You may have seen the many advertisements for Colgate’s new toothpaste – containing a ‘sugar acid neutraliser’. Colgate claims that after eight years of research, they have finally developed an ingredient that neutralises the acidic effect of sugar on teeth.
While there may have been advances in chemical technology that aid in the prevention of tooth decay, we believe that no matter what fluoride toothpaste you are using, proper brushing and flossing is the only way to prevent tooth decay.
No matter how state of the art your toothpaste is, if you are not brushing correctly, you are still at high risk of tooth decay. Sugar is in everything we eat. It’s in milk, bread, pasta, fruit, vegetables, biscuits, yogurts, drinks. Few things are completely sugar free. Organic toothpastes and toothpastes containing no fluoride will not strengthen and mineralise your enamel, meaning your teeth will be weaker and more susceptible to tooth decay.
Sugars and acids in saliva cause acid wear on the enamel of your teeth. This thins the enamel and weakens it, eventually penetrating the enamel and causing a “pit” which is a tiny hole. This pit eventually becomes tooth decay, and will disintegrate further and further, until it is a developed cavity.
Tooth decay worsens rapidly, especially with consumption of sugary and acidic food and drink. If sugar and acid doesn’t cause tooth decay straight away, they may cause sensitivity in the meantime. Acid wear and weakened enamel can cause teeth to be incredibly sensitive to hot and cold. Brushing teeth should not be done in a hard scrubbing manner. This can cause greater sensitivity.
It’s crucial to brush teeth in small, gentle, circular motions from the tooth to the gum line. Each tooth should be brushed for five seconds and on all surfaced of the tooth. Many patients effectively brush the front surfaces of their teeth but don’t remove plaque from behind their teeth. Flossing is crucial to remove debris from between the teeth surfaces – where your toothbrush cannot reach.
Despite the clever marketing and “years of research” that have gone into making the latest toothpastes, the bottom line is that no matter which fluoride toothpaste you use, unless you are brushing thoroughly and regularly, you are still at risk of tooth decay. To learn more about our treatments and services to prevent tooth decay, check out our preventative services.