Daily teeth brushing is important to your dental and oral health. Toothpaste is what makes the brushing beneficial. Most contain fluoride, and Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). With the possible health risks and allergies to these ingredients, there are alternative toothpastes that omit these ingredients. Be sure to read the label if you’re concerned about any of these ingredients. Choosing the best toothpaste for your family involves some research as not all toothpastes are created equally. There are off-brand toothpastes that are not recommended by dentists. Each type of toothpaste is designed to attain different specific results.
Here is a list of the major types of toothpaste:
- Fluoride toothpaste-The vast majority of toothpastes contain fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is essential in reducing tooth decay and cavities. Fluoride strengthens your tooth’s enamel and repairs areas on the teeth that have begun to decay. Using toothpaste fortified with fluoride is essential in protecting your teeth against the germs and decay that come from food and drinks.
- Tartar control toothpaste- This toothpaste is geared specifically targeted to remove and prevent the build-up of tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque that can ultimately lead to gum disease. Plaque is a layer of bacteria on your teeth that is removed with proper oral hygiene. There are many tartar control toothpastes on the market, most of which contain fluoride. Tartar toothpaste typically contains fluoride, pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, which increase the effectiveness in preventing tartar. Some tartar control toothpaste also contain a mouth antibiotic called triclosan.
- Toothpastes for sensitive teeth- This type of toothpaste is for people who have teeth that are extra sensitive. Sensitive teeth toothpaste contains potassium nitrate and strontium chloride, which offer pain relief by blocking pathways between the outside of the teeth and the nerves within the teeth.
- Whitening toothpaste- This type of toothpaste is for those who want pearly white teeth. Contrary to popular belief, these toothpastes don’t contain bleaching agents. Rather, they contain abrasive chemicals that polish the surface of teeth and pull off tooth stains.
- Childrens’ toothpaste- This type of toothpaste has a flavor kids love, such as bubble gum. Most children’s toothpaste contains fluoride and SLS which can be dangerous if not used properly.
Your family’s dental needs will determine which toothpaste is the right choice. As long as you select a toothpaste containing fluoride, the type of toothpaste depends on personal preference. As long as you select a fluoride-containing toothpaste, the best toothpaste is a matter of personal choice and preference.
What to Look for in a Toothpaste
Now that you know what kind of toothpaste your family needs, how do you know what to look for? Here are two things to watch for.
- Look for ADA approval. Whatever type of toothpaste you decide on, be sure to get one that has the approval of the American Dental Association (ADA). These toothpastes are tested to be safe and effective in preventing tooth decay. The vast majority of these toothpaste contain fluoride which is the most important toothpaste ingredient.
- Be wary of knock-offs. There are many knock-offs and imposter toothpastes to be wary of. These are not ADA approved, meaning they can contain harmful chemicals. This can be harmful to your health and teeth.
Daily teeth brushing is the most effective way to combat tooth decay and gum disease. It is important to have a good toothpaste that gives you the results you want. Be careful of knock-off and non-ADA approved toothpaste as they can contain dangerous chemicals.