Are You Choosing the Right Toothpaste?

Different kinds of toothpaste choices.

It seems like there are an infinite number of toothpaste options on the shelves today and making the right choice can be overwhelming. With so many to choose from, how can you tell which toothpaste is right for you and your family?

Below are some popular toothpaste claims. When choosing a toothpaste, or any oral hygiene product, consider options that fit your personal needs.

Sensitivity Formulas

Over-the-counter toothpaste marketed for sensitive teeth can be effective for many people. If you have sensitive teeth, it may be a good idea to experiment with these kinds of toothpaste to see if you find relief. OTC  options can be very affordable. If over-the-counter sensitive toothpaste does not seem to have an effect and you can't get the results you are hoping for, you may want to seek a prescription-strength toothpaste from your dentist.

Whitening Formulas

Whitening toothpaste can give you a brighter smile over time. However, it will not have the dramatic results you can achieve with professional tooth whitening. In addition, it is possible for whitening toothpaste to cause increased sensitivity with repeated use.

Charcoal toothpaste is becoming a trendy option. However, charcoal is abrasive and can cause damage to the outer enamel of the teeth. Since there is no scientifically proven benefit to charcoal toothpaste at this time, you should avoid using it.

At Elite Dental & Denture, we can discuss options for getting a whiter smile while avoiding damage to your teeth in the process.

Enamel Restoring

Toothpaste will not be able to rebuild enamel that is lost, but it can have a significant effect on strengthening the enamel you have by replenishing minerals. The fluoride in toothpaste can potentially improve and restore the enamel in healthy teeth.

Again, it is important to know that once your enamel has worn away or there is decay on the surface of your teeth, a restorative toothpaste will not replace enamel. Enamel loss can lead to discoloration and tooth decay. Discuss your options for preserving the health of your teeth with your dentist.

Tartar Control

Bacteria and debris combine to form a substance called plaque. When plaque solidifies, it becomes tartar, which usually appears as a hard crust along the gum line that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Tartar control toothpaste contains anti-tartar compounds such as zinc citrate, pyrophosphates, or triclosan. These ingredients have been shown to prevent tartar buildup, and a toothpaste that has more than one of these ingredients may be even more effective.

Rules of Thumb When Choosing Toothpaste

1000 Parts Per Million of Fluoride

Fluoride is a common and important ingredient to look for in your toothpaste. Fluoride helps to preserve the tooth’s outer protective layer. Even if you have fluoridated water in your area, continuing to choose fluoride toothpaste will be beneficial for the health of your teeth.

American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance

Toothpaste that has the ADA seal has demonstrated that the product is safe and effective based on clinical and/or laboratory studies.

Personal Preference

Different types of toothpaste focus on different needs. Decide what is important to you in a toothpaste and which type and flavor you enjoy the most. Finding a toothpaste you like will make brushing for the recommended two minutes twice a day more pleasant.

Brushing with a safe, effective toothpaste is an essential part of good oral hygiene habits, along with regular dental checkups and cleanings. Call us to schedule your twice-yearly checkup and cleaning, and if you are concerned about whether your toothpaste is a good choice for you, talk to your hygienist at your next appointment.

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