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Everything You Wanted to Know  About Toothpaste

Toothpaste - How Does It Work?

 Before we can understand how toothpaste works, we must first understand our mouths. Your mouth is your own private zoo, containing one or more of 500 types of microorganisms. Some of these, mainly streptococcus mutans, create sticky plaque from food residue in your mouth.

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Microorganisms in our mouth feed on left over food to create acid and particles called volatile sulfur molecules. Acid eats into tooth enamel to produce cavities while volatile sulfur molecules give breath its foul odor. Toothpaste works in tandem with toothbrushing to clean teeth and remove plaque bacteria. Specifically:

Toothpaste works with toothbrushing to clean teeth and fight plaque bacteria. Specifically:

  • Toothpaste contains abrasives which physically scrub away plaque. In addition, toothpaste abrasives help remove food stains from teeth and polish tooth surfaces.
  • Toothpaste delivers fluoride to the teeth. Fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel weakened by acid attack, making it more resistant to future acid attack from plaque bacteria and food. This is perhaps the most important function of toothpaste, and is responsible for the dramatic reduction of cavities in today's society.
  • Some toothpastes contain ingredients which chemically hinder the growth of plaque bacteria. These include ingredients like natural Xylitol and artificial triclosan.

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