Pumice, burnt eggshells, salt, charcoal, bark, crushed bones. What do all these things have in common? They are all toothpaste ingredients from the distant, or not so distant, past. All these ingredients did help remove contaminants from teeth, but they were costly for the tooth enamel. They simply rubbed the dirt and the enamel off together. Clearly, toothpaste formulas have evolved as we have grown in our understanding of how to care for teeth.
Toothpaste vs Gel
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a tooth gel?
A: Tooth gel is an oral care product that contains a high level of silica and is smooth and often clear or translucent in appearance. Because people are more accustomed to toothpaste, there is an entrenched perception that toothpaste cleans better than tooth gel, but this is absolutely not true.
Q: What is the biggest difference between gel and paste?
A: Gels tend to be less abrasive than traditional toothpastes. For people with sensitive teeth, people with enamel defects, and people whose diet is short on the minerals that make up tooth enamel, this lower abrasiveness can be a tremendous benefit, cleaning the enamel as gently as possible so as to avoid doing damage to the vulnerable and irreplaceable enamel present.
Q: Do gels clean as well as pastes?
A: A proper tooth gel absolutely cleans as well as a proper toothpaste. Long habit and being accustomed to the feeling of toothpaste can trick people into thinking the post foamy paste feeling means clean, but the truth is that feeling does not guarantee good dental health. Proper brushing technique is necessary to get achieve clean teeth, regardless of how the oral care product leaves the teeth feeling, and it’s possible to relearn what a properly clean mouth feels like when switching to a gel instead of a paste.
Q: I’ve heard gels are cleaner. Is this true?
A: Okay, this may be a little subjective and depends on the mess you make in the bathroom. Because gels generally don’t have foamy textures, they tend to leave less spatter on the bathroom mirror and your collar. However, any product smeared all over your sink is going to be a mess, and the longer it goes between cleanings, the worse the cleanup will be. Be a good bathroom citizen and wipe up after yourself daily.
Q: Are there any benefits to CariFree tooth gels?
In addition to being perfect for daily cleanings, CariFree CTx4 1100 is a dental care multi-tasker. It can be used in tooth trays straight from the tube to help fight sensitivity and remineralize teeth during and immediately following cosmetic procedures like professional whitening. The nano hydroxyapatite in CTx4 1100 has been studied and has been shown to reduce discomfort caused by whitening treatments. It also can provide a suitable at home fluoride treatment in trays for patients whose dentists feel they would benefit from at home fluoride therapy. If you are experiencing troubling symptoms, be sure to check with your dentist to make sure you are using the treatment that is best suited to your specific situation.
Making the Switch from Paste to Gel
Sometimes, it seems the most powerful force in the world is inertia–the tendency to remain unchanged. We build habits, both good and bad, every day and rarely deviate once a routine gets set. We tend to resist change, and it requires a really compelling reason to deviate from our usual course.
When our dentist recommends we try a new product, we (mentally) shrug and wonder if it’s really worth the effort to stock up on something we haven’t tried. It’s even harder to convince ourselves to try something new when the product is radically different that the product we have been using. People like what they know, and it’s hard to shift to the unknown without a great reason to do so.
While you are unlikely to encounter a pumice toothpaste at your local grocery store, today’s commercial toothpaste’s still tend to have abrasive ingredients. We are so familiar with abrasive toothpaste that it “feels” like clean to us. Still, as we grow knowledge of how to care for teeth, we can find better a better formulation.
The Science Behind High-Quality Tooth Gels
So other than having a low abrasive formula and not having lots of unhealthy ingredients, what makes CariFree tooth gels a better choice? It’s like gel toothpaste, minus the paste.
CariFree gels contain fluoride, which has well-studied benefits for enamel health. They also contain bio-available nano-hydroxyapatite crystallites, or Nano HA. Nano HA is very similar to the actual minerals that make up tooth enamel and is useful for remineralizing teeth, particularly when combined with fluoride. The bio-available (in a form that your body can use) minerals can help repair acid damage to teeth; the fluoride ions keep the Nano HA on the tooth surface until oral pH is high enough so it can bond with the tooth structure.
Speaking of oral pH, CariFree gels also help restore the mouth to a normal pH after eating. When we eat or drink (other than plain water), the pH in our mouth drops. This acidic environment can be dangerous to tooth enamel if not corrected. Frequent meals, snacking, and non-water drinks can overwhelm the mouth’s natural mechanism for correcting pH. CariFree gels are specially formulated to help correct this imbalance.
Another ingredient we seldom think about in our toothpaste is the sweetener. CariFree gels are sweetened with xylitol. Far from an empty filler to ameliorate the tastebuds, xylitol is well studied as a dental ingredient, and the news is good. Xylitol appears to decrease the incidence of cavities and increase overall oral health.
Let’s Break it Down
At the end of the day, we all want a safe, effective product that leaves our teeth clean and our mouth healthy. We want to have great dental visits, and keep our teeth in great shape for our lifetime. Switching to a tooth gel instead of a paste may be the right choice to help you achieve these goals. CariFree offers several tooth gels that are scientifically proven to reduce the risk of cavities, shop our products today!