Baking Soda -- This mild abrasive has a mythology dating
back to the early 20th century that makes it popular today. Many
people think it helps fight gum disease and cleans teeth. The
reality: it hasn't been shown to have any effect on periodontal disease. Why use a toothpaste with baking soda, then? If you like
the taste or feel of toothpastes with baking soda, you're more
likely to brush regularly, thus improving your oral health.
( All sonic
toothbrushes should not be used with baking soda and/or peroxide
toothpastes. These toothpaste products should be avoided as they
contribute to cracks in the upper portion of the handle.)
Susceptible to decay? Is your mouth very
dry because of medications you take? Are your teeth unusually
sensitive to hot or cold? You could benefit from a high-fluoride
toothpaste. Colgate’s Prevident 5000+ (by prescription
only) and its generic version Fluoridex contain five times as much
fluoride as ordinary toothpastes.. These toothpastes can
save you many times what they cost by reducing decay.
Up To Top
Hydrogen Peroxide -- One of two proven ingredients that
whiten teeth (H.P.'s whitening cousin is carbamide peroxide),
hydrogen peroxide is found in bleaching systems that dentists
prescribe and some over-the-counter bleaching kits. While the
efficacy of products that contain either hydrogen peroxide or
carbamide peroxide has been well proven, some people may have
adverse reactions to products that contain these whitening
agents. Furthermore, the ADA is concerned about unsupervised use
of some OTC kits. Still other kits might contain harmful acids.
Also, not everyone is a good candidate for a bleaching procedure.
Good candidates are people with coffee or food stains. Poorer
candidates are those who have gray teeth or teeth stained from
(All sonic toothbrushes should not be used with baking soda
and/or peroxide toothpastes. These toothpaste products should be
avoided as they contribute to cracks in the upper portion of the
Desensitizing Toothpastes -- The ADA recognizes two
ingredients as effective in reducing discomfort associated with
sensitive teeth: strontium chloride and potassium nitrate.
Both are effective in blocking the tube-like channels that pass
through teeth and connect to nerves. When these tubes are
exposed, hot, cold and acidic foods stimulate nerves causing
hypersensitivity. Desensitizing toothpastes
with strontium chloride or potassium nitrate block the tubes or
reduce the ability of the nerves to transmit pain and can be found in Crest
or AquaFresh for Sensitive Teeth and Sensodyne. Don't expect
these toothpastes to work overnight, though. Most people won't
notice any improvement for 4-6 weeks.
For preventing and treating gingivitis (gum
inflammation), Colgate Total is excellent. It contains the
anti-bacterial ingredient Triclosan, and comes in several varieties.
This is also an excellent all-around toothpaste for decay prevention
Abrasives -- All ADA-Accepted toothpastes contain a mild
abrasive that works with your toothbrush to remove plaque.
Generally, these abrasives take the form of silica. It is a myth
that abrasives in toothpaste cause enamel to wear away. More
likely, enamel erosion occurs as a result of over-vigorous
Whiter teeth: Don’t waste your money on
“whitening” toothpastes. Study after study shows that they
don’t work. These toothpastes remove surface stains on
teeth (all toothpastes are designed to do this) but have absolutely no
effect on the color of the teeth themselves.
If you want whiter teeth, ask us about
tooth-whitening we have one-visit
Up To Top
Denture Pastes -- While it's true that more people are
keeping their teeth, those who use full or partial dentures need
to keep them clean. What to use? Not surprisingly, there are
ADA-accepted denture cleansers that safely and effectively clean
dentures. These products contain a mild abrasive and detergent
plus a flavoring agent. If you run out of denture paste, the ADA
recommends using soft hand soap or mild dishwashing liquid to
Natural Toothpastes--some "natural"
brands may contain vitamin C, which increases the levels of acidity in
your mouth and erodes enamel. And there is no evidence proving that
natural toothpastes containing ingredients such as baking soda instead
of fluoride will prevent tooth decay. While natural oral care product
makers play on people's fears concerning alcohol and fluoride, there
really is no reason to worry. It's all a ploy to get consumers to
spend three times more on the "natural" brands than they
would on tubes of the common brand- name toothpastes.* Most
natural toothpastes are missing fluoride, with the exception of Tom's
of Maine's Natural Fluoride Toothpaste. Research has shown that
fluoride is the most effective way to stop tooth decay, so it is an
important ingredient to have included in your toothpaste.
There are other, more exotic ingredients such as aloe vera and
sanguinaria that can be found in commercially available
toothpastes. However, let your dentist and the ADA Seal of
Acceptance be your guides in deciding whether to purchase
products with these ingredients.
Years ago, dental literature was filled with articles
researching the effective-ness of a particular new toothbrush compared
to a standard brush. I don’t see much of this research today.
It seems that manufacturers produce new designs that look nifty,
colorful, or high-tech but do not have proven effectiveness. In
the office, we give out the Crest Complete soft or extra-soft brush
because of the research showing its effectiveness. We also
highly recommend the Braun
Oral B and the Sonicare electric
toothbrushes for the same reason. Good products, well
Primer on Toothpaste. Click here to learn more about
tartar-control, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, desensitizing, abrasive and
denture toothpaste: Toothpaste
Primer by ADA
Up To Top
Bicarbonate and Hydrogen Peroxide: The Effect on the Growth of
This experiment studied the effects of sodium
bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide on the cariogenic bacteria
Streptococcus mutans through analysis with a spectrophotometer.
The growth of S. mutans was analyzed using seven different
environments. Twelve wells in each of the seven rows of a
multi-well plate were used to incubate the test materials. In
combinations of 10 µl distilled water, 100 µl broth, 10 µl 10%
sucrose, 10 µl S. mutans, 10 µl 10% sodium bicarbonate, and 10
µl 3% hydrogen peroxide, seven different environments were
created for testing. Environments had either sodium bicarbonate
or hydrogen peroxide with S. mutans, or a
combination of sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide with S.
mutans. The plate was incubated at 37°C and measured at 0, 18,
20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 42 hours by optical density with a
Results showed bacterial growth was prevented
by sodium bicarbonate, hydrogen peroxide, and the combination of
sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide. Although hydrogen
peroxide is bacteriocidal and sodium bicarbonate is
bacteriostatic, there were no significant differences among the
three treatment groups in spectrophotometer readings at any
of the nine readings over 42 hours.
There was no significant difference among the effects of
hydrogen peroxide, sodium bicarbonate, or the sodium bicarbonate
and hydrogen peroxide combination, as measured by optical
density. The hydrogen peroxide, sodium bicarbonate, and the
sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide combination prevented
bacterial growth of S. mutans. The results show that products
containing these agents have the
ability to stop the growth of S. mutans. Products containing
sodium bicarbonate and/or hydrogen peroxide may be useful to
caries- prone patients. More studies are needed to confirm
these results on patients.
Author(s): Kelly J
Silhacek RDH, BS ; Kristin R Taake RDH, BS Source: Journal of
Dental Hygiene Volume: 79 Number:
4 Page: 7
Publisher: American Dental Hygienists' Association
*Karen L. Schneider is a
research intern at the American Council on Science and Health. June
** Dr Waterston Newsletter, 2/03.
Up To Top
February 06, 2008
Toothbrush, Paste and
Tools Guide Patient Education