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Which Toothpaste is Safest to Use?

What we don’t know about toothpaste could ruin our teeth. If we want to prevent that, we need to read the labels that describe what is in the toothpaste and understand their meaning.

Choosing a safe toothpaste

Toothpaste always seems to make our mouths feel clean and refreshed. That’s because of the mint-like flavoring and the foaming nature of most brands. Unfortunately, while the minty flavor and foaming make us feel better, they have nothing to do with cleaning our teeth. The actual cleaning comes from abrasive particles and/or chemical agents. But, abrasiveness can be bad for our teeth, and not all chemical agents work the same.

How Whitening Toothpastes Work

Whitening toothpastes often rely on whitening chemicals, but can also include abrasive particles to clean our teeth. Research shows that chemicals called enzymes slightly “reduced the naturally occurring stains more efficiently than the abrasive paste …” That’s because the abrasive particles remove plaque that is stained, but they won’t whiten enamel, especially in areas difficult for toothbrush bristles to reach.

According to the same research, some whitening toothpastes that are highly abrasive should not be used for more than 4 weeks. Doing so could scrape enamel and damage your teeth. Those low in abrasiveness that contain sodium bicarbonate will remove “considerably more tooth stain” than regular toothpaste, but only after 4 to 6 weeks.

Whitening toothpastes that rely more on enzymes (such as Papain or Bemoelain), destroy the tooth film where bacteria and stain accumulate. Papain, a papaya extract, is reported to have healing properties that reduce inflammation and is kind to enamel because it is non acidic. These are the best properties for whitening sensitive teeth. Additionally, whitening toothpastes with enzymes are reported to have a longer whitening effect after 2 months than those that rely on abrasives, alone, for whitening.

Does Fluoride Toothpaste Help Sensitivity?

Carbonated drinks and fruit juices are naturally acidic and will make sensitive teeth worse. According to research, rinsing with different kinds of fluoride can reduce tooth erosion from acids and abrasives, and reduce sensitivity. Rinsing with stannous fluoride or titanium fluoride had the best results, while sodium fluoride was far less positive.

The best way to minimize sensitivity is to avoid acids, of which carbonated drinks are high on the list. If you are having acids, make sure you use low abrasive toothpaste and brush not sooner than several hours after having consumed acidic substances. As for which toothpaste works best in reducing sensitivity, one research report indicated Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief was more effective than Sensodyne Rapid Relief.

Can Fluoride in Toothpaste Prevent Cavities?

Yes, but not the same for everyone, and in every location. Fluoride must accumulate to prevent cavities because its concentration is normally low. That means, for the best results, we need fluoridated drinking water (which varies by location) along with fluoride toothpaste. Those who are cavity prone or have very sensitive teeth might need their dental professional to apply and/or prescribe stronger fluoride gels or rinses.

HELP! I Have a Toothache!

Why do teeth hurt?  treating a toothache

Teeth are alive. They have nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments like other areas of the body. They can become infected, suffer a sprain, fracture or break, and, they can become sensitive to changes in temperature. While some problems need the attention of your dentist, other problems might go away on their own.

Hurts only when I chew

Teeth are suspended in your jaw bone by ligaments. Those ligaments can be accidentally over-stretched and sprained, just like an ankle. When that happens, giving it rest by not chewing on it often makes the pain go away in about a week. But, if it doesn’t go away, it might need to be examined by your dentist, who can determine if there is a fracture or maybe a bite alignment problem.

Tooth hurts all the time

When this happens, you definitely need the professional opinion of your dentist. But don’t automatically think the worst. Sometimes, a sprain can continue until a slight adjustment is made. However, continued pain could be the sign of infection or deep fracture in the tooth that sometimes is not salvageable.

Another source is bacteria caused deep decay or tooth infection. The normal remedy for this can be removing the decay, and the area of infection. If the infection is too deep, it might require cleaning the interior of the tooth, a procedure called root canal therapy.

Painful infection can also be found in the gums surrounding a tooth. This happens when food particles attracting bacteria remain trapped, deep in the gums. The inflammation that follows will cause redness to your gums, and sometimes bleeding in the area. With time, the infection will destroy the bone and could cause tooth loss.

Tooth hurts certain times of day

These problems can be mysteries, because tooth pain is not always a tooth problem. Referred pain occurs when a problem in one part of the body is felt in another part. In the mouth, jaw problems might be felt in your teeth. Also, sinus problems will sometimes feel like a toothache. Your dentist will do an exam, maybe take some x-rays, and be able to tell you what is happening and how to fix it.

My tooth is sensitive to cold, but not really a toothache

Thousands of people have this problem. It happens when the enamel protecting the nerves of the tooth is rubbed too thin, or is partially missing. The uncovered inner tooth exposes raw nerve endings to extreme temperature changes that can make a tooth momentarily sensitive and uncomfortable. Your dentist will check these areas and suggest a solution, which might involve covering the areas or, applying a protective gel. But, it also might include changing to less abrasive toothpaste.

Can I have a bad tooth without pain?

Yes, and this happens often. A tooth can have deep decay, or even a bad infection with no symptoms. These can only be discovered by your dentist during an exam.

Summary

Sometimes a painful tooth will get better on its own. Too often, however, an achy tooth will only get worse if not addressed. The best thing to do whenever you have a tooth bothering you is, visit your dentist. They can help eliminate the problem, and make you feel better in the process.

If needed, please use our website to find a dentist near you today!

 

Which Tooth Brush Should I Us? Does it Matter?

Which Tooth Brush Should I Use

Which Tooth Brush Should I Use

Plaque around the gums can cause bad breath, infection, and ultimately, lead to tooth loss. However, the precursor of plaque begins to form almost immediately after we brush our teeth. The pre cursor, called, pellicle, is a natural occurring protective layer. But, if allowed to collect debris and bacteria, it will eventually form, plaque, the bad coating we try to remove when we brush and floss our teeth. That’s why most dentists and hygienists recommend brushing for two to three minutes, twice daily.

Manual Toothbrushes

Using a toothbrush the wrong way with the wrong toothpaste can saw your teeth in half and cause gum recession. With enough damage, your teeth can become brittle and break.

Toothbrush bristles can be soft, medium or, stiff, can have rounded or jagged tips, and have straight or irregular bristle rows. Dentists generally agree with research that shows hard bristles are better at removing plaque but sometimes disagree on other factors about stiffness. According to research, anything abrasive to your teeth, like using “gritty” toothpaste, can be damaging. Consequently, it is better to use non abrasive toothpaste. You will also want to ask your dental team the best way to brush without causing damage.

Cheap toothbrushes very often have jagged, blade-like, tips that can cut the gums (Research) and lead to inflammation and infection. You always want to use a toothbrush with rounded tips, like the one in the photo from SuperSmile. Designed by a dentist, Dr. Irwin Smigel, it has medium stiffness and very nicely rounded bristle tips.

Most toothbrushes have straight rows and flat alignment to their bristles. Some have bristles angled in different directions. The tooth brush in the photo has an arc shape to the bristles that when angled 45°, allows only bristle tips to contact the teeth when brushing correctly. The center row of bristles at the peak of the arc can more easily access the hard to reach areas of the gums. But, some toothbrush manufactures have designed their bristles to angle in different directions, promising to be more effective. However, research shows those tested with multi angled bristle rows perform no better than those with straight rows. Make sure to ask your dental team for a toothbrush recommendation. They have seen the results and will know best.

 

Power Toothbrushes

Most research tells us that power tooth brushes, with hundreds of movements per use, clean our teeth better than manual toothbrushes. That’s important because, the longer plaque stays, the faster it grows. Using a power toothbrush has been shown by research to be much more predictable at removing plaque than is a manual toothbrush.

Many dental professionals recommend power toothbrushes, but which power toothbrush works best? According to at least one report, the oscillating type is better at removing plaque after both 4 and 12 weeks, than a purely sonic type. However, because the findings were only observations, not real research, the authors ultimately reported that both power toothbrushes were superior to manual toothbrushes. It’s best to ask your dentist about their experience and recommendation.

 

Summary

Most importantly, we need to brush twice per day for at least 2 minutes with non abrasive tooth paste. And, if possible, we should try to use a power toothbrush with the same non abrasive toothpaste.

In all cases, it is equally important to floss and brush correctly, techniques your dentist or dental hygienist can show you. A great time to review these techniques is during your teeth cleaning, which for most people, should be twice each year.