidence of dental decay and early decay lesions (it helps to prevent decay progression). It has fresh mint flavour and gritty “crystals” which dissolve once they come in contact with saliva. Unfortunately it does have a mild aftertaste due to active ingredient but a lot of patients don’t seem to mind it (particularly after a few uses). Pro-Health All Around Protection is available in two flavours – Clean Mint and Fresh Mint.
3. Sensodyne Complete Care
Sensodyne toothpaste has been a popular choice for many people with sensitive teeth. Sensitive toothpaste work by either numbing the nerve inside the tooth or building a protective layer to insulate teeth against sensitivity.
Creates a protective mineral layer over sensitive areas to shield you from the pain of sensitive teeth
Strengthens & re-hardens enamel
Helps to protect against plaque
Helps to maintain healthy gums
helps restore natural whiteness
gives a clean feeling
NovaMin an advanced calcium and phosphate complex which helps to build a protective layer over exposed root surface therefore reducing sensitivity.
Sodium Fluoride 1450 parts per million. Has an anti-bacterial and enamel rebuilding action which helps to prevent and control decay.
Good choice for people who need to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth on a daily basis. Apart from protecting teeth from sensitivity it has added benefits of fluoride plus inclusion of silica to gently lift stains from teeth (abrasive toothpastes can worsen sensitivity).
Myth: You should avoid brushing and flossing bleeding and inflamed gums
It might seem to be logical to leave red and inflamed tissue alone and wait until it heals. However when it comes to your gums the opposite is true. Plaque and food particles accumulate along your gums making them irritated and inflamed. This accumulation needs to be gently but thoroughly removed with soft-bristled toothbrush in order for your gums to heal.
Gums might bleed initially however it will reduce over time. A lot of people will experience some degree of bleeding when they haven’t flossed for a while. When flossing, don’t force the floss between your teeth. Instead gently slide it back and forth, following the natural c-shaped curve of your tooth. It may take few days for bleeding and soreness to disappear. If bleeding and soreness doesn’t disappear after few weeks of proper brushing and flossing, it may be a sign of more serious problem that needs to be assessed by your dentist.
Myth: Mouthwash can replace brushing
Few years ago a major mouthrinse manufacturer released a number of nation-wide TV and radio commercials claiming that their product was “blasting plaque off teeth” and “killing 99.9% of germs”. Unfortunately their claims were far from truth.
When plaque starts to appear on teeth it forms a complex biofilm which can only be removed by mechanical action (brushing and flossing). Mouthrinse will only kill a surface layer of bacteria leaving others untouched. Furthermore it only kills 99.9% of bacteria providing it is not suspended in a biofilm. Think of mouthrinse as a nice addition to your brushing and flossing routine.
Not all mouthrinses are the same. Most of them are designed to target specific dental conditions. So ask your dentist or hygienist which one the is best for you.
Myth: Placing a painkiller tablet on a tooth will relieve toothache
You wouldn’t put a tablet on your forehead if you have a headache, would you?Pain killers are designed to be ingested as they get absorbed through digestive tract and enter your blood stream to travel through your body. Pain killers work by blocking pain messages from affected site to your brain. Furthermore some painkillers like Aspirin are very acidic and can cause very painful chemical burns to the soft tissue surrounding the tooth.
Myth: Tooth decay is genetic
Dental decay is caused by bacteria therefore it is considered to be an “infection” rather than inherited trait. Dental decay is transmittable and is usually passed from mothers and other family members to babies during their first year of life though kissing and sharing of food. Child is more likely to harbour tooth-decay causing bacteria later in life if their parents or carers had active decay or lots of fillings.
Good oral hygiene and diet is the best way to prevent dental decay in children.
Myth: You dont have to see a dentist if teeth are not bothering you
Prevention is better than cure. Most dental diseases can be prevented but cannot be reversed. Several dental conditions such as periodontal disease, erosion, attrition wear and early stages of caries are known as “silent killers” and usually don’t show any symptoms until late stages of disease. Through regular examinations your dentist can detect those problems early and stop or slow down the progression of the disease. It is much easier and more cost-effective to treat early dental decay compared to advanced one which is painful and cavitated.
Plus severely decayed tooth might require very costly and complex restorative treatment such as Root Canal Treatment or in some cases need to be extracted.
Most people know that frequent consumption of sugar can lead to dental decay. Soft drinks, lollies and sweets are often blamed for dental decay (and in most cases they are the main offenders).
Bacteria that live on our teeth convert sugar into acid which destroys tooth surface.
However other foods and drinks can also contribute to dental decay as they contain “hidden sugar”. They include potato chips, salad dressings, sauces, fruit juices, flavoured water, peanut butter, cereals, muesli bars and many other processed foods and drinks. No added sugar labelling can also be misleading as product may already have a large quantity of naturally occurring sugar.
Manufacturers often add sugar to enhance products flavour, especially of the low-fat alternatives. All foods and drinks should have their nutritional values displayed on the packaging or available through manufacturers. Quantity per 100 g will give you the best idea of sugar content.
Solids 0-5 g
Liquids 0-2.5 g
Solids 5-12.5 g
Liquids 2.5- 7.5 g
Solids more than 12.5 g
Liquids more than 7.5 g
It can be impossible to cut out these foods completely but cutting down on them and limiting the consumption to meal-times only will give your teeth a better chance of staying healthy.
Try snacking on tooth-friendly foods like hard cheese, nuts, wholegrain cereals, lean meats, vegetables and fresh fruits (drink plain water after eating fruit because they are high in acid and fructose). Plain water and milk are the best drinks for your teeth.
Sugar-free chewing gum is also good for teeth as it stimulates saliva which neutralises acids, gets rid of food debris and coats your teeth with protective film. Recaldent™ chewing gum also has bio-available calcium and phosphate added to it which repairs damaged tooth structure, inhibits decay-causing bacteria in the mouth and can reduce tooth sensitivity.
Now there is no excuse for not maintaining an optimal oral health routine..
Smartphones have been dominating our lives – whether they are our alarm clocks, our cameras, our computers, and now they can be our toothbrush… well, almost! An innovative new toothbrush synchronises with an iPhone or android application that can help track your dental habits and even send them across to your dentist!
Gone are the days of lying through your teeth to dental professionals, now we know exactly what you have (and haven’t!) been doing.
At Paul Trembath Dental we can guess your dental habits without the help of this super-brush..
Your teeth are something you want to last your lifetime, which is why at Paul Trembath Dental located in Mt Gravatt we are committed to providing high quality dental treatments. Our dental experts have many years’ experience in dental care, and are able to tell just by the state of your teeth how well you have been looking after them!
If you are after an optimal oral health routine, it is recommended you:
Brush twice daily, using a soft-bristled toothbrush held at a 45 degree angle.
Floss at least once a day, this will help to remove any excess food particles that would otherwise cause harm to your teeth.
Visit our dental practice in Mt Gravatt every six months, as this allows us to discover any oral issues early.
For more information on our dental treatments or to book an appointment at our Mt Gravatt dental practice, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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