Not all toothpastes are created equal. On the surface, it can seem like any toothpaste you pick up at the store will get the job done. However, for the most effective tooth brushing you should put some added thought behind what toothpaste you ultimately reach for at the store. Below is some information on how to select the right toothpaste for you next time you’re staring down a row of myriad toothpastes.
The best starting point is selecting a toothpaste with the ADA seal. This reveals the product has been tested, all its claims are legitimate, and its ingredients are effective.
Secondly, choosing a fluoride toothpaste goes a long way. Most dentists recommend finding a toothpaste with at least 1,000 parts per million fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that’s been instrumental in the dramatic drop in tooth decay and cavity proneness over the last 50 years. It protects teeth from the acid released when sugars and starches remain on your teeth after eating. This is achieved by making tooth enamel stronger and less susceptible to acid damage and by reversing the early stages of damage by remineralizing areas that started decaying.
From there, certain attributes will dictate the best direction to steer. For example, people with a desire for a whiter smile may turn to whitening toothpaste. These toothpastes contain mild abrasives that help polish teeth and preventing buildup of additional stains. However, it’s no guarantee they impact older discolorations. Rather, you should seek out pastes possessing modified silicone abrasives.
If you have sensitive teeth or gums, there are some specific options aimed at alleviating that issue. Toothpastes with desensitizing ingredients like strontium chloride or potassium nitrate can help.
But what about the little ones, you ask? There are a multitude of colors and flavors out there that are aesthetically pleasing for children, but let’s not overlook function. Selecting the right toothpaste for children mostly follows the same guidelines for adults: ADA seal and fluoride remain optimal components. For children, however, avoiding toothpastes consisting harsh ingredients that erode and wear away young tooth enamel is important. Abrasives, while capable of polishing and removing plaque from teeth, can be too strong for young enamel and may cause young teeth to become too sensitive.
There are a lot of brands out there that attempt to capture your attention with bright colors and buzzwords. Don’t let the marketing decide what toothpaste you grab, rather consider what’s best for your oral health and be informed of what components in a toothpaste will do a proper job. Don’t hesitate to ask us what toothpaste we believe is best for you at your next visit.