Tag Archives: ada

Is there sugar in toothpaste?

There can’t be sugar in toothpaste. The dentists wouldn’t allow it. Indeed, the American Dental Association (ADA) says:

No ADA-Accepted toothpaste contains sugar or any other ingredient that would promote tooth decay.

But notice the qualification, “or any other ingredient.” This refers to sweeteners and toothpaste does contain sweeteners. From the preceding sentence, toothpaste includes:

Flavoring agents, such as saccharin and other sweeteners to provide taste.

The other sweeteners are sorbitol, aspartame, cyclamates, and glycerin. And, yes, they are the sweeteners linked to cancer in rats, aspartame and saccharin.

For further reference, from the ingredient list of the toothpaste in my home:

  • Colgate – glycerin, sodium saccharin
  • Burt’s Bees – glycerin, stevia extract

There’s the answer, toothpaste does not contain sugar, but it does contain sweetener.

And if sugar is horrible for our teeth what about sweeteners. If they perform the same function can they cause the same problems? No direct answer was found, but two alternate explanations are available.

First, tooth decay comes from plaque which is the build-up of bacteria on teeth. Any food item promotes this build-up, sweetener included. Therefore, sweetener does cause tooth decay. But it is added for some purpose?

Second, sweetener does nothing for our teeth it is only added for flavoring. From a periodontist:

What most people dont know is that plaque is removed by the mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles against the teeth and gum whether toothpaste is used or not. Much to the toothpaste manufacturers chagrin they have never been able to prove that using toothpaste increases plaque removal, it simply makes for a better experience by adding some flavor.

He then goes on to recommend using baking soda with fluoride, or “use whatever you like” since toothpaste does nothing for your teeth.

An interesting thought, is toothpaste really useless? Here is an article from a mother who, with her dentists approval, stopped using toothpaste - No toothpaste, No cavities. It said her family has greatly improved teeth and fewer cavities.

Another article challenges the other toxins in toothpaste, the abrasives and detergents. Saying they are products pulled from “engine degreasers” and other industrial products. But that is written with the hope of selling you an herbal toothpaste.

In conclusion, there is sweetener is toothpaste but only in small amounts. Most articles say it is less than 2% of the product and maybe that’s why it causes no harm? Either way it is only a flavoring and does nothing to help our teeth. Indeed there is some doubt about the value of toothpaste altogether. So be wary the next time you buy a toothpaste for its cavity fighting protection or sensitive relief technology. And if you’re feeling adventurous consult your dentist, quit toothpaste, and enjoy trying the alternatives.

 

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Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace

Today, October 7, 2011, is Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of women in technology, engineering, mathematics, and science.

A day for all the geek girls out there. Yes you. You are beautiful and smart and talented.

We love you and the work you do.

Now, here is the life-story of the woman we celebrate.

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace

“Her life was an apotheosis of struggle between emotion and reason, subjectivism and objectivism, poetics and mathematics, ill-health and bursts of energy.”

  • Born: December 10, 1815  to Anne Isabelle Milbanke and Lord Byron, his only legitimate daughter
  • Died: At the age of 36 from cancer, November 27, 1852
  • Education: Mathematics at an early age, later in science and logic
  • Family: Married William King the 1st Earl of Lovelace and had three children.
  • Lived: Ockham Park and London
  • Nickname: Enchantress of Numbers
  • Self-Nickname: An analyst and metaphysician

Her Biography, from the Women in Science section at the San Diego Supercomputer Center:

Ada was the daughter of a brief marriage between the Romantic poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke, who separated from Byron just a month after Ada was born. Four months later, Byron left England forever. Ada never met her father (who died in Greece in 1823) and was raised by her mother, Lady Byron. Her life was an apotheosis of struggle between emotion and reason, subjectivism and objectivism, poetics and mathematics, ill-health and bursts of energy.

Lady Byron wished her daughter to be unlike her poetical father, and she saw to it that Ada received tutoring in mathematics and music, as disciplines to counter dangerous poetic tendencies. But Ada’s complex inheritance became apparent as early as 1828, when she produced the design for a flying machine. It was mathematics that gave her life its wings.

Lady Byron and Ada moved in an elite London society, one in which gentlemen not members of the clergy or occupied with politics or the affairs of a regiment were quite likely to spend their time and fortunes pursuing botany, geology, or astronomy. In the early nineteenth century there were no “professional” scientists (indeed, the word “scientist” was only coined by William Whewell in 1836)–but the participation of noblewomen in intellectual pursuits was not widely encouraged.

One of the gentlemanly scientists of the era was to become Ada’s lifelong friend. Charles Babbage, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, was known as the inventor of the Difference Engine, an elaborate calculating machine that operated by the method of finite differences. Ada met Babbage in 1833, when she was just 17, and they began a voluminous correspondence on the topics of mathematics, logic, and ultimately all subjects.

In 1835, Ada married William King, ten years her senior, and when King inherited a noble title in 1838, they became the Earl and Countess of Lovelace. Ada had three children. The family and its fortunes were very much directed by Lady Byron, whose domineering was rarely opposed by King.

Babbage had made plans in 1834 for a new kind of calculating machine (although the Difference Engine was not finished), an Analytical Engine. His Parliamentary sponsors refused to support a second machine with the first unfinished, but Babbage found sympathy for his new project abroad. In 1842, an Italian mathematician, Louis Menebrea, published a memoir in French on the subject of the Analytical Engine. Babbage enlisted Ada as translator for the memoir, and during a nine-month period in 1842-43, she worked feverishly on the article and a set of Notes she appended to it. These are the source of her enduring fame.

Ada called herself “an Analyst (& Metaphysician),” and the combination was put to use in the Notes. She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise. She rightly saw it as what we would call a general-purpose computer. It was suited for “developping [sic] and tabulating any function whatever. . . the engine [is] the material expression of any indefinite function of any degree of generality and complexity.” Her Notes anticipate future developments, including computer-generated music.

Ada died of cancer in 1852, at the age of 37, and was buried beside the father she never knew.