The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day to ensure good oral health. Your brushing frequency isn’t all that matters when it comes to maintaining healthy white teeth, though. The toothpaste you use also plays a major role in your dental hygiene. Below, the family dentistry team at Jason H. Ikeno, DDS, in Waipahu, HI, explains what you should look for in a toothpaste.
What to Look for When Choosing the Right Toothpaste for Your Teeth
There are several components that make toothpaste effective, including abrasive ingredients and foaming action, which dislodge and remove plaque from teeth surfaces. None of these components are as important as fluoride, though. In fact, the only toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance are those that contain fluoride, which is a natural mineral that strengthens enamel and prevents tooth decay.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that effectively eliminates plaque and reduces the risk of gingivitis. Colgate Total® is the only toothpaste in the country that contains triclosan, making it one of the most popular dentist-recommended brands.
Triclosan is so effective at killing bacteria that scientists have questioned whether it is safe to use in consumer products. With widespread use, they fear that resistant strains of bacteria will develop; however, the FDA has determined the benefits of putting triclosan in toothpaste far outweigh the risks.
The FDA has approved polyethylene for use in toothpaste, but it is best to avoid it if possible. Toothpaste manufacturers use polyethylene, which is a kind of plastic, in the form of microbeads as an abrasive agent to ensure white teeth; however, since these beads do not dissolve, they can get caught under the gum line and attract bacteria or cause irritation. Crest® no longer puts polyethylene in their products, making any one of their toothpastes a good option.
If you want to learn more about proper brushing techniques for maintaining perfectly white teeth, turn to Jason H. Ikeno, DDS. To explore the cosmetic dentistry services his practice provides, visit their website or call (808) 676-1520.