Remember the last time you needed to pick up some toothpaste? You thought it would be a simple, in, out and done sort of task… until you got to the toothpaste isle and were hit with option overload. Just seeing all those options can be overwhelming and confusing. Whitening toothpaste, sensitive teeth, tartar control, “xtream clean”, “total clean”, “advance clean”. Do we need so many choices when it comes to toothpaste? Let’s break it down a bit.
We can make this really simple for you; when it comes to toothpaste, there are two things to look for; fluoride and the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, helps prevent tooth decay and helps make teeth stronger. It protects your teeth from the acids that form on your teeth after eating.
- The ADA Seal of Acceptance assures you that the toothpaste has been objectively evaluated for safety and effectiveness from independent, scientific experts.
From there we can categorize all these choices by the type of toothpastes available that target specific issues.
Whitening Toothpaste – There are toothpastes that claim to whiten teeth, usually by adding peroxide to the mix. While these toothpastes may help remove some surface stains, results will not be dramatic. Also, ingredients in these toothpastes may be a bit harsh on your teeth, mouth and gums for everyday use.
Tartar Control – Plaque that isn’t removed with proper oral hygiene hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar can build up on your teeth and under your gums and can lead to gum disease. There are toothpastes available that help prevent tartar buildup on teeth. They may include additional chemical ingredients such as pyrophosphates and zinc citrate. Some may also contain an antibiotic called triclosan. We are aware of the concern and controversy about tirclosan in toothpaste and recommend that if you feel this is not right for you and your family, do not buy toothpaste with this ingredient. To help prevent tartar build up, a more natural option is zinc citrate. But the best thing you can do to help prevent tartar buildup is to be sure to see your dentist for regular cleanings.
Sensitive Teeth – Some people may have issues with sensitive teeth. If you have an issue with teeth sensitivity, talk to your dentist to see what he or she recommends. Often times it may help to switch to toothpaste that only has fluoride as the main ingredient. Some of the ingredients in whitening and tartar control toothpaste may be irritating for some people. There are also toothpastes specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These usually contain some kind of compound that blocks the pathways in the teeth that lead to the nerves. Again, make sure the toothpaste you choose carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Depending on the severity of the issue, your dentist may also recommend in office treatments such as fluoride gel or desensitizing agents applied to the sensitive areas of the teeth.
Bottom Line –
In the end, we know all you really want to know is, will “xtream clean” be any better for your mouth than “total clean”? Probably not. When choosing a toothpaste, just look for these two things; fluoride and the ADA Seal of Acceptance, the rest is basically marketing.
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