With so many toothpaste brands on the market, how do you choose the right one? In between the different flavors and the claims of whitening, brightening and fluoride protection, it’s not surprising that most people feel confused when it comes to making a final decision.
This guide will help you identify common ingredients in toothpaste and help you understand the important factors to consider before you buy your next tube.
Toothpaste comes in gel, paste, and powdered forms. When it comes to the type of toothpaste, the choice is more a matter of preference.
- Abrasive Agents– Abrasive agents help remove minor stains. Calcium carbonate is the most common.
- Flavor– When toothpastes are flavored, they usually contain artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of the toothpaste. Flavors range from traditional mint that may appeal to adults to bubble gum or lemon lime flavors to target children.
- Detergents– Sodium lauryl sulfate is the most common detergent used in toothpaste that produces a foam when you brush.
What to Look for in Toothpaste
Fluoride is naturally occurring mineral. It is the most important ingredient to look for in a toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste is the best cavity protection there is. In addition to strengthening tooth enamel and protecting your teeth from erosion, it may prevent developing tooth decay from worsening.
Tartar is hardened plaque that builds up on your teeth. Good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings yearly cleanings are your best defense against plaque buildup. Plaque turns to tartar when people neglect their oral hygiene. Over time, tartar builds up on teeth and under the gums, increasing the likelihood of developing gum disease.
Tooth sensitivity happens when underlying dentin becomes exposed. For example, brushing the teeth and gum line too hard or using a very hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft or medium toothbrush can wear away tooth enamel causing toothbrush abrasion. And when this happens, brushing your teeth can become a harrowing experience.
There are also brands specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. These types of toothpastes typically contain potassium nitrate or another similar compound which helps to desensitize your teeth and gums.
When looking for the perfect toothpaste, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your best bet is to use a toothpaste that has a combination of anti-plaque agents and enamel-strengthening agents.
Finally, look for toothpaste that bears the seal of the American Dental Association. This seal is an endorsement from the ADA and means that many dentists agree that this particular brand toothpaste does what toothpaste is designed to do.