Are natural toothpastes better? Can toothpastes whiten teeth? How does toothpaste work? We’ve had a look at the facts behind toothpastes and how they can help look after your precious mouth. Read on for all the information you need on toothpaste.
FLUORIDE IS A KEY INGREDIENT TO LOOK OUT FOR
You should always look out for fluoride (sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate) in your toothpastes. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water and your teeth. It helps to prevent tooth decay which is why we add it to our products. Using dental products containing sodium fluoride is the most effective way to prevent cavities.
When sodium fluoride reaches your teeth, it is absorbed by the enamel. By replenishing lost calcium and phosphorus (which is what keeps your teeth hard), the fluoride will help to repair damage to the enamel from general day to day eating and drinking. This is what we call remineralisation. As the name suggests, during this process the minerals are absorbed by the enamel which helps to prevent decay.
Each Waken toothpaste contains fluoride (1450 ppm F) to help prevent cavities.
NATURAL TOOTHPASTES MAY NOT CONTAIN FLUORIDE
There are many “natural” or “clean” toothpastes that do not contain fluoride. However, this is not our approach at Waken as we are highly focused on efficacy.
Most of the ingredients we use in Waken toothpastes are natural or naturally derived. We also use sodium fluoride as it helps to protect teeth from cavities.
Please be careful with “natural” toothpastes that are fluoride-free as they are not likely to give your teeth enough protection from cavities and decay.
SOME TRENDY INGREDIENTS ARE NOT BACKED BY SCIENCE
Charcoal in your toothpaste? This fashionable ingredient is widely used in many toothpastes but there is not much scientific evidence to back up the claims they make around whitening and “detoxing” the mouth. According to an article in the BBC, dentists advise that using charcoal toothpastes can risk the health of enamel and gums.If you are thinking about trying out a new toothpaste with buzzy ingredients, we advise that you check with your dentist to make sure it is safe for you first.
WHITENING INGREDIENTS DO EXIST
Some whitening toothpastes (not charcoal) can remove surface stains from the teeth which in turn can make your teeth appear whiter, but they can’t alter the underlying colour of your teeth.
The most common whitening (or stain-removing) ingredients are hydrogen peroxide, silica and sodium bicarbonate. We use sodium bicarbonate in our Waterless Toothpaste Tablets which is known for its “whitening” properties.
Remember that whilst no toothpaste can change the colour of your teeth (only a professional dentist can help you with that), finding a toothpaste with whitening ingredients are a good option to help remove stains at home.
SOME TOOTHPASTES ARE NOT VEGAN-FRIENDLY
One of the most common ingredients in toothpastes is glycerine which can be made from animal fats. Waken’s toothpastes are vegan-friendly. They contain a glycerin which is derived from plant-based sources instead.
Glycerin is used in toothpaste as a humectant to help your mouth retain moisture when you use it. Look out for the vegan-friendly logo when selecting a toothpaste. Waken are certified Vegan-Friendly by the Vegetarian Society in the UK.
MOST TOOTHPASTE TUBES ARE NOT RECYCLABLE
Business Waste has estimated that 300 million toothpaste tubes end up in landfill every year in the UK. If you were to spread all of this plastic out end-to-end, this is long enough to circle the globe twice!
This is because toothpaste tubes are made from several different materials including metals and plastics. Most recycling plants can’t separate the materials in order to process them for recycling.
Waken toothpastes tubes are 100% recyclable as they are made from reused aluminium. To recycle after you are finished, simply separate the cap from the empty tube before you put both in your recycling waste bin.
CHILDREN NEED DIFFERENT TOOTHPASTES TO ADULTS
It is advised that young children should use a toothpaste with a lower level of fluoride that is recommended for adults. Waken toothpastes contain 1450 ppm F which is the recommended amount for adults. We do not advise that children under 7 use a Waken toothpaste.
For children under 7 please stick to NHS guidelines and use a fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1000 ppm F that is specific for children.
SLS IS PRESENT IN MOST TOOTHPASTES
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) is a foaming agent commonly found in personal care products like toothpastes and shampoos.
If you are prone to getting ulcers, some dentists advise that you opt for SLS-free toothpastes as it can prevent ulcers from healing. All Waken toothpastes are SLS-free.
YOU SHOULD ONLY USE TOOTHPASTE FOR YOUR TEETH NOT FOR SPOTS!
This might sound obvious, but toothpaste is for your teeth and gums. It is not for your skin! You might have heard that applying toothpaste on to a spot can help clear it overnight, but you should avoid doing this.
Toothpastes dry the skin out which is where the myth comes from but in addition to drying your skin, it can also cause an adverse reaction which can irritate your skin and cause more harm.
Remember that all toothpastes, including gentle toothpastes like Waken’s are formulated for teeth and gums and not for the delicate skin on your face.
YOU STILL NEED TO VISIT YOUR DENTIST REGULARLY EVEN IF YOU USE A GOOD TOOTHPASTE TWICE A DAY
Waken toothpastes can help protect against cavities, reduce plaque and freshen your breath. Brush your teeth twice a day with a Waken toothpaste (morning and night) but do not skip your dentist appointments.
It is recommended that you visit your dentist every 3 – 12 months (or as often as they advise) to ensure that any problems are noticed and treated before they become worse and for tips on how to keep your pearly whites in tip top condition!