It’s no secret that brushing, flossing and regular dentist visits are critical to keeping teeth at their healthiest. Brushing and flossing twice per day and getting in the dentist’s chair every 6 months are part of a healthy oral hygiene routine, and most adults are pretty good at keeping up with these habits. But have you ever paused to consider the type of toothpaste you’re using?
With so many different types of toothpastes available, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of different toothpaste brands that promise to whiten, brighten, strengthen or protect your teeth better than the rest.
Which type of toothpaste is right for you? Today, Dr. Devang Shah of Dental Smiles at John’s Creek is here with the ultimate toothpaste guide to help you have an easier time picking out your toothpaste at your next trip to the store.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
Tartar control toothpaste is ideal for patients who tend to accumulate tartar buildup on the teeth and gumline. This type of toothpaste contains ingredients that effectively break down plaque on the teeth before it can harden into tartar.
It is important to note that tartar control toothpaste does not remove existing tartar. While most brands can help patients stave off tartar before it forms, only a dental professional can remove the calcified plaque once it is already on your teeth.
Patients who want a brighter and whiter smile usually opt for a whitening toothpaste. Most whitening toothpastes contain peroxide, an essential chemical compound that effectively removes discoloration stains from the outer layer of enamel. Peroxide also helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease, which is a welcome bonus that comes with having whiter and healthier teeth!
Since the teeth whitening industry is currently valued at over 1 billion dollars and growing, marketers have gotten very good at selling their brands. Make sure that you understand whether or not this type of toothpaste is right for you, as some whitening pastes can cause tooth sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, ask your dentist which brand they recommend.
Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste
When our enamel grows thinner or worn down over time, the inner parts of our teeth are exposed to the outside which makes them sensitive. If your teeth sting when consuming something hot or cold, you might benefit from a desensitizing toothpaste.
Desensitizing toothpaste works by blocking air and irritants from entering the tubules in the dentin. The chemical composition of desensitizing toothpaste is less abrasive than other formulas that can harm sensitive teeth. Usually, patients begin to notice a difference in their sensitivity levels after a few weeks of continued use.
Fluoride works by slowing down the decomposition of the tooth’s enamel over time. Enamel decomposition happens when the teeth are exposed to too many sugary or acidic foods. Bacteria in the mouth feeds on this sugar and leaves acid waste on the teeth, which can corrode the enamel and cause cavities.
Fluoride not only stops tooth decay, it reverses the early stages of enamel damage as well. Fluoride toothpastes contain potassium nitrate and strontium chloride, which can reduce gum inflammation and prevent gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. In addition, some fluoride toothpastes contain whitening elements that can help remove stains from the surface of the teeth.
Make sure that you select a fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association stamp, as some fluoride toothpastes can cause staining instead of reversing it.
When picking out toothpaste for your children, it is important to consider their unique needs. Babies, toddlers and young children have different requirements when it comes to their dental health, so you need to make sure to choose a toothpaste brand that promotes strong and healthy teeth.
Very young children should start with a training toothpaste with low amounts of fluoride in it. Adult toothpastes are too abrasive for their new teeth and can cause more harm than good. Childrens’ toothpastes also have more appealing flavors and less fluoride than adult toothpastes, strengthening their pearly-whites from a young age.
Patients who prefer natural ingredients have a wide variety of toothpaste options as well. These toothpastes are filled with herbs and are free of surfactants, triclosan and artificial preservatives that can actually prove harmful to your body’s health.
Always make sure that you choose a toothpaste with American Dental Association approval. All toothpastes with the ADA seal have fluoride and have been thoroughly tested to determine their effectiveness and safety. Read the ingredients on your toothpaste packaging to make sure that it doesn’t contain substances that you’re allergic to or that are toxic, like diethylene glycol.
Brush your teeth twice every day. Shoot for two minutes of brushing every time to thoroughly remove food particles, plaque and bacteria. Choosing the right toothpaste for your needs will help you maintain optimal oral health by keeping your teeth strong and cavity-free. If you aren’t sure which toothpaste is right for you and your family, contact Dr. Shah’s office in John’s Creek. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain your best smile!