Toothpaste and BrushWhy is brushing with it important?

Brushing with toothpaste is important for several reasons:

  • Toothpaste and proper brushing action work to remove plaque—a sticky, harmful film of bacteria that grows on teeth and causes cavities and gum disease.
  • Toothpaste contains fluoride, which makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay.
  • Ingredients to clean and polish teeth remove stains over time.
  • It freshens the breath and leaves your mouth with a clean feeling!

What type of toothpaste should I use?

As long as your toothpaste contains fluoride, the brand you buy really doesn’t matter. Whether it’s a paste or gel (or even powder form) all fluoride toothpastes work effectively to fight plaque and cavities, as well as clean and polish tooth enamel. Your toothpaste should also bear the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. This means adequate evidence of safety and efficacy has been demonstrated in clinical trials.

If your teeth are hypersensitive to hot or cold, consider trying a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Toothpastes containing baking soda and/or hydrogen peroxide (which are both good cleansing agents) give the teeth and mouth a clean, fresh, pleasant feeling that can offer an incentive to brushing more, but fluoride is the true active ingredient protecting your teeth. Some prefer a tartar control toothpaste containing phosphorylates to prevent buildup on teeth. And, new pastes offer advanced whitening formulas aimed at safely removing stains to make teeth brighter and shinier (although they can’t match the effectiveness of professional teeth whitening, administered by a dentist!)

How much should I use?

Contrary to what commercials show, the amount of paste or gel on your brush does not have to be a heaping amount. Simply squeeze on a pea-sized dab. If you brush correctly holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle (covering inside, outside and between) the paste should foam enough to cover all of your teeth.

Children under 6, however, should only be given a very small, baby pea-sized dab of toothpaste on their brush.

Is brushing with toothpaste enough to fight cavities and gum disease?

No. Although brushing thoroughly after each meal helps, flossing your teeth every day to remove plaque and food particles between teeth and at the gumline is just as important. Studies show that plaque will regrow on teeth that are completely clean within 3 to 4 hours of brushing. Additionally, there is no substitute for regular dental checkups, so we can help clean all those hard-to-reach places! Call us today at (703) 520-9985.