This post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston answers some common questions about toothpaste, and its relationship to dental health.
Why does toothpaste seem gritty?
The abrasive quality of toothpaste is to aid in removing plaque and food debris from the surface of the teeth. Forceful brushing becomes unnecessary because the abrasives in the toothpaste can snag the mouth’s lingering bits of food and polish the enamel at the same time.
What’s with the strong minty flavors?
Minty flavors are used to encourage continued use of the paste and to freshen breath. However, toothpaste alone is not designed to cure halitosis (bad breath). While unflavored toothpastes exist, the world has also seen such flavors as peanut butter, iced tea, and ginger.
To treat halitosis, it is best to prevent periodontal disease and to also brush bacteria from far back on the tongue. Removing the source is critical and more effective than covering it up with minty flavorings.
What is fluoride’s place in a toothpaste?
Fluoride occurs in small amounts in plants, animals, and some natural water sources. It is championed by health-conscious people for preventing decay and controlling gingivitis. Fluoride-containing compounds are added to many toothpastes to add another important dimension to the oral hygiene regimen for preventing decay.
How are toothpaste and flossing related?
Along with brushing, regular flossing aids in preventing bacterial growth, tooth decay, and plaque build-up by removing chunks of food or substances that could break down the tooth.
Finally, what about the relationship between toothpaste and mouthwash?
The use of mouthwash cannot replace regular brushing and flossing. Mouthwash (or fluoride rinse) simply adds yet another powerful layer of defense against bacterial growth in the mouth.
At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we encourage and promote dental health through brushing and flossing, and regular checkups at our office. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule your next appointment today!
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