One of the first things we notice about people is a shiny, white smile – the type of smile that lights up a room and causes others to smile back. Fluoride, found in most toothpastes, is a natural mineral that hardens tooth enamel, preventing cavities and helping to keep teeth healthy. However, for those who have some common sensitivity to fluoride as an additive in community water supplies, non fluoride toothpaste is an effective alternate. Reasons for sensitivity include the age of the brusher. So without the protection provided by fluoride, how does non fluoride toothpaste protect teeth? The answer is in the ingredients.
Let's take a look at the most commonly found active ingredients in some non fluoride toothpastes and how these ingredients protect teeth.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol derived primarily from forest and agricultural materials and it is used as a sweetener in products aimed at improved oral health. It's widely found in fruits, vegetables, trees and corncobs. Not only is it a wonderful sugar substitute for diabetics, but it also reduces plaque (one of the main contributors to gum disease) and helps prevent cavities.
Green Tea Extract
Although green tea is all the rage for many tea drinkers, it also has some valuable attributes when it comes to oral health. According to a study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, green tea contains many bioactive ingredients mainly polyphenols which play a key role in the prevention and treatment of many diseases The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath (halitosis). It also prevents bad breath, also known as halitosis in its chronic form.
Papaya Plant Extract
Papayas are known for their treasure trove of black seeds, and they're loaded with potassium and vitamin C. But papain, the enzyme inside a papaya tree, possesses its share of benefits as well. Most notably, explains the SFGate, papaya plant extract helps to whiten teeth by breaking down stains left over from certain foods.
Oranges contain an abundance of citric acid. When plaque mineralises on teeth, the result is a build-up of tartar. In a research study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research it was observed that mixture of tetracycline and citric acid-containing gel was effective in improving gingival health and in changing subgingival microflora.
A research study published on Shodhganga notes that several large clinical trials have shown that toothpastes containing triclosan and zinc citrate significantly reduced plaque and gingival scores. When left untreated, plaque collects on teeth and gums resulting in gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Zinc inhibits the production of the bacteria that contribute to gingivitis.
Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda serves multiple purposes when it comes to teeth cleaning. Like some of the above ingredients, baking soda fights plaque. It also functions as a stain-remover, which leads to a brighter smile. If toothpaste with fluoride isn't for you, going the non fluoride route can clean your teeth just as well. But as part of any good oral health routine, be sure to include flossing every day and regular visits to your dentist.
Learn more about fluoride in toothpastes in the Colgate Oral Care resources.