Smile with confidence
Before you make your choice of dentifrice, be sure of what you need and what to look for. Use a standard toothbrush and follow a systematic technique of brushing, says S. SUJATHAN
BRUSHING THE teeth, the daily morning ritual that does a little more than rub away the remnants of sleep -- the fact that it is intended to do much more, is the last thing on an average person's mind.
"Of course, I brush my teeth twice a day!" Mathew exclaims indignantly. After a disclosing solution is used on his teeth, he stares horror struck at his bright red teeth! Sad as it is, public awareness about this minuscule task of one's daily routine, is scant. Obviously then, any importance being attributed to the dentifrice used is dubious at best. Brushing the teeth, as we understand, is the first step towards oral health. But unless done in the proper way, it fails to serve its purpose.
What then, is `proper'? While brushing one's teeth, of equal importance are the method, the brush used, and the often-ignored dentifrice. The type and brand of toothpaste you use is a personal choice and depends mainly on your oral health needs. With big brands touting their products, the buyer is left bewildered when choosing a dentifrice. Knowing the functions of toothpaste might be of help.
Any dentifrice contains abrasives, which make the scrubbing more effective. Make sure the abrasives are thorough in cleansing and polishing, and yet not so harsh as to wear away the tooth itself. This is precisely the folly of using materials such as charcoal powder (ummikkari), which do more harm than good. In toothpaste versus toothpowder too, it is this aspect that makes pastes come out tops. Toothpowder is five times more abrasive than toothpaste, and hence much more likely to cause wearing of the teeth.
Beware of promises of dazzling white teeth! "I was always a bit self-conscious of my slightly yellow teeth, which I felt, weren't as white as they should be" says Veena, who developed sensitivity of her teeth after using a toothpaste that promised `pearly white teeth'. Imagine her dismay when her dentist informed her that this particular brand had a reputation for causing abrasion of teeth.
Remember that toothpaste cannot by itself improve tooth colour. Also, brilliant colours of a product indicate artificial colouring agents, which are best avoided. Many `anti-tartar' toothpastes contain phosphates, an ingredient shown to cause irritation and inflammation of gums in some individuals.
There is a variety of flavoured toothpaste in the market especially for children.
Use a `pea-sized' amount for the child to check for any oral allergy.
Clinical studies have proven that `gum care' toothpaste contain stannous fluoride that can stain teeth and fillings if used for long.
The parameters that should be kept in mind while choosing toothpastes are its foaming capacity, anti-bacterial properties and the presence of breath fresheners.
So before you make your choice of dentifrice, be sure of what you need and what to look for.
In case of any irritation or sloughing of tissue while using toothpaste, discontinue its use and consult your dentist.
Do not forget, however, that it is not the dentifrice alone that matters!
Use a standard toothbrush and follow a systematic technique of brushing.
And let that smile on your face stay on, and on!
(as told to Shabina Khan)
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