Is Toothpaste Necessary? Try Brushing Without It!
- Dr. Todd Bertman
- 05 Feb
Dry Brushing Your Teeth is Better Than You Think
Toothbrush, toothpaste, rinse and repeat. Toothpaste is a staple of your daily dental hygiene routine. But is toothpaste really necessary to keep your teeth clean? Is brushing without toothpaste an option too?
Learn about the dangers and benefits of toothpaste, and reevaluate how necessary it is to use it every day.
Is It Ok to Brush Without Toothpaste?
In short, YES. It’s perfectly fine to brush your teeth without toothpaste. A toothbrush is the most crucial instrument you have when you brush your teeth. Toothpaste is only an added touch.
While toothpaste manufacturers claim that you need toothpaste to brush your teeth, it’s not true. Toothpaste is not necessary to make your teeth clean or healthy.
Studies have shown that brushing without toothpaste is just as effective in removing plaque and in some cases it’s more effective.
Toothpaste Isn’t Necessary to Prevent Plaque
Dental plaque is the sticky film of bacteria and sugar that forms on your teeth. It constantly eats at your teeth, and if it isn’t removed regularly, it can become a hardened substance that’s attached to your teeth.
Plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay, so regular brushing is absolutely necessary to remove it.
But, toothpaste isn’t necessary to remove plaque. The bristles of your toothbrush alone can disrupt the bacteria. So, even if you dry brush your teeth regularly, you can prevent tooth decay effectively.
The idea of tooth brushing is simply about removing plaque from the teeth, physically. To do that most effectively you should know how to brush properly. And toothpaste is not necessary for that.
Why Toothpaste Can Be Bad For You
Not only is toothpaste not necessary, but it can also be harmful to your teeth. Most paste contains an abrasive that can cause micro abrasion. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what type of toothpaste you buy. Always make sure the ingredients of your toothpaste match the requirements of your dental health.
When you buy toothpaste, make sure you look at the relative dentin abrasion (RDA) number on the box. This tells you how harmful the ingredients may be. If the RDA is below 250, it’s safe to use. But, if it’s above 250, the toothpaste may harm your enamel.
What Is in Toothpaste?
Most toothpaste contains the same ingredients. Some specialized toothpaste for whitening or sensitivity can contain added chemicals. But usually, you can find these ingredients in your toothpaste:
- Fluoride: Most toothpaste contains fluoride which can help keep your enamel strong and prevent cavities.
- Abrasives: These chemicals fight against plaque buildup. However, if a toothpaste’s RDA value is above 250, it can cause damage to your dental health.
- Flavors: Whether it’s a sweet, salty, minty, or bubblegum flavor toothpaste, it will use a form of flavoring.
- Detergents: These chemicals are the reason your toothpaste foams as you brush.
- Humectants: Humectants retain water in your toothpaste. This gives it its paste-like consistency.
- Coloring: Most toothpaste manufacturers add coloring to make their product more appealing.
Why Do We Use Toothpaste Then?
If toothpaste is not necessary, and it can even harm your teeth, why would we use it at all? Although brushing without toothpaste can seem the logical choice at first, there are definitely benefits to using it:
- Toothpaste tastes nice: Dry brushing your teeth isn’t all that enjoyable. A little bit of minty freshness to accompany your routine can make brushing your teeth a pleasant routine.
- Gets rid of bad breath: Speaking of minty freshness, using toothpaste can make your mouth smell good. If this doesn’t convince you, you can always use mouthwash to get rid of bad breath.
- It contains whitening agents: Some toothpaste contains chemicals that help whiten your teeth. Although these aren’t as fast or effective as a professional tooth whitening treatment, using whitening toothpaste can lessen the effects of staining on your teeth.
- Toothpaste balances the pH of your mouth: The more acidic the pH of your saliva is, the easier tooth decay happens. Toothpaste has sodium phosphate in it, which brings the pH of your oral cavity down, which is a good thing.
- It fights tooth sensitivity: If you have sensitive teeth, toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate is a good option.
A Professional Dental Cleaning Is Always Necessary
Although you can easily go without toothpaste in your daily dental routine, the one thing you should never skip out on is a visit to your dentist. A professional dental cleaning can effectively rid your teeth of plaque and prevent any kind of tooth decay.
And if you need a reliable dentist in New York City, Advanced Dental Arts is here for you. We take care of patients living around the Greenwich Village area and Lower Manhattan.
Turn to us with all your dental needs by booking an appointment today!