Toothpaste Controversy

There is a tremendous variety of dental hygiene products available on the market. Toothpaste is by far the most popular of these products. Toothpaste comes in different formulas, flavors and colors, and addresses different segments of the population, while offering promises of fresh breath and incredibly beautiful and sparkling teeth. Yet, skeptics say these promises are just a sales strategy, addressing a myth and creating a dream, while toothpaste not only doesn’t do what commercials say it does, but is prone to do injustice to your teeth. This position may appear somehow eccentric, but let us not treat it with prejudice and take note of what the skeptics have to say.

What are the grounds for these statements? Without a doubt, their most important argument lays in the examples of abusive hygiene. People with manic brushing habits, who brush excessively and aggressively, way too many times a day, tend to have hypersensitive teeth, with modified color due to enamel deterioration. Recent studies have shown a surprisingly significant percent of the civilized population use to too much toothpaste (all over the toothbrush, as they see in TV commercials, having no idea whatsoever what amount of paste to use), brush way too often (carrying the toothbrush with them all day long) and way too aggressive (although brushing procedure doesn’t take as much time as it should, they carefully choose an abrasive toothbrush that torments their teeth and gums for “efficient brushing”).

Along with abusive brushing techniques and excessively frequent brushing, there are features of toothpaste that seem to be able to harm teeth as well. What is toothpaste? Abrasive particles suspended in gel or paste. This formula is far from being gentle on your dental enamel. Being continuously scratched, enamel becomes thinner, and dentine becomes more visible, thus making the teeth appear darker and tinted: this is when the patient usually decides to use more of the “miraculous” paste and gets trapped in a vicious circle. And finally, the second argument skeptics bring against toothpaste is fluoride itself: a substance much needed by our teeth that becomes dangerous in excessive quantity. Many people live under the impression fluoride is to be found in toothpaste alone and do not know we also take fluoride from ocean foods and black tea.

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