A Caution Using Toothpaste

Overall, my opinion of Colgate’s toothpaste is very favoriable.  Colgate incorporates an acidulated fluoride compound in their toothpaste.  Normally acidifying the fluoride compound enhances fluoride uptake by the teeth, but if you have porcelain crowns, especially on the anterior teeth, you might want to think about using another toothpaste.  Acid plus fluoride forms hydrofluoric acid.  Hydrofluoric acid is used to etch glass; porcelain is a glass compound and over time the glaze on the porcelain is “eaten” by the hydrofluoric acid causing surface roughness and a “dull”, as opposed to “shiney”, appearance to the  porcelain.  The same effect can also occur if you drink something like orange juice, reconstituted with fluoridated water.  I’d also be cautious using “whitening” toothpastes.  Many people confuse the words “whitening” with “bleaching”, which sound like a similar end result, but “bleaching” refers to oxygenated compounds that chemically oxidize pigments, while “whitening” refers to surface stain removal.  Surface stain removal is usually accomplished by abrasives, and while you can do damage over time to the enamel of the tooth(which is the hardest substance in the body), it is far easier to abrade away gum tissue and root structure, which is not covered by enamel.  Iin a relatively short period of time using an abrasive toothpaste can cause cold sensitive teeth.  I am not a proponent of “whitening” toothpastes–too abrasive.

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