Toothpaste: Friend or Foe?

Did you know that many kinds of toothpaste contain harmful ingredients like Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), aspartame and plastic microbeads? Many patients are unknowingly using toothpastes that are actually causing harm to their teeth. Read on for some tips about brushing, as well as toothpastes that are safe to use!

Extensive research has shown that the average person does not brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. Therefore, they are most likely missing 50-60% of the plaque and film where bacteria live. Toothpaste companies have thrived off enhancing the tooth brushing experience by adding wetting and bubbling agents (SLS), flavoring agents (aspartame) and other harmful ingredients that actually can hurt our environment (plastic microbeads).

While brushing their teeth, people are usually hunched over the sink not looking in the mirror or paying attention to the surfaces they’re cleaning. The real act of cleaning your teeth is achieved with the toothbrush, not the toothpaste. Furthermore, research shows that dry brushing (brushing without toothpaste) increases the likelihood that people brush their teeth much longer, clean more surfaces effectively, and remove more plaque and bacteria.

Dr. Plotnick suggests dry brushing for 90 seconds, making sure to clean every surface of every tooth. Have a routine! Start with the insides of all the lower teeth, then move to the buccal or cheek side surfaces. Then move to the uppers and do the same thing.

If you’d like to end the brushing experience with toothpaste for 30 seconds go for it! Try opting for toothpastes that don’t contain those harmful ingredients (read the back of the box) some good choices are Sensodyne Pronamel, Tom’s of Maine, and Jason Sea Fresh.

For more information on tooth brushing or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Plotnick at her Williamsburg office, contact us today at 718-942-9942