It’s something every single one of us uses every day, with such instinctive regularity that we really do not even think about it. In modern life, toothpaste is simply a daily standard like the rising of the sun, getting dressed or wishing it was Saturday morning. But what’s particularly interesting about toothpaste is the fact that while we use it, depend on it and wouldn’t be without it, the vast majority of people really don’t know a great deal about it.
If anything at all.
Which is why we’ve decided to dedicate this post in its entirety to toothpaste – and the truth behind it. All of which begins with perhaps the most startling revelation of all; toothpaste is not a detergent. Or in other words, it does not work in the same way as a conventional soap, which is designed to physically loosen dirt, grease, grime and so on. Which effectively means that in a sense, you don’t need toothpaste to clean your teeth.
Seriously – you don’t!
Instead, when it comes to removing plaque, debris and all the nasty stuff from your teeth and gums, it’s actually your toothbrush that does all the work. If you’d like to test the theory for yourself, all you need to do is wait until your teeth are feeling a little on the ‘rough’ side and give them a brush, without using any toothpaste. Chances are, they will feel just as smooth afterwards as they usually do when you add toothpaste into the mix.
So does this mean that toothpaste is completely redundant? Are we needlessly spending huge amounts of money every year on something we don’t need? Are we being tricked into buying something as part of one of the biggest scams of all time?
Mercifully, the answer in all instances is…no.
But given the fact that toothpaste isn’t responsible for removing the nasty stuff that coats our teeth in the first place, why use it?
Well, there are three primary reasons why toothpastes should be used and are recommended by dentists all over the world, which are:
- They taste nice. It’s one thing to give your teeth and gums a nice and smooth feeling with a toothbrush, but your toothbrush alone isn’t going to do a great deal to freshen your mouth. Clean it might feel, fresh it most probably won’t. Plus there’s the way in which a tasty flavour makes the process at least slightly more enjoyable.
- They contain fluoride. Or at least, the vast majority of them do. Given the fact that fluoride has been proven time and time again to protect the enamel surface of the teeth and prevent cavities, it is definitely something you need to include in your everyday oral hygiene regime. Unless of course, your doctor or dentist has advised you otherwise.
- They address special needs. And let’s not forget that there are also plenty of toothpastes on the market right now, which are designed to address very specific needs and requirements. From teeth whitening to gum disease to sensitivity and so on, there are toothpastes available to help deal with pretty much everything.
What’s important to remember therefore is what represents the best toothpaste for you may not be the best toothpaste for someone else. For example, while your preferred choice may be the best toothpaste for fresh breath, others may be more interested in the best toothpaste for bleeding gums.
So that’s pretty much the size of it in a nutshell and why it is that toothpaste is important. It’s just that most people have got it entirely wrong when it comes to what toothpaste actually does. And what most people have also got entirely wrong is how much toothpaste they need to use, in order for it to reach its full potential. Make no mistake about it – this is precisely where marketing scams do indeed come into the equation!
Next time you see an advert in which the happy family members squirt massive slugs of toothpaste onto their brushes, you’re being taken for a ride. Ask any dentist and they will tell you that any amount larger than a pea constitutes waste. It won’t do you any harm if you avoid swallowing it, but will nonetheless result in wasted toothpaste and wasted money.
So that’s the basics of toothpaste taken care of – now onto a few of the more interesting facts on the subject. Or if not entirely interesting, certainly a few things you probably never knew about toothpaste and its history:
- Before toothpaste was invented, people used to focus on the abrasive scrubbing action to clean their teeth. Which is why along with using their fingers and twigs as primitive toothbrushes, they also used everything from crushed egg shells to grit to help get the job done.
- Interestingly, toothpaste contains the same chemical used to preserve bodies. On the plus side, formaldehyde used as an oral health product can be highly effective in killing bacteria.
- There’s limited evidence to suggest that the addition of abrasive ingredients like baking soda can improve and enhance the cleaning properties of any given toothpaste. Nevertheless, millions of people all over the world swear by them.
- Along with being great for keeping your teeth clean, toothpaste can also be surprisingly effective when used for polishing silver jewellery. Nevertheless, you might want to think about keeping it away from pearls at all costs!
- Many people also turn to toothpaste after being bitten by bugs and insects, as a means by which to eliminate the itch in a manner that’s both effective and safe.
- Quite a lot of people even use toothpaste to stick posters on their walls, in order to avoid causing damage to the surface!
- If you’ve ever wondered what gives toothpaste its consistency, the answer – believe it or not – is seaweed. That’s right, most toothpastes contain at least small amounts of the stuff.
- Last but not least, you don’t have to spend a fortune on toothpaste to gain access to the best possible results. Speak to your dentist and chances are he/she will tell you that some of the most affordable toothpastes on the market do exactly the same job as some of the most expensive.