When you are unsure how to begin choosing a toothpaste start by deciding what your teeth need.
When you go to the grocery store or pharmacy there are shelves of shiny, colorful boxes by many trusted names: Sensodyne, Crest, Colgate. Where do you begin to know how to choose toothpaste?
These are the tools recommended. Tooth brush, tooth paste, dental floss and mouth wash. Simple right? No! If you have tried to buy any of these items you know that there are a hundred different choices, and then you get to colors. Where to begin?
This is a simpler answer than the toothbrush answer. Your choosing a toothpaste is directly related to your dental health needs. Each product tells you exactly what it promotes. Nothing will cure, they will only promote and prevent.
Teeth whitening toothpastes don’t actually whiten teeth; they use scrubbing materials or chemicals to remove tooth stains.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
Likewise, tartar control toothpastes don’t remove dental tartar but they do help prevent dental tartar from accumulating. Dental tartar can only be removed by a dentist, so it’s beneficial to start using tartar-control toothpaste after a dental checkup.
Tooth sensitivity often results from weakened enamel or the exposure of roots due to receding gums. Desensitizing toothpastes work by creating a barrier and blocking irritants from reaching the nerves.
Fluoride is important to your dental health and can be added to any type of toothpaste. Not only does fluoride strengthen teeth against dental cavities but it remineralizes teeth worn by acid and fights sensitivity. Fluoride toothpaste is an excellent choice for those who need a little extra help protecting themselves from cavities — especially children and seniors. Fluoride toothpastes are also recommended for those without the benefit of community water fluoridation.
Gum Health Toothpaste
Dental plaque found under the gum line can lead to gum disease. Although gum health toothpastes are not a professional gum disease treatment, they can control dental plaque and help prevent the possibility of gum disease in the future.
These pastes contain abrasive materials used to remove stains. Dentists do not usually recommend smokers’ toothpastes, as they can further damage your teeth and delicate gum tissue.
Fresh Breath Toothpaste
Like many mouthwashes, fresh breath toothpastes are designed to mask bad breath but do not actually treat halitosis.
For those who are uncomfortable brushing with chemicals, natural toothpastes may be an option. These contain all-natural ingredients but have varied results. Some natural toothpastes may not contain fluoride, so you should check the label before buying the product.
These toothpastes have been developed to meet the special needs of children. As children are extremely susceptible to dental cavities, their toothpastes often contain fluoride. Younger children should only use a small amount of toothpaste to avoid ingestion and prevent dental fluorosis and should be always supervised during brushing.
Baking Soda Toothpaste
Baking soda has traditional significance because it was once used to clean teeth. Although baking soda has no therapeutic value, some prefer it because they enjoy the fresh feeling they get after brushing with it.
Some gels contain mouthwash which may be why some prefer the consistency or taste of a gel over a toothpaste. While gels may make your mouth feel fresher, there’s no proof that they clean teeth better than toothpastes. Also, many gels do not contain fluoride.
Dry powders are also available to clean your teeth but they are often more abrasive than toothpaste.