- May 5, 2016
When it comes to picking a go-to brand there are a lot of simple choices. Toothpaste is most definitely not among them. There are so many different varieties touting so many different benefits it can be nearly impossible to figure out which is best for you and your family’s needs!
At Shorewood Family Dental Care we don’t think choosing a toothpaste should be so hard, which is why we’re going to help you make the right choice. Finding the right toothpaste isn’t always hard – you just have to know a few things about what you’re picking out!
The Toothpaste Basics
There are a few things all toothpastes have in common that make them an essential part of your oral hygiene routine.
- Fluoride, which remineralizes your teeth to rebuild lost enamel
- Abrasives, which help your brush really scrub the plaque away
- Detergent, which makes your toothpaste foam up and push plaque away from your teeth
Those three ingredients are universal in most every kind of toothpaste. Some don’t contain fluoride, but you should always buy a brand that does. Without a steady fluoride intake your teeth can quickly fall prey to decay.
But what should you look for when buying a toothpaste? We’ll get to all those special kinds you see on the shelves later – right now we just want to talk basics. When you’re picking out a toothpaste there’s a lot to consider, so make sure you can check these items off your list:
- Make sure your toothpaste has the ADA seal on it. The American Dental Association tests toothpastes for effectiveness and safety. Without that seal you can’t be sure if what you’re buying is safe, regulated, or reliable.
- Don’t buy toothpaste that’s manufactured outside of the United States. There are differing safety standards around the world, and some countries don’t apply regulations at all. In 2007 a mass recall of chinese toothpaste occurred because it was sweetened with a highly toxic chemical – buy American!
- Flavor is important, and in many cases can be the deciding factor. When you’re switching brands be sure that everyone at home will like what you choose. There’s no reason to have two tubes of toothpaste if you don’t have to!
- Gel vs. paste isn’t important – both are perfectly effective.
What About Different Kinds Of Toothpastes?
Here’s where it gets tricky, right? All those terms like anti-plaque, cavity fighting, whitening … what do they all really do, and what’s in them that makes them different? Do they even work?
- Anti-plaque toothpaste is designed to help people suffering from gingivitis or those who need to get their teeth back to a healthier state. Many of these products contain mild antibiotics or other bacteria fighting ingredients.
- Whitening toothpastes supposedly remove stains and brighten your smile, but that claim might be a bit exaggerated. The best that whitening toothpastes can really deliver is preventing further discoloration. That’s definitely a plus, but don’t expect to see your teeth becoming bright white by using this alone.
- Anti-tartar toothpaste, like whitening toothpaste, isn’t going to get rid of calcified plaque, only prevent the formation of more. It’s a good thing to use if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while but it won’t substitute for regular care!
- Sensitivity reducing toothpaste can help those with constant discomfort from eating, brushing, and drinking. Your teeth have small tubules in them that can become irritated, and by plugging the tubules this kind of toothpaste can eliminate a lot of pain. If you’re suffering from chronic sensitivity you still need to schedule an exam though!
Brushing, Flossing, and The Dentist: Your Path To Success
Finding the right product doesn’t have to be difficult. Many toothpastes even do multiple things with the same tube! No matter what you choose it’s also important to floss every night and to schedule regular cleanings and dental exams at our Shorewood office. With proper care you can keep your teeth happy and healthy for years to come!