Most Americans wouldn’t think twice about brushing their teeth without toothpaste. Why?
The use of toothpaste has been around for thousands of years. While oral care has become more important in recent years due to improved dental health knowledge, better dental practices and improved dental technology and products, the use of toothpaste as a fundamental component of proper oral hygiene has been roughly unchanged.
Just as the importance of oral health has increased, technology has advanced and dental hygiene and care has been modified, so has toothpaste. Some of the oldest depictions of toothpaste document have revealed various toothpaste ingredients including charcoal, herbs and plants.
Why has toothpaste been a staple to human civilizations? It likely has to do with its benefits:
- Toothpaste Strengthens Teeth. Modern toothpaste is fortified with ingredients that build up and strengthen teeth. Fluoride helps teeth fight plaque build-up and lower the chance of tooth decay. Even those of past civilizations sought to strengthen their teeth by chewing on objects such as sticks. Teeth are important. They not only give you a full smile, but they are needed to eat and communicate clearly. When teeth are weakened from decay, they can fall out, which can lead to additional oral health issues.
- Toothpaste Whiten Teeth. There are toothpastes today specifically designed to whiten teeth. After all, why have a great smile of straight teeth when they are yellow? White teeth have always been favored. One of the original toothpastes was charcoal. Charcoal has once again become popular because of its effective whitening power. Those who have had an unpleasant, discolored smile have been compelled to hide it. The stigma of a discolored smile still exists today, but fortunately there are many ways to accomplish a white, beautiful smile, including the use of toothpaste.
- Toothpaste Freshens Breath. Nobody likes bad breath, but the reality is that we all get it. It tends to be worse in the morning when we get up and after eating a particularly potent meal such as those that contain garlic and onions. Toothpaste is often used in these times when our breath smells the worse. Bad breath has negative connotations, and nobody wants to be in close proximity to someone with a smelly, and therefore, dirty mouth. Can you imagine not freshening your breath when you’re with your significant other, in a meeting with a prospective customer or in an interview?
Traditional vs. Alternative Toothpaste
While traditional toothpaste has been around for only 100 yeas or so, it has become the standard. Dentists, family members and friends are likely to encourage you to try traditional toothpaste.
In recent years, more natural alternative toothpastes have quickly gained popularity. Patients who prefer these toothpaste alternatives do so for many reasons including their less abrasive nature, natural ingredients and their absence of fluoride.
While toothpaste alternatives don’t have all the ingredients of traditional toothpaste, they can be a great substitute for certain patients.
Regardless of whether you choose to brush your teeth with a traditional toothpaste or a toothpaste alternative, twice daily teeth brushing is important in maintaining a healthy, bright, white smile and fresh breath.
Regular, six-month visits to your dental office is also an important component of adequate oral hygiene and care. Besides a thorough teeth cleaning and dental exam, your dentist can suggest the right toothpaste for you.
Source by Anna Bird