YOUR MONEY & DENTAL PRODUCTS

Just about everyone wastes money when it comes to purchasing and using dental products. We usually use two to three times as much toothpaste as is necessary. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “a pea size drop of toothpaste is sufficient to clean teeth and gums”.

Others suggest that you use enough toothpaste to just cover the toothbrush bristles with a thin flat layer of toothpaste. Both amounts, however, are far less than what most people use. It seems that over our lifetimes we have been conditioned into thinking that the amounts of toothpaste we see in ads is the amount needed for good oral health.

According to Dr. Johnson, “We also tend to waste money when we buy expensive toothpastes containing ingredients which we are led to believe will result in cleaner teeth. Often, however, these ingredients don’t result in cleaner teeth but just the sensation of cleaner teeth. Baking soda found in many expensive toothpastes is a prime example”. Although it may make our mouth feel clean, a Journal of the American Dental Association study revealed that baking soda is no more effective in cleaning teeth than normal toothpaste.

Another much hyped toothpaste ingredient is peroxide. Peroxide creates small bubbles in the mouth which massage the gums providing a cleaning sensation. While the bubbling action created by peroxide may provide a cleaning sensation it does little to actually clean teeth and gums. The bottom line is that when it comes to toothpaste just about any toothpaste that contains fluoride will do a good job in cleaning our teeth and gums.

Another marketing feat has been performed by our friends in the mouthwash industry. Dentists and hygienists have often questioned the claims of mouthwashes to eliminate bad breath and reduce plaque formation.

Bad breath is caused by bacteria on tooth surfaces which break down food particles left after we eat. One of the by- products of this breakdown is foul smelling sulfur particles. Most mouthwashes do not eliminate bad breath but simply mask odor – usually only very temporarily. In this respect, most conventional mouthwashes are a waste of money.

Original article in Dollar Stretcher.