You’re standing in the toothpaste aisle, awash in a sea of colorful boxes.
Each toothpaste promises best results.
How do you choose the best?
What’s in toothpaste?
Some toothpastes focus on preventing cavities while others are for sensitive teeth.
Choose one that suits your needs. For example, if you’ve had gum disease, you might want an anti-gingivitis toothpaste.
Safer toothpastes clean teeth without being too abrasive.
Look for toothpaste with fluoride; it helps prevent tooth decay and strengthens enamel.
Make sure you understand most of the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce many of them, you might want to avoid that toothpaste. Some toothpaste ingredients are beneficial, others not so much.
- Fluoride: Recommended by most dentists, fluoride strengthens enamel, reduces the risk of cavities, and can even help reverse early-stage tooth decay. All toothpastes with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance must contain fluoride. A product earns the Seal of Acceptance by submitting data and publications to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, which uses that information to determine if the product meets safety and efficacy standards.
- Calcium carbonate: This mild abrasive helps remove plaque, debris, and surface stains.
- Glycerin: This gives toothpaste a smooth texture and helps keep it from drying out.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate: This foaming agent helps toothpaste spread evenly throughout the mouth, but some people can be sensitive to it, so SLS-free versions are available.
- Potassium nitrate and strontium chloride: These are often found in toothpaste for sensitive teeth. They work by blocking the pathways through the teeth that attach to nerves, reducing sensitivity.
- Xylitol: A natural sweetener that also helps reduce the growth of harmful oral bacteria that can cause cavities.
Ingredients to beware of:
- Triclosan: An antibacterial agent, triclosan has raised concerns due to its potential to cause antibiotic resistance and its possible hormonal effects. The FDA banned its use in hand soaps, but it can still be found in some toothpastes. Many manufacturers have started to phase out triclosan from their formulations.
- Parabens: Often used as preservatives in cosmetics, including some toothpastes, parabens can mimic estrogen and have raised concerns about potential links to breast cancer. It’s still debated, but some prefer to choose paraben-free products to be on the safe side.
- Artificial colors and dyes: While they make toothpaste more visually appealing, some dyes cause allergic reactions.
- Saccharin: This artificial sweetener is used in various products, including toothpaste. Though the FDA says it’s safe, some people prefer to avoid it due to health concerns from past studies. (These concerns have largely been debunked.)
- Microbeads: These tiny, plastic particles were once added for visual appeal or mild abrasive purposes. However, they can be harmful to the environment, as they don’t dissolve and can end up in oceans. In recent years, many countries have banned or started phasing out microbeads in cosmetics, including toothpaste.
- Abrasive ingredients: While mild abrasives can help in cleaning the teeth, overly abrasive toothpastes can wear down tooth enamel over time. It’s essential to ensure that the toothpaste you choose is not excessively abrasive.
When choosing a toothpaste, read the ingredient list and discuss concerns with your dentist, who can guide you to a product that’s suitable for your specific oral health needs and preferences.
Dentist-recommended is a good sign
A regular at our clinic who always seemed to be smiling brightly one day came in distressed. Her toothpaste had caused a rash around her mouth. She decided to stick to dentist-recommended toothpastes and hasn’t had a problem since.
When a toothpaste has the approval of dental professionals, it usually has been tested for effectiveness and safety.
Whitening toothpaste—yay or nay?
We all crave that Hollywood smile. But be careful with whitening toothpastes. Some can be abrasive and wear down your enamel. If you’re keen on whitening, consult with your dentist, who can guide you to a product that’s both safe and effective.
It’s not just about cleaning
Good toothpaste will also maintain the health of your gums, keep your breath fresh, and prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Find a toothpaste that caters to all these needs and you’ll be on your way to a healthy smile.
Trust your dental professionals
At Concierge Dental Group, our priority is your oral health. If you ever find yourself lost in the maze of toothpaste options, remember that we’re just a call away. We’ll guide you toward the best toothpaste tailored to your needs. Because your smile is not just about looking good; it’s also about feeling good.
Ready to achieve the smile of your dreams? Book your consultation with us today and let’s make your dental goals a reality. Your perfect toothpaste and a radiant smile await!