Toothpaste is one of the most important and basic things we use in our everyday life. Without toothpaste, none of us can imagine maintaining our oral hygiene. Bad oral hygiene can also affect overall health. If you do not brush your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth will make way to the gut through your digestive tract and can make you very sick. So using toothpaste not only keeps your teeth clean and white but also prevents you from getting sick.
The pH level of any cleaning substance, whether it is a cleanser, soap or detergent, is very important. The acidity or basicity of a cleaning substance is crucial for its working and affectivity. Similarly, the pH of toothpaste its basic characteristic let us find out whether toothpaste is an acid or base. Can there be both types of toothpaste? And why does it exactly matter whether toothpaste is basic or acidic?
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Toothpaste- Basic or Acid
A healthy mouth has a near to neutral pH level, which is neither too acidic nor too basic. The Ph of the mouth normally is above 5.5. Keeping a balanced diet, healthy lifestyle, and good hygiene practices contribute to maintaining the right Ph of your mouth. When you eat and chew food, the sugars are broken in your food and release acid. A high amount of sugar and acids in mouth favors the growth of bacteria that resides in gums and teeth.
Although a little bacteria is always residing in your gums, their overgrowth can cause dental plaque, cavities, and other oral and gum problems. So to minimize all the acid production in your mouth, toothpaste must be ideally basic.
However, commercial toothpaste contains foaming agents, flavorings, and preservatives to increase shelf life, which can make the toothpaste a bit acidic in nature.
So is it acidic, basic, or both?
The pH of toothpaste varies from brands, type of toothpaste, and the ingredients it contains. Most of the commercial toothpaste has a ph between 4.4 and 9.36. This range is considered safe for toothpaste by the concerned institutes and authorities.
More acidic your toothpaste is, more harmful it is for you. The total average pH of some widely selling toothpaste is tested around 6.8 which is slightly acidic and closest to the neutral. Toothpastes that contain fluoride, sugar, sodium lauryl sulfate and harsh abrasives are acidic than those without any of these ingredients.
Herbal toothpaste that has hardly any sugars and more natural substances are known to be more alkaline. These toothpaste can help retain the normal acid/alkaline balance in the mouth. The basic environment in the mouth does not let the destructive bacteria grow in your oral cavity.
Tooth whiteners and Ph
Whitening toothpaste is all the rage for having pearl-like teeth for a perfect smile. Although whitening toothpaste is effective for whitening up your teeth, it may not be the best choice for the enamel of your teeth. What makes whitening toothpaste to whiten up your teeth is peroxide. Peroxide is an acid which naturally makes the toothpaste acidic in nature.
However, the range of OTC whitener toothpaste from 3.76 to 9.68 is considered safe to apply on teeth. But it is necessary to always consult your dentist before using any whitening or peroxide containing product on your teeth. You may go after less acidic charcoal toothpaste to whiten your tooth, but be careful as charcoal is abrasive so use it in minimal amount.
The ph of Mineralizing Toothpaste
Almost every toothpaste contains fluoride, but why? The enamel starts to dematerialize when exposed to a pH of 5.5, so using toothpaste with fluoride is good for your teeth. Fluoride is a week base, and instead of demineralizing your teeth, it lowers the acidity of your teeth, making the structure stronger.
Ideally, the toothpaste should be alkaline; however, most commercially available toothpaste is not entirely basic in nature. Choose the brand or the type of toothpaste that has less acidity and more alkalinity. To prolong the health of your enamel, stay away from toothpaste with advanced whiteners and abrasives.
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