Choosing a Quality Toothpaste

Visiting the dentist every six months for regular dental exams and cleanings is the best thing you can do for your oral health, but at-home dental hygiene is just as important.

Your best bet for keeping your teeth and gums healthy between dental appointments is by having thorough at-home dental hygiene habits. This all starts with quality toothpaste.

Generally, toothpastes should include gentle abrasives (magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, phosphate salts), substances that keep the toothpaste from drying out (glycerol, sorbitol, or other “humectants”), and thickeners to give the toothpaste a homogenous appearance and texture (seaweed, mineral colloids, synthetic cellulose, natural gum). Quality toothpastes should also contain fluoride to help make tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay, flavoring agents that do not cause tooth decay (saccharin, for example), and detergents, such as sodium lauryl sarcosinate, to make the toothpaste foamy.

While aisles and aisles of toothpastes in the drug store may seem overwhelming, there’s a perfect “cheat” to help you out. Just look for the ADA seal of approval. This symbol means that the toothpaste manufacturer has participated in a voluntary testing program conducted by the ADA to test the product’s safety and effectiveness. Toothpastes that don’t do what they claim to do, contain sugar, etc. will not get the label.

Dr. James Fondriest of Lake Forest Dental Arts provides dental care to patients from Barrington, Gurnee, Winnetka, Grayslake, Highland Park, Northbrook, Chicago, and the surrounding communities. Call (847) 234-0517 to reserve your appointment.

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