Common Toothpaste Ingredients Explained by Knoxville Dentist

Have you ever read the back of a toothpaste tube? If you’re unsure what dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, glycerin, and tetrasodium pyrosphate are doing in your toothpaste, you’re not alone. Dr. Jim Erpenbach of Knoxville wants you to know more about one of the most important tools in your daily oral hygiene routine. Here is an…

Have you ever read the back of a toothpaste tube? If you’re unsure what dicalcium phosphate dihydrate, glycerin, and tetrasodium pyrosphate are doing in your toothpaste, you’re not alone. Dr. Jim Erpenbach of Knoxville wants you to know more about one of the most important tools in your daily oral hygiene routine. Here is an explanation of some common toothpaste ingredients.

Fluoride Strengthens Tooth Enamel

This naturally occurring mineral did not become a popular ingredient in toothpaste until the mid 20th century. Since then, fluoride has been commonly used to help build back tooth enamel. This hard layer on the outside of your tooth protects the sensitive interior of your tooth from bacteria and decay. Your enamel is not connected to any living tissue, so it cannot be reproduced by the body. Enamel must be replenished using mineral treatments, like fluoride, which can be added to mouth rinses, water supplies, and taken orally in pills. At our Knoxville dentist office, we can apply fluoride treatments to help you fight cavities.

Abrasives Remove Food Debris

History tells us that ancient Greeks and Romans first started using crushed animal bones and oysters shells to make abrasives in toothpowders. While the ingredients in toothpaste are not nearly as questionable, the concept is still the same. Abrasives clean the teeth of trapped food particles as well as removing some surface stains. In fact, modern toothpastes are made of 50 percent abrasive material, which gives paste that gritty texture. Whitening toothpastes typically have more abrasives than other pastes. These abrasives are generally not harmful to your teeth, but using teeth whitening pastes in excess can erode your tooth enamel.

Surfactants Distribute Toothpaste Evenly

Surfactants are the chemicals in your toothpaste that allow it to foam in your mouth. The toothpaste can distribute evenly and in between crevices and tight spaces between teeth when it is in a foamy state. You would have to use excessive amounts of toothpaste to thoroughly clean your teeth if the substance did not foam. These chemicals are also found in other hygiene products that foam. Surfactants allow shampoo to disperse evenly over your hair, face wash to cleanse your pores, and hand soap to get beneath your fingernails.

Our team of friendly professionals looks forward to helping you and your family make good oral hygiene decisions. We provide comprehensive dentistry services that include preventive measures for the whole family, like sealants and fluoride treatments. To schedule an appointment, contact our Knoxville family dentist office at (865) 240-2035. We serve patients from West Knoxville and the Bearden area of Knoxville.

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