Walk down the aisle of your local supermarket or drugstore and you’ll find an array of toothpaste options. Not only are there so many brands to choose from, but each brand also has several formulations to meet your dental health needs. There’s whitening toothpaste, fluoride and non-fluoride products, and toothpaste for sensitive teeth and gums, as a few examples.
But which toothpaste should you be using? After all, having so many choices can make things even more confusing, so we’ve compiled some information below to help you make the right decision.
Need to Stop Cavities from Popping Up?
Do you find yourself dealing with cavities far too often? Does just about every trip to the dentist result in him telling you that yet another cavity has been found? Then it might be time to switch your toothpaste, in addition to following a stricter dental hygiene protocol at home.
A fluoride toothpaste is a great choice for those who want to prevent cavities. Fluoride is a mineral that will coat your teeth and protect them from the acids that can cause decay. Just be sure to purchase a product that features the American Dental Association (ADA) seal, and check the label to see if it contains an anti-cavity formulation.
Also, when plaque on your teeth hardens, it turns into tartar, which only your dentist can remove through a professional cleaning. Therefore, if you want to prevent cavities and other problems from developing, you can opt for a fluoride-containing toothpaste that boasts ingredients that will help fight tartar too. Check the label for ingredients like zinc citrate or pyrophosphates.
If an over-the-counter fluoride toothpaste isn’t enough, you can ask your dentist about a prescription cavity-fighting toothpaste that has even more power to keep decay at bay.
Need to Get Rid of Embarrassing Stains?
Many of the foods and drinks, such as coffee, that you indulge in on a regular basis could be causing your teeth to look stained and yellow. While you can use over-the-counter whitening treatments and talk to your dentist about professional whitening procedures, you can also use a whitening toothpaste to keep stains off your teeth as best as possible every day.
A standard whitening formula will have mild abrasive ingredients that will work with your toothbrush to polish your teeth. Every time you brush, you could be working towards preventing the buildup of new stains, but you might find it harder to get rid of older stains.
If you need more whitening power, opt for a toothpaste that has modified silicone abrasives in its formula. Advanced whitening products can help you get a whiter smile in about a month, so if you are still unsatisfied with the results, it’s best to consult with your dentist or try a tougher whitening product, such as whitening strips or trays.
Need to Reduce Sensitivity?
Has your dentist diagnosed you with sensitive teeth or gums? Then simply choose a toothpaste that contains ingredients like potassium nitrate and strontium chloride, as these will help desensitize your mouth and reduce pain. Also be sure to use a toothbrush that isn’t too stiff, and brush your teeth more gently to help reduce irritation.
A Few Final Tips:
- When shopping for the toothpaste that will suit your needs, be sure it has the ADA seal on its packaging. This will prove that the product has been evaluated for effectiveness and safety.
- There are many brands that produce herbal toothpastes, as well as those that are made using natural ingredients, and they can clean and whiten your teeth like conventional options.
- Avoid toothpastes that are made in China, as they may contain harmful ingredients like diethylene glycol, which was found in some imported products in 2007.
The Expert You Can Always Turn To: Your Dentist!
In addition to using the right toothpaste at home, having your teeth cleaned and your entire mouth examined by your dentist regularly is crucial when it comes to maintaining your oral health.
If in doubt, talk to your dentist about what toothpaste you should be using. He or she will be able to advise you on the specific formula that you should look for, especially if you’re suffering with gum disease or cavities.