Toothpaste is a type of a paste which is used for cleaning the teeth and gums and for maintaining the hygiene of the oral cavity. Toothpaste is used along with a toothbrush. The plaque and food particles on the teeth can be removed with the use of toothpaste and the problem of bad breath (halitosis) can be prevented with toothpaste.
Toothpastes also include certain ingredients which provide fluoride, calcium and other substances to the teeth to make the teeth and the tooth enamel stronger and healthier. Toothpaste can also prevent the occurrence of gingivitis and periodontal disease. After brushing the teeth with the toothpaste, it is supposed to be spat out and not swallowed.
Toothpastes comprise of three basic types of ingredients, besides water. These three types of ingredients are abrasives, detergents and fluoride.
The abrasives in the toothpaste effectively prevent the formation of plaque on the teeth. The plaque on the teeth leads to various infections and diseases of the teeth and gums. Abrasives include aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, different silicas and hydroxyapatite.
Fluorides in the toothpaste prevent the formation of tooth decay and cavities. Fluorides make the enamel stronger and boost the rate of remineralization. Fluorides include sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, olafur and sodium monofluorophosphate.
Detergents or surfactants in the toothpaste increase its cleaning power and are also used as foaming agents. Surfactants typically include sodium lauryl sulfate or other substances.