Have you ever wondered what toothpaste has in it?
Thankfully our toothpaste isn’t like the concoctions the ancients used. For instance, Egyptians scrubbed their teeth with a mixture of ox-hoof ashes, burnt eggshells and pumice around 5,000 B.C. And the Romans used an even rougher blend of crushed bones and oyster shells along with powdered charcoal and bark.
Today, modern technology has given us a much better blend of ingredients which don’t harm our teeth yet clean them well.
Every tube of toothpaste you buy will have four types of ingredients – Detergents, fluoride, humectant systems and flavoring.
Detergents are what foam when you use toothpaste. It’s job is to loosen and breakdown substances on your teeth that would otherwise not be soluble, meaning they could not be dissolved and rinsed away with water.
Fluoride’s function is to strengthen tooth enamel and make teeth more resistant to decay.
Humectant systems refers to a combination of ingredients that that retain moisture in the toothpaste and keep all the ingredients from separating.
And finally, of course, there’s flavoring. Without it toothpaste would taste pretty bad.
All modern toothpaste has those ingredients. There are toothpastes with additional ingredients as well, such as whitening toothpastes, those with ingredients to prevent tartar and gum inflammation and some to reduce sensitivity.
So next time you’re shopping for toothpaste, rest assured that just about any modern toothpaste will fulfill your basic needs in terms of good oral health. And be thankful they don’t contain any ox-hoof ash or oyster shells.