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.
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.
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