How to Choose the Right Toothpaste for Your Unique Dental Needs
How hard can it be to choose a toothpaste?
How do you go about choosing a toothpaste? It seems like it should be easy! Once you get to the store, though, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the options. With so many toothpastes from which to choose, how do you pick the right one? Here, we offer some helpful tips for choosing the right toothpaste for your unique dental needs.
Know the Basics
Toothpastes contain abrasive agents, flavoring agents, detergents, humectants, and detergents, and are available in gel, paste, powder, or tablet forms. There are two important things to look for in a toothpaste: fluoride and the ADA seal of approval. Fluoride has been proven to protect against tooth decay and help to remineralize teeth, and the ADA (American Dental Association) must verify that a product is effective before that product can display the seal of approval.
Evaluate Your Dental Needs
Think about what you want a toothpaste to accomplish for you beyond just cleaning your teeth. Some common concerns include bad breath, sensitive teeth, plaque, gum disease, tartar, and yellowing teeth. Once you have assessed what you need, look for a toothpaste that fits with your concerns.
- Preventing cavities: Fluoride is a major factor in preventing cavities and strengthening enamel. Choose a toothpaste with mild abrasives, like hydrated silica or calcium carbonate, to remove plaque and surface stains without damaging enamel.
- Tartar control: Bacteria can cause biofilm on the teeth, and this can lead to plaque. When biofilm traps salivary calcium and phosphate, it crystallizes into tartar, also called calculus. While this is removed by the dental hygienist during your cleanings, it can be helpful to use a tartar control toothpaste in between visits. These toothpastes typically contain ingredients like zinc citrate and triclosan.
- Sensitivity: Dental pain is typically due to dentin hypersensitivity. Toothpastes with potassium and fluoride can help with sensitivity, as can toothpastes with strontium chloride, calcium carbonate, or arginine. Using desensitizing toothpaste for at least eight weeks can help reduce dental pain.
- Gum disease prevention: Toothpaste with ingredients that have antibacterial properties, like triclosan or stannous fluoride, can help prevent gum disease by reducing plaque and gum inflammation.
- Controlling bad breath: Brush your teeth for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste. Brush your tongue from back to front, or use a tongue scraper. Baking soda can be effective for eliminating halitosis (bad breath), either in a baking soda toothpaste or on its own.
- Whitening teeth: There are several whitening toothpastes on the market, with bleaching ingredients like silica, pyrophosphates, and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a good option because it is gentle and won’t cause irritation in your mouth. If you do experience any uncomfortable symptoms, contact your dentist.
Choosing a Toothpaste for Children
Children over age six typically use adult toothpaste. Before that, as long as the toothpaste meets the fluoride and ADA seal requirements, you can choose a fun toothpaste for your children, to encourage them to brush frequently. Look for fun flavors, sparkles and swirls, or toothpaste in a container decorated with fun characters or superheroes. Make sure, though, that you teach children to spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it, because ingesting toothpaste can lead to chronic fluorosis for kids.
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If you’re looking for a dentist in New York, why not choose the dentist voted best in the city? At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322. For more dental advice, check out our other blogs!
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