Am I Using the Right Toothpaste?


Do you make the right choice when buying toothpaste?  There are many different options in the dental care aisle, each one boasting to make your teeth stronger, whiter, or cleaner.  You want to make sure that the toothpaste you use twice a day provides the best care for your teeth.  The best way to understand what your teeth need is to know what toothpaste can offer. Let’s talk about toothpaste and the many different types out there.

Fluoride, is that a good thing?

YES!  Fluoride is a mineral found in nature that can decrease tooth decay.  Fluoride stops cavities by strengthening your tooth enamel and adding some minerals in areas that may have already started to decay.  Any toothpaste you use should have fluoride to ensure you give your teeth the best care you can – no matter what!

How do you control tartar with toothpaste?

Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria that covers your teeth, and tartar is hardened plaque that builds up and sticks to your teeth (much like a barnacle to a pier).  Everyone has plaque, and you can’t eliminate it, but you can take certain measures to control it.  Tartar stains teeth, contributes to gum disease, and makes it harder to clean your teeth.  There are a few different ingredients in toothpaste used to prevent tartar build up.  Tartar control toothpaste uses a combination of ingredients and abrasives, such as zinc citrate or the antibiotic triclosan, to kill off bacteria that hang out on your teeth.  It works like a domino effect, as less bacteria means less plaque and less plaque means less tartar build-up.  If you really want to keep tartar down, find toothpaste with multiple plaque fighting agents.

Ouch!  Sensitive toothpaste for sensitive teeth

About 22% of American adults have sensitive teeth which can make everyday living painful.  Toothpaste for sensitive teeth uses certain compounds, such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, to essentially block and dull the nerve endings that are close to the surface of the teeth that are causing your unwanted pain.  It might take a few weeks to take effect, but the relief will be worth it.

Bright and shiny, tooth whitening toothpastes

Whitening toothpastes present themselves as the “Holy Grail” of toothpaste by helping you whiten and brighten your teeth as you brush.  However, they are not all they are cracked up to be. Whitening toothpastes tend to use abrasives to aggressively polish your teeth instead of using a bleaching agent.  Because they are abrading extrinsic stains on your enamel, whitening toothpastes can cause sensitivity in some cases. If you are prone to or concerned about extra sensitivity, try to find whitening toothpaste with sensitivity care, or stay away from whitening toothpaste altogether.

Finding the right toothpaste for your teeth is rather easy as long as you know what you need and the benefits of different toothpastes.  Come talk to us if you’re overwhelmed by the options- we’re here to help you smile!