Dentifrices – Why and How to Use Them

Dentistry is the medical discipline concerned with the study of the mouth, teeth, and dental care. As dental professionals, understand that the prevention and removal of supraglacial bacterial plaque through appropriate oral hygiene is important to achieve and sustain healthy oral health from a periodontal and caries perspective. While there has been some recent interest in the management of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, dental specialists have much greater success in the prevention and treatment of oral disease through simple preventative measures. The use of dentifrices is only one such example of an effective preventative approach.

Dentifrices, a combination of oral care products and tools, is designed to strengthen the tooth’s structure and enamel. This includes the use of materials which are specifically designed to meet the varying needs of the different tooth structures. For instance, unlike regular toothpastes, dentifrices which contain fluoride (or bromine) are formulated to target problems within the sensitive soft tissue that surrounds the tooth. This includes the gums and the underlying bone supporting the tooth. Dentifrices which are used properly can help to reduce the incidence of gingivitis and may even delay the onset of periodontitis.

Dentifrices are generally paste-like in texture, although some varieties are available as hard bristle brushes. They are generally made up of ingredients that are abrasive; however, many dentifrices contain ingredients which are antibacterial as well. Common ingredients include calcium thioglycolate, magnesium carbonate, and calcium carbonate. Although not normally associated with dental problems, studies into the effect of such abrasives on dental plaque have revealed that they may in fact increase the amount of plaque which develops on the teeth.

Plaque is a sticky substance, which collects on the teeth and is made up of bacteria, protein debris, mineral deposits and other materials that are attracted to the taste and smell of a sweet food or drink. The types of food which are particularly responsible for the generation of plaque are those which are high in sugar and starch. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to know what we have eaten until the plaque has become ingrained. Therefore, it is essential for everyone to be aware of their oral hygiene routine and perform this regularly in order to maintain good oral health.

Dentifrices containing baking soda and sodium bicarbonate are often used by dental professionals to clean and polish the teeth. These are effective against plaque and are particularly useful when brushing is difficult due to a number of factors. Many dentifrices are also available which contains a small quantity of hydrogen peroxide. This can act as a bleaching agent against tartar. Dentifrices containing baking soda and sodium bicarbonate are therefore used in conjunction with other forms of oral hygiene to provide an overall comprehensive approach to oral health.

When considering the purchase of a dentifrice it is important to examine what ingredients are contained within the product. The composition should be one which contains ingredients that are easy to apply. The ingredients should also be those that are suitable for use in a variety of conditions. In addition to this, the ingredients should be effective against plaque and cavities. For this reason, a product should be able to remove the build up of plaque and cavities over the long term. It is also important that the ingredients utilised in the composition are safe for oral health and will not result in adverse reactions when used in conjunction with other elements.