Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Toothpaste

    Purpose/Ingredients | Types of Toothpastes | History

    Fluoride

    Source ppm
    drinking water fluoride (ideal) 1
    toothpaste fluoride 1,000 - 1,500
    Gel-Kam, Omni Gel 1,000
    Prevident (Rx required) 5,000
    office strength (Rx required) 9,000

    Fluoride in the drinking water is only for teeth that are still forming (until age 16). It is built into the tooth.

    Fluoride in toothpaste and fluoride treatments are for the surfaces of teeth - and definitely work to prevent decay.

    Dietary Fluoride Supplement Recommendations

    Fluoride ion level in drinking water (ppm)*

    Age less than 
    0.3 ppm
    0.3 - 0.6 ppm greater than
    0.6 ppm
    Birth - 6 months None None None
    6 months - 3 years 0.25 mg/day** None None
    3 - 6 years 0.50 mg/day 0.25 mg/day None
    6 - 16 years 1.0 mg/day 0.50 mg/day None


    * 1 part per million (ppm) = 1 milligram/liter (mg/L)
    ** 2.2 mg sodium fluoride contains 1 mg fluoride ion.

    It is suggested that only children living in non-fluoridated areas use dietary fluoride supplements between the ages of six months to 16 years. Your physician or dentist can prescribe the correct dosage for your child based on the following considerations:
    • Level of fluoride in your drinking water. If the fluoride level is not known, it should be tested first. State and local health departments can provide information on testing drinking water for fluoride levels.
    • A complete fluoride history should include all the your child's sources of fluoride. Don't forget all water sources (drinking water, juice, etc.).
    • If your child is to benefit from the cavity protection that dietary fluoride supplements can provide, long-term use on a daily basis is required.
    Toothpaste (with baking soda) % baking soda
    Peroxicare Tartar Control 51%
    Crest 20%
    Colgate  12%
    Mentadent  5%

    Baking soda is very low on abrasion (even plain baking soda is less abrasive than Crest or Colgate). It's primary function is to kill bacteria; however, at least 26% baking soda is required. Only Arm & Hammer Multi-Benefit Peroxicare toothpaste has enough at 51% (the only toothpaste I recommend).


    Tartar Control

    Tartar control works. The tartar control ingredients cannot remove tartar, they only prevent it - about 40-50% reduction in the amount of tartar. Even for the tartar that may form, it is much less tenacious when tartar control is used all the time.

    Tartar is hardened plaque germs. It is more beneficial to prevent tartar from even forming by removing plaque completely by brushing and flossing effectively (see Dry Brushing).

    Tartar is not the main problem, in fact, you can even have healthy gums with tartar present, it's just more difficult to do. The plaque germs that adhere to the rough tartar are the main problem. Tartar is also what stains, not teeth. No tartar, no stain*.

    * Over years teeth do in fact pick up some color internally and this is what tooth bleaching is designed to address.


    Toothpaste Without SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)

    Some people are sensitive to a common ingredient in most toothpaste called sodium lauryl sulfate that can cause canker sores. An excellent toothpaste without SLS for people sensitive to SLS is Biotene. Arm & Hammer Dental Care tooth powder also does not contain SLS.


    Desensitizing Toothpaste

    Desensitizing toothpaste works if used regularly. It helps block microscopic pores on the root surface. Also, it will take 4-6 weeks to feel results. A hint to speed the desensitizing process is to place a small amount of desensitizing toothpaste on the exposed root surface when you are done brushing and rinsing.

    Family and Cosmetic Dentist in Ridgecrest, California
    and the surrounding High Desert.

    Copyright 2010 by "DreamImage"