Toothpaste is something we all use. In fact, most of us use toothpaste twice a day to keep our teeth clean. However, some of us need special toothpastes. For example, for children, you may have purchased toothpastes with funny colors and an intriguing taste. For your sensitive teeth, you may be using a special desensitizing toothpaste that is formulated to reduce sensitivity and ensure comfort. However, you might have a few questions about these types of toothpastes. You already know that your child’s toothpaste works as it contains added fluoride to prevent cavities. However, does your desensitizing toothpaste work just as well?
How Does Toothpaste Help In Oral Hygiene?
Ideally, your toothpaste acts like soap. It helps to clean your teeth and mouth, leaves a lingering fresh taste in your mouth and sweetening your breath. However, toothpaste is only as good as your brushing technique. Most dentists will first recommend you use an acceptable brushing technique and then, focus on toothpaste. This is because proper brushing is the only way that the toothpaste will actually reach all the corners of your mouth and clean your teeth. As a result, the modified Bass technique is ideal to ensure that your toothpaste is effective. Of course, when you use a good brushing technique, the beneficial ingredients in the toothpaste can act on the teeth and oral cavity and ensure better dental health.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
Sensitivity occurs due to damage to the tooth’s surface. A healthy tooth is covered with a thick enamel coating that insulates the nerve on the inside of the tooth. However, due to many reasons, the outer coating is rubbed off, resulting in fluid and air from the outside of the tooth reaching the sensitive interior. A simple explanation would be like having an open wound in your mouth exposed to salty, sour, or spicy sensations. The nerve inside the tooth is exposed to all the oral sensations and this causes the unpleasant electric feelings experienced by suffering patients. It is possible to control these sensations by blocking the open pores on the tooth’s surface and reducing the fluid seepage into the tooth center.
What Does Desensitizing Toothpaste Contain?
Most toothpaste brands contain the same stock ingredients with a few differences to account for taste and color. However, desensitizing toothpaste will have a few extra ingredients that are supposed to harden the tooth’s surface and reduce sensitivity. The most common ingredients in the desensitizing toothpaste are Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Stannous Fluoride, and Strontium Chloride. These ingredients work on tooth’s surface and physically block the tooth pores, reducing the sensitivity felt by the patient. Apart from these special ingredients, desensitizing toothpaste will also contain ingredients to fight bad breath like Chlorine Dioxide, Zinc Chloride, essential oils; anti tartar ingredients like Pyrophosphate, Hexametaphosphate, and Zinc; anti cavity ingredients like Fluoride, Xylitol; anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis ingredients like Stannous Floride and Triclosan.
How Do You Use Desensitizing Toothpaste?
Desensitizing toothpaste has a slightly different method of use. Dentists recommend taking a pea-sized amount and placing the toothpaste directly on the dental areas that are most sensitive. The toothpaste is left in place for two minutes to act. After that, the patient can brush with the toothpaste in the same manner as they would normally and the desensitizing toothpaste works the same way to clean the teeth, perfume the breath and freshen the mouth.
However, do not be fooled by label claims. If you are already using a desensitizing toothpaste and are unhappy with the results, get in touch with your dentist immediately before your teeth are permanently damaged.