Toothpaste as we know it (in tubes) was invented in the 1890s, but toothpaste has existed since 5000BC, even before toothbrushes were invented. Throughout history toothpastes were made with all sorts of unpalatable ingredients such as crushed bones, burnt eggshells, powdered charcoal, and ox hooves’ ashes. Yuk. Imagine putting those in your mouth. Today toothpaste is made with all sorts of things too. What are you putting in your mouth?
A toothpaste is meant to accomplish many things some of which include protecting against tooth decay, freshening breath, removing plaque, eliminating bacteria, strengthening tooth enamel, and whitening your teeth. Therefore, toothpastes need many ingredients:
Hydrated silica: A transparent abrasive used to clean teeth, compatible with sodium fluoride.
Sodium fluoride: Used to strengthen and remineralize tooth enamel to protect teeth from decay.
Tetrasodium pyrophosphate (TSPP): A sequestering agent used to remove magnesium and calcium from your saliva to prevent tartar from forming. TSPP cannot remove tartar already on the teeth, rather helps prevent tartar from forming.
Acrylic PVM/MA: Prevents bacteria from breaking down the pyrophosphates.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda): A mild abrasive used to remove tooth stains.
Sodium carbonate peroxide: Helps whiten teeth and eliminate oral pathogenic bacteria that create plaque.
Triclosan: An antibacterial agent used to kill plaque-forming microorganisms.
Titanium dioxide: Makes the paste opaque white.
Sodium lauryl sulphate: Creates the foaming effect.
Cellulose gum and/ or xanthan gum: Used as thickening agents.
Sodium saccharin: Sweetens the paste.
Essential oils: Used to add flavor.
American Dental Association (ADA)
The ADA recommends brushing your teeth with a fluoride paste at least twice a day, flossing daily, and attending regularly scheduled dental cleanings twice a year.
ABOUT YOUR GRAND PRAIRIE DENTIST:
Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.