The importance of good dental hygiene has never really been questioned, but in recent years some dental specialists have highlighted the potential repercussions of brushing out teeth with toothpaste. Whilst we have always associated good dental health with a toothpaste-floss-mouthwash routine, there is now evidence to support that actually, brushing with toothpaste can have a detrimental effect on our teeth.
So why could toothpaste be bad for your teeth? The answer is in the abrasive ingredients which are found in toothpaste, added to rid your teeth or stains and discolouration. The damaging effects of the abrasive fluorides found in toothpaste (stronger quantities are found in whitening toothpastes) are believed by many specialists to become even more harmful as those brushing their teeth brush harder to further rid their teeth of stains. Instead of making their teeth brighter, vigorous brushing instead damages their tooth enamel, which over time leads to discolouration and heightened sensitivity.
The research which suggests that toothpaste is bad for your teeth has been challenged by others who believe other factors should be taken into consideration when discussing the wearing away of the enamel, and general wear of the teeth. Other factors such as grinding, an acidic diet, bulimia and excessive brushing could contribute to the erosion of our teeth, but for some dentists, the fact remains that toothpastes contain abrasive fluorides which they believe are undeniably linked to tooth damage.
Some dentists, including the Boston-based dentist Dr. Valdemar Welz who has been converted after reading a published dental study by a leading clinical researcher, Dr. Thomas Abrahamsen, have decided to ditch the toothpaste and to brush instead with just a toothbrush and water, followed by flossing, to avoid the abrasive ingredients found in everyday toothpaste.
Some dentists, however, remain un-deterred by this study, instead believing that the benefits of fighting cavities and tooth-decay far outweigh the potential general wearing away of the teeth caused by toothpaste.
What do you think?