Toothbrushing is one of the most important oral hygiene methods, but it just isn’t limited to how your toothbrush has to be, and what technique of brushing you use to brush your teeth. One more important aspect here is the toothpaste. The toothpaste needs to possess a few functions that would help maintain the oral hygiene, by acting as the first line of defense against the microorganisms in the oral cavity. They fight against the microbes and also maintain a good breath.
Here are a few functions of the toothpaste –
Most of the toothpastes come with a few abrasive additives, which tend to push away and remove the solid remains on the tooth surface, the stains, and even push away the microorganism colonies that lie on the gums and tooth surface. Using simply brush and water would produce a lesser effect of cleaning the tooth surface and dislodge the food debris.
Plaque prevention – Antimicrobial action
The toothpastes possess the function of prevention of the growth of bacteria, because of the products like Xylitol, triclosan etc. These products are known to hinder the growth of bacteria and the formation of plaque. The plaque is responsible for the formation of calculus and tooth decay, and later leading to gum disease too.
Fluoride action – Anticariogenic
The enamel of the tooth is weakened by the microorganisms when they work on the carbohydrates to produce acids. The toothpastes come with fluoride which mixes up with the Hydroxyapatite in the tooth enamel and forms Fluorapatite. This compound is resistant to the acid attack caused by the bacteria. And thus the caries is prevented. Of all the functions of the toothpaste, this is one of the most important one and the fluoridated toothpastes are the ones lately approved by the dental associations around the world.
Although most of the toothpastes come with their own actions, like treating the sensitivity of the teeth, helping in whitening of the teeth etc. the above three are the most basic and common actions.
Due to the presence of the fluorides in the toothpaste, they are not advised to be swallowed by the kids as this might lead to fluoride toxicity.
Knowing the fact that the toothpaste consists abrasive substances, you should not brush your teeth for more than 2-3 minutes, as excessive brushing may also lead to abrasion of the teeth in the cervical areas.