Monday, June 18, 2018

What's in Your Toothpaste?

The Truth about Toothpaste
Go to any supermarket or big box discount store across Denver, and you'll be presented with shelves full of toothpaste options. 

Some even have entire aisles dedicated to oral hygiene. 

How do you decide on which toothpaste is right for you and your family? 

Today, Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster is here to tell you the truth about toothpaste, its ingredients, and the adverse effects you should know.

Which toothpaste is right for me?

Toothpaste is separated into subcategories. In most stores, you’ll find whitening toothpaste, tartar control toothpaste, fluoride-free toothpaste, kids toothpaste and toothpaste for sensitive teeth. 

Some people will base their toothpaste choice on their individual needs. This can mean buying a different toothpaste for each member of the family. Others will choose their toothpaste based on the flavor and even price.

Does it pay to be loyal to one brand of toothpaste, or should you just buy whatever happens to be on special that day? 

The harsh reality is that toothpaste is mainly a cosmetic product. Despite the boasts in toothpaste commercials, the truth about toothpaste is that it does not contribute significantly to oral hygiene.

What toothpaste does is create foam and gives your mouth a fresh feeling. We associate a lather or foamy sensation with soap and cleanliness. The strong minty flavor incorporated into most toothpaste gives the whole mouth a crisp, clean, and fresh taste, temporarily at least. 

While toothpaste certainly has a pleasing psychological effect, it does not necessarily impact how clean your teeth are after using it.

In a clinical study to measure the properties of whitening toothpaste, researchers at the University of Bristol Dental School found that there was no difference between the whitening toothpaste, generic toothpaste and plain water at inhibiting stains

The whitening toothpaste produced slightly better results than generic toothpaste and plain water at removing stains, however, it was not deemed capable enough to be clinically relevant.

What is in toothpaste?

Your typical toothpaste will typically contain the following ingredients:


Detergents - These create the foamy lather we mentioned earlier. This does not technically help to remove plaque from your teeth, but it does create a pleasing sensation.

Abrasives - Calcium carbonate and dehydrated silica gel help to physically scrub the surface of the teeth and remove food particles. Brushing too hard and fast without using the correct technique can wear down your teeth and remove some of the enamel.

Fluoride - This remineralizes the enamel of your teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to decay. This is one of the most important ingredients of toothpaste, and sometimes the only true active ingredient. Some people are wary of fluoride's effects and try to avoid it, even though it is effective in preventing cavities.

Flavorings - Usually menthol based flavors and sweeteners such as saccharin are used to make toothpaste palatable. Toothpaste does not usually contain sugar, even though you can find sweet bubblegum and fruit-flavored tubes of toothpaste marketed towards children.

Specially formulated tartar control toothpaste is designed to prevent the buildup of hardened mineral plaques or 'tartar' sometimes found on the inner surfaces of the teeth. 

They usually contain ingredients called pyrophosphates – tetrasodium or tetrapotassium pyrophosphates are the compounds added to toothpaste to fight the formation of tartar or calculus plaques.

Unfortunately, according to the Houston Health Science Center Dental Branch, this type of toothpaste can cause irritation in some users. Pyrophosphates create higher than usual levels of alkalinity in the mouth, to which some people can be sensitive. 

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth also contains an added ingredient, potassium nitrate. This compound desensitizes teeth and reduces the feeling of discomfort caused by hot and cold temperatures or sugary foods. Unfortunately, by using this additive, you may be just masking the pain of a cavity or serious issue requiring proper dental care and treatments.


So, what's best for my teeth?

While this information does not give you the green light to skip daily brushings, we also recommend a flossing regimen and seeing our dentists here at Bertagnolli Dental regularly.

Get in touch today, and let us take fantastic care of your teeth. 


Monday, June 4, 2018

The Do's and Don'ts of Baby Dental Health

Do's and Don'ts of Baby Dental Health
Give your little one the best advantage by starting their dental care early.

At Bertagnolli Dental, we know that instilling healthy habits from the outset can make all the difference for your child's teeth.

By following these do's and don'ts of baby dental health, they will be well on their way to a lifetime of fewer visits to our office.

1. Don't put off their first visit to the dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child should see a dentist by the time they are a one-year-old.

It is proven that early intervention by a professional will lower your child's risk of developing issues. Your dentist can demonstrate correct oral hygiene practices and analyze the potential for tooth decay.

2. Do avoid bottles at bedtime
Putting a baby down to sleep with a bottle of milk may save you some time and hassle, but this is a dangerous habit to form.

The sugars in milk will fuel bacteria in your babies mouth all night long, facilitating tooth decay. Clean your baby's teeth before bedtime, and then if necessary to sooth them, you can give a bottle with warm water.

3. Don't get too dependent on a sippy cup
Sippy cups or 'no-spill cups' are used by toddlers in the transition between bottles and drinking cups. The design of sippy cups means that the liquid is often ingested slowly and has ample time to sit within the mouth.

For milk and juice, this means a high exposure to sugar and an increased risk of tooth rot.

Try to give your child the sippy cup at mealtimes only and avoid them using it continuously throughout the day.

4. Do be aware of high sugar content in medicines
Medications designed for babies and children can have extremely high sugar levels. This is intended to make them more palatable for children and easier to take.

This is not usually a cause for concern, however, if your infant has to take a daily oral medication with high sugar content, you should ask your dentist for specific advice.

5. Don't reach for the juice
After milk, fruit juice is often the go-to beverage of choice for young children. What many parents don't realize is that fruit juice naturally contains sugar and may even include added sugar, making them as harmful as soda to a child's developing teeth.

An even better idea is to accustom your child to drinking water throughout the day. This is a great habit to form early so that they can enjoy a lifetime of benefits from being an avid water drinker.

6. Absolutely do ditch the pacifier
This is an important one when it comes to the do's and don'ts of baby dental health.

Children over the age of 2 and 3 should not be using a pacifier. 

Prolonged pacifier use can affect the growth of your child's milk teeth, permanently altering their arrangement and the shape of their mouth. Help your child to become independent of pacifiers at a young age and avoid the risk of dental malformation.

7. Do cultivate healthy dental hygiene habits
Taking the time to practice good oral hygiene with your baby from the very beginning will set them up for a healthy future.

You can start by cleaning their gums with a soft cloth and water twice a day. Once their milk teeth start to appear, use a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to clean all surfaces gently.

Contact Bertagnolli Dental today for help with the do's and don'ts of baby dental health. Now is a great time to make the changes that will positively impact the way your children grow and following these simple guidelines will make your life easier too!

We are always available to help make your dental visits and home dental care a better experience at Bertagnolli Dental.