Fluoride? What makes a good toothpaste

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It depends on the right toothpaste: is fluoride important?

Toothpaste is said to protect teeth from tooth decay. That is why it consists of various ingredients that, on the one hand, support the toothbrush during cleaning and, on the other hand, are intended to remineralize the teeth. However, there are some things to consider. This is how experts recommend fluoride toothpastes. "It has been scientifically proven that fluoride is the most important and most effective ingredient to protect the teeth from caries," Sara Waldau from the Stiftung Warentest in Berlin told the news agency "dpa". In a study of 20 universal number creams, those without fluoride were cut therefore very poor in the rating of consumer advocates.

Experts recommend fluoride toothpaste Scientific studies show that up to 40 percent of caries cases can be prevented with fluoride using modern toothpastes. A good toothpaste does not have to have a well-known brand name, nor be expensive. According to Stiftung Warentest, the cheapest toothpaste that was rated "very good" only costs 39 cents. This corresponds to an amount of EUR 2.40 per person and year.

Fluorides play an important role in protecting against tooth decay by sealing holes in the tooth enamel with minerals and preventing bacteria from entering. This process is called remineralization. Certain acids are responsible for removing the minerals from the tooth enamel, the hardest tissue in the human body. If these weak points are not closed, it is a matter of time before tooth decay develops. Toothpaste without fluoride is therefore not recommended. "There are also products in the health food store that do not contain fluoride," reports Christian Splieth from the German Society for Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (DGZMK) to the news agency. "These are not therapeutically-medically effective, but are currently being used by Parents liked to buy. " That is why more and more children have bad teeth. The DGZMK and the German Dental Association (BZÄK) recommend a fluoride content of 500 ppm F for children up to six years and up to 1500 ppm F for toothpaste for adults.

Toothpaste brush body determines the degree of abrasion when brushing teeth In addition to the fluoride content, consumers should also pay attention to the brush body of the toothpaste. "These are small particles that support the cleaning effect of the toothbrush and help remove stains," explains Waldau. "Most toothpastes contain silicon dioxide as a cleaning agent." The toothpastes differ in terms of size, shape and number of cleaning bodies. While fluoride must appear on the packaging of toothpastes, there is no information on the cleaning body. "This is because the RDA value, which could provide information on this, is not internationally standardized," Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the German Dental Association, told the news agency. Consumers can assume that whitening toothpaste tends to be more abrasive as sensitive toothpastes, for example. "We generally do not recommend high abrasion values," emphasizes Austria. “Scrubbing movements are often carried out. Both injure the hard tooth substance. "

Whitening toothpaste can "refresh the natural color at best" Whitening agents contain either strong cleaning agents or bleaching systems to remove tooth deposits. "Whitening toothpaste tends to remove stains well. However, this does not mean that they whiten the teeth. At best, they can change the natural color freshen up, "explains the expert from the Stiftung Warentest. "Some products are very aggressive and damage the tooth surface with prolonged use."

Specialists therefore recommend sensitive toothpastes for sensitive teeth. "They usually have a lower abrasion and often contain ingredients that are supposed to reduce the sensitivity to pain," explains Waldau. Exposed tooth necks are usually the cause of increased pain sensitivity when the gums retreat, and the not very resistant dental cement when brushing the teeth is brushed away.

Toothpastes that promise to repair porous tooth enamel have been on the market for some time. However, these melt substitute products often do not contain fluoride, which is why they performed poorly in consumer protection tests. "The toothpaste we examined contained zinc carbonate hydroxyapatite as the active ingredient, which is said to correspond to natural tooth enamel," says Waldau. "The problem is that this toothpaste does not contain fluoride." Austria is also critical of enamel replacement toothpastes. "There is no clinical evidence that the promised effect will occur in the oral cavity."

Dental health has an impact on the quality of life Various studies confirm the importance of proper dental care. "Oral health is essential for overall health and quality of life", Austria is quoted in a message from the BZÄK. “There is clear evidence of the relationship between oral health and general health and the impact on quality of life. That is why it is important that even the smallest children maintain oral health through proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet. ”Caries is a problem, especially among those under three years of age. It is one of the most common chronic diseases in this age group. So-called baby bottle caries, which occurs when toddlers permanently suck and chew on the bottle and contains sugary drinks, increases. "We want good oral health for all age groups," emphasizes Austria. "Small children in particular need our full support for this." (Ag)

Image: Christian Seidel / pixelio.de

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