In this article, we will explain the difference between tooth powder and toothpaste.
What is tooth powder?
Tooth powder is thought to have originated thousands of years ago. Ancient people may have used ingredients such as myrrh, burnt eggshells, crushed animal ashes, and oyster shells to make powders that could remove odors from the mouth and clean and polish teeth. Homemade and manufactured dental powders containing salt, chalk, or baking soda reached the height of their popularity in the 19th century.
Typical ingredients include cleaners and abrasives designed to polish teeth and remove surface stains. Some of the ingredients you can find in commercially manufactured teeth whitening powders include
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
These products also include flavoring agents.
Tooth powder requires water-Unlike toothpaste, tooth powder requires water in order to brush your teeth. To use, sprinkle the recommended amount of powder (usually about one-eighth of a teaspoon) onto a wet toothbrush and brush as usual.
Teeth Whitening Powder
What is toothpaste?
Toothpaste began replacing tooth powder around 1850 and was originally sold in jars.
Early forms of toothpaste usually contained ingredients such as chalk and soap. These early cleaners and whiteners were commonly found in toothpaste until the early 1900s when the use of cleaning agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate became commonplace. Fluoride was introduced in 1914.
Today, sodium lauryl sulfate and fluoride are still commonly found in many brands of toothpaste. Other ingredients include thickeners, moisturizers, and various flavoring agents.
Are there any health precautions I should be aware of?
Both toothpaste and tooth powder is good for dental health. When it comes to overall health, both may also contain ingredients that may be of concern. These include.
Triclosan. Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient. It has been removed from most toothpaste formulations due to concerns about its ability to create antibiotic resistance and disrupt thyroid hormone function.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Some studies from credible sources suggest that this ingredient is safe to use and that fears about it are superfluous. However, some people have found SLS to irritate the skin and gums, and there is some scientific evidence to support this claim.
Fluoride. Although fluoride is widely believed to be beneficial to dental health, some people are concerned that it may cause side effects. These include discoloration or white spots on the teeth (dental fluorosis) and fluorosis, a bone disease. It’s important to note that fluoride side effects are caused by high levels of swallowing or prolonged exposure, not by standard toothpaste use.
Whether you use toothpaste, tooth powder, or a combination of both, check the ingredients to make sure you are using a product that you feel good about.
Teeth Whitening Powder
Which is more effective at cleaning my teeth?
While there are many studies that show the importance of brushing with fluoride toothpaste, not many studies have compared the benefits of toothpaste to teeth whitening powder.
However, two studies (one credible source in 2014 and another credible source in 2017) designed by the same lead researcher found that tooth powder was more effective than toothpaste at removing stains from tooth surfaces as well as controlling gingivitis caused by plaque.
Today’s toothpaste and tooth powders have many of the same ingredients, except for fluoride. If tooth decay is important to you, be sure to check the label of any product you buy to make sure it contains fluoride.
Tooth powder predates toothpaste by centuries. It is not widely used today, but can still be purchased online.
Both toothpaste and tooth powder is beneficial to oral health. Tooth powder has not been extensively studied. However, two small studies found that tooth powder was superior to toothpaste in reducing plaque and whitening external stains.
If you want to avoid fluoride or want to control the ingredients used, making tooth powder at home or buying a natural brand may be a better option for you.
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