A search on the internet is likely to turn up around 200 results for different toothpastes you can easily purchase. With so many types of toothpaste, brands and flavors to chose from, how can you know which toothpaste is best for your oral health? In years past, consumers could simply look for a toothpaste endorsed by the ADA. Today, however, it seems that most stores carry a wide array of ADA-approved brands. From a dentist’s perspective, patients should choose a toothpaste they like. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? After brushing, you should feel like your mouth is clean and your breath is fresh. However, there are many other bells and whistles you can consider.
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.
Toothpaste Types and Special Features
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.
If your tooth enamel tends to soak up staining agents (like tea, coffee, and tobacco) consider a whitening toothpaste. Most of these toothpastes combine the bleaching action of baking soda with mild abrasives to whisk away surface stains.
Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste:
Do hot or cold foods make you cringe? You may have thin/damaged tooth enamel, or maybe your gums have receded so that your teeth roots are exposed. Some people are genetically predisposed to tooth sensitivity. Regardless of why your teeth hurt, a type of toothpaste specially made for sensitive teeth may help. The most common brand is Sensodyne, though there are many brands on the market.
Tartar Control Toothpaste:
If you’re one of the many people who tend to accumulate plaque and tartar easily, regardless of how often you brush and floss, try tartar control type of toothpaste. When plaque hardens into tartar, it’s not water soluble so it’s very difficult to remove. Tartar control toothpaste contains sodium pyrophosphate, which is water soluble. Tartar is attracted to and bonds with sodium pyrophosphate on teeth. The tartar can be easily removed because it’s bonded to a water soluble material. 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).
Most toothpaste contains fluoride, but un-fluoridated toothpaste (sometimes termed “toddler” or “training” toothpaste) does not contain fluoride. Children under two years of age often swallow toothpaste and over time, fluoride can build up to cause bright white, horizontal lines on permanent teeth. This is called fluorosis.
Cavity preventing Toothpaste:
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.
Learn more about which types of toothpaste are best for you
Do you have questions about dental products? 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. Call our Lake Forest, IL, dental practice today 847.234.0517. Dr. Fondriest and our team serves patients in the North Shore and greater Chicago area.