It is important not to leave dirtiness at the teeth so that they are not spoilt, but that does not mean that we have to always use toothpaste. There are people whose saliva is of a kind that eliminates dirtiness by itself.

If we use toothpaste, just a little will be enough.

The rest of food that remain between our teeth is nutrition for the microbes living in our mouth. If we do not take it out, microbes increase and they can cause health problems such as caries, gingivitis or periodontitis. What cleans more is to brush them with the toothbrush (or other utensils that are used in the Mediterranean), the paste is a complement because it is abrasive and has detergent in it. It also gives us a freshness feeling. It is convenient to brush thoroughly our teeth after each meal.

How can we go about it:

  • Brushing has to be done vertically, following the shape of the grooves and to start from the basis for cleaning the joint with the gum. We will be more conscious of what we are brushing if we use little paste, even no paste, because we will have less foam in the mouth.
  • For cleaning where the brush does not arrive we can use toothpicks (taking care that they do not splint between our teeth, dental floss or interproximal toothbrushes.
  • Our teeth will keep more or less remains of food according to the chemical composition of our saliva, and the enamel, as well as the roughness and disposition of the teeth. Some people have enough by taking out the biggest remains with a toothpick.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to use also some paste with specific propriety to implement a particular therapy.

The amount of remains between our teeth also varies a lot of what we have eaten. Refined sugars and pasty meals stick to our teeth and it is more difficult to eliminate them. The latter also do not cause that our teeth and gum work and this reduces the irrigation of the oral system. Let us take into account what we have eaten when we brush our teeth.

How can we go about it:

  • The food containing fibre (by itself, not the one having fibre added) brush by themselves and keep our teeth active, mainly fruit and vegetables, and even more if they are raw.
  • If we have eaten oily dishes it will be more necessary to use toothpaste.
  • Let us measure the food we eat having refined sugars.

Toothpaste also bears some abrasive that contributes to “scratching” the enamel and in general also some detergent. They can also contain colorants, preservatives, bleachers for the teeth, anti microbial agents…many of them unnecessary. The ingredients may be natural (mineral or vegetal) or synthetic. The latter are associated with problematic aspects as the dependence of raw oil or undesirable interactions with the organism. Let us try to put in our mouths the less synthetically substances as possible.

How can we go about it:
  • Do not trust words as “natural” or “health”, they are often used as a misleading slogan, as the manufacturers of cosmetics quite natural (NaTrue) are denouncing. To recognise the most natural toothpaste let us consult the ingredients list, which is compulsory to have written down on all pastes, duly ordered from more to less quantity.
  • We can see here the synthetic ingredients which are considered to be more problematic.
  • Fluor reinforces the enamel and therefore helps avoiding caries, but its use is controversial because too much Fluor can provoke health problems
  • We can produce homemade toothpaste.
  • We will find the toothpaste made principally with natural ingredients and in general without unnecessary ones, at the shops or cooperatives of ecological products. Hereafter some brands that are sold in many countries Urtekram, Weleda, Vogel, Dr. Hauschka (also sold at chemists).
  • There are brands as Urtekram, which are selling the tube without cardboard box to save packaging.

To use much paste can make us believe that our teeth, as we feel that are fresh are already clean; but it may happen that they are not yet. Furthermore, the less substance we let go at the sink, mainly if synthetic, the better for wastewater. Let us pay attention to how much paste we are using.

How can we go about it:
  • Let us remember that the most important is the task of really “brushing” the teeth (look at What for?). It is not clear that an electrical brush is more useful than a thorough brushing by hand, and on the other hand, it consumes power.
  • The typical advertising image of a brush completely covered with paste is tricky; just a little paste is enough for its function.
  • Let us make the most of the paste pressing it from the end of the tube, so that not a little bit is left. If the tube is made of aluminium it can be rolled on to squeeze it all.
  • The tap is to be closed while we wash our teeth.
  • The tubes of paste are from plastic or aluminium, the latter has the advantage that is recovered and recycled easily. It is better that the tube is of only one material (some aluminium tubes have a plastic neck).