We all love the taste of toothpaste and the lasting feeling of freshness and cleanliness it leaves behind.
We usually think of toothpaste as the main actor in cleansing our teeth and keeping them healthy. The more the better.
The truth is that only a pea-sized amount should be used. Any more does not yield more results and can actually be harmful.
A second truth is that the brush itself does the vast majority of the job. The toothpaste, much less the brand, has been shown to not be nearly as important as we normally think.
You heard me right. The brush is more important than the toothpaste.
The reason is quite simple. The brush brushes off the bacteria. What are important are three factors: the time, the ground covered, and the technique.
We do not always pay attention to the time we take brushing. Often we brush unevenly by spending more time on one side than another.
All teeth and every side of the tooth must be brushed. Uncovered ground will inevitably become a breeding ground for plaque.
Floss is unimaginably helpful in accomplishing this task. The technique is important because brushing incorrectly can damage enamel and gums. Brush softly in circular motions with soft bristles.
So what about the toothpaste? Can it be given any credit?
Well, multiple studies have shown that toothpaste is not that effective. Using it is almost as good as using water and its purpose is mainly to incentivize people to brush.
The extra things that are added like fluoride and Triclosan can actually be helpful.
Fluoride has been proven to strengthen teeth and is even added in the tap water we drink in the United States.
In regards to cleaning teeth, though, few of these extra ingredients do anything to make your teeth cleaner, even the whitening ingredients.
A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is all that is necessary.
Many believe that using more is good but really the excess goes to waste.
Most of what we put in our mouth we end up not using as it gets pushed to the side of our gum.
Save toothpaste and money by using a humble amount.
Children should use a grain of rice-sized portion to avoid swallowing it. Excess fluoride can be harmful to children under six.
Extreme excess use of toothpaste for anybody can develop into gum recession and loose teeth.
So avoid toothpaste altogether? Not necessarily.
What is important to note is that brushing is the key to good dental health (be sure to floss and rinse, of course).
Do not get caught up in the toothpaste and instead focus on brushing every crook and nanny in your mouth to scrub off the growing bacteria.
Toothpaste gives us better breath, which is great, and has some additional beneficial ingredients like fluoride. Just don’t use too much and save yourself money and unnecessary dentist trips.