Knowing the differences from one product to other can help us deal with our customers in a pharmacy. Among these products are the dentifrices that are available in wide varieties. This topic also shares a part in a comprehensive review for pharmacy in preparation for foreign pharmacy qualifying examination.
1. Toothpaste. We all know that it aids in reducing mouth odours, decreasing the chances of dental caries and most of all enhancing the personal appearance. It has many ingredients such as abrasives, surfactants, humectants, suspending agents, pyrophosphates, flavouring agents, and fluoride, which help attain its purpose.
2. Mouthwashes. These products can be a cosmetic mouthwashes or anti-plaque rinses. They can also be used for enhancing the consumption of fluoride. Mouthwashes may contain astringents, demulcents, flavours, fluoride, germicidal agents, and surfactants.
3. Cosmetic whitening agents.10% carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are the most common ingredients that can be found in this kind of dentifrices. It is the one responsible for whitening the teeth. It is a white crystal which releases hydrogen when having a reaction with water. This, in return, liberates the free oxides. Products like Proxigel and Simply White contain carbamide peroxide while Crest Whitestrips have hydrogen peroxide.
4. Anti-plaque agents consist of Triclosan, essential oils namely eucalyptol and thymol, metal salts such as stannous and zinc, and plant extracts (sanguinarine), helps prevent gingivitis, tartar, cavities and plaque. Colgate Total is an example of which.
5. Anti-calculous dentifrices are products composing of zinc citrate, zinc chloride and 33% of pyrophosphate. It prevents calculus formation.
6. Desensitizing agents are products that reduce the pain in sensitive teeth caused by cold, heat, sweets, touch, or acids. These agents should not be use permanently unless instructed by a dentist. Examples of these agents are Colgate Sensitive, Sensodyne, Crest Sensitivity and Aquafresh Sensitive.
7. Dental gums may contain baking soda as mild abrasive cleaner and in neutralizing the acid. Some have calcium to aid in remineralize the teeth and prevention of cavities. These products also contain a sweetener such as xylitol which is likely to cause cavities compare to sorbitol. Dental gums are recommended for people who are unable to brush after lunch but it is not a substitute for good oral hygiene. Products available in this form are trident Advantage, Dental Care, Advance Breath Care, Aquafresh Whitening and many more.
8. Disclosing Agents help in envisioning where dental plaque has formed. It is use occasionally with the dentist’s supervision. It should not be swallowed. Rinsing the mouth is advisable after use.