Minty Fresh: Why We Use Toothpaste | Northridge Dentist

We all know having a good dental routine on the daily is key to keeping our smile bright and shiny. Brushing, flossing and rinsing are the three actions required, and a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash are the tools we need to get the job done appropriately. But have you ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Sure, we know it’s “tooth soap” and tastes delicious both during and after, but do you know why it’s necessary to the whole process? Toothpaste helps to clean our teeth of plaque and food debris without damaging our delicate enamel. And it’s because toothpaste contains fluoride, which helps to protect enamel.

There are a few variations to toothpaste, and your selection should be based on what you’d like the outcome to be. Some focus on whitening, some also include ingredients to reduce plaque. Because it has these benefits, it is the ideal companion to keeping up our smiles in between dental check-ups, making it a huge part of preventive dental care.

Toothpaste is made up of several ingredients that help to clean your teeth, such as:

Abrasives. Abrasives help remove stains and plaque.

Detergents. This is what makes the toothpaste foam. It helps to dislodge food debris.

Humectants. These give the toothpaste texture and moisture.

Thickeners. Thickeners help the toothpaste stay on your brush and squeeze out of the tube that way it does.

Preservatives, flavoring and coloring. These give toothpaste the look and taste it has.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Battle Royale: Toothpaste vs. Orange Juice

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This morning I woke up late and had to dash out the door, so I did the worst morning blunder in existence – I drank a glass of orange juice after I brushed my teeth. ACK! There is really nothing that tastes more horrific to a newly clean set of chompers than orange juice. But it got me thinking…why is this the case? Brushing my teeth and drinking juice are pretty synonymous with the morning. So who decided to mess with the logic? I had to experiment more. I’m not a coffee drinker but I gave it a shot. Nope. That was awful too. Problem is, I don’t like coffee so that wasn’t really convincing. But in fact, everything I drank after I brushed my teeth tasted badly. Relieved it wasn’t just juice, I decided to learn a little bit more about the other variable in this vile equation. The toothpaste.

And wouldn’t you know it? It really is all the toothpaste’s fault. Depending on which you choose, there is an ingredient in toothpaste called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). The pros? It makes brushing your teeth easier. These surfactant chemicals are what makes your toothpaste foamy and easily spreadable in your mouth. And since cleaning your teeth is the whole point of toothpaste in the first place, it looks like we really ought to have it in the recipe.

The cons? SLS/SLES reacts to the mouth in a funny, not so funny one-two punch. On one side, they attack all of the taste buds that like any sort of sweetness and temporarily cripples them. On the other, they break up our tongue’s phospholipids. Phospholipids are fatty molecules that block bitter flavors, keeping us from being too overwhelmed by how sour something really tastes. So not only are your sweet taste buds down for the count, but now your bitter taste buds have superhero strength. It’s a battle of the ages!

Thankfully, we have a natural hero that comes around to rescue us from the bitter defeat – saliva. Once you finish brushing your teeth, saliva comes in and dissolves the remaining SLS/SLES in our mouths. And about a half hour later, our taste buds are back to normal and everything is good as new. And just so you know, they do make SLS/SLES-free toothpaste, but having the rabid dog foamy mouth look is such a fun part of the process.

After all is said and done, it’s good to know that there is a deeper reason why toothpaste and orange juice don’t mix. And the fact we can circumvent the entire situation is nice. I’m sure this won’t be a singular instance, especially when in a jam. I just wish it didn’t have to happen so early in the morning.

Although toothpaste and orange juice aren’t the best combination, you should still be sure to brush your teeth every morning.  For more fun facts regarding oral care, visit www.davidluntdds.com.

Preventive Dentistry | Why do we use Toothpaste? | Serving Burbank, CA

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Ever wondered why we use toothpaste? Toothpaste helps to clean our teeth of plaque and food debris without damaging our delicate enamel. Toothpaste contains fluoride which helps to protect enamel. Some also include ingredients to reduce plaque. Toothpaste is a huge part of preventive dental care.

Toothpaste is made up of several ingredients that help to clean your teeth, such as:

  • Abrasives – helps to remove stains and plaque.
  • Detergents – this is what makes the toothpaste foam. It helps to dislodge food debris.
  • Humectants – gives the toothpaste texture and moisture.
  • Thickeners – helps the toothpaste stay on your brush and squeeze out of the tube that way it does.
  • Preservatives, Flavoring and Coloring: these give toothpaste the look, and taste it has.

In addition to your normal preventive dental care routine at home, be sure to visit Dr. David Lunt DDS for dental cleanings and checkups. Call for an appointment today at 818-885-7230. Visit Dr. Lunt’s website at www.davidluntdds.com.

Accepting patients from Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Northridge, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.