Choosing a Toothpaste

Dr.Alan Wishneff Boca Raton Florida Dentist Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
May 18, 2016

As many different toothbrushes there are to choose from, there are even more types of toothpastes to choose from. There are fluoride ones, tartar control, whitening and many more. But which one is best for you?

Toothpaste Basics

There are many different forms of toothpaste, including gels, pastes and powders. While they may come in different forms, there are a few ingredients that are common in most of them.

  • Abrasive agents – These are the scratchy materials that help to remove food, bacteria and stains from the teeth. These agents usually contain carbonate and silicates.
  • Flavoring – Flavor is added to the toothpaste using artificial sweeteners, including saccharin. While mint is the most popular flavor, it is not the only one used today. There are other flavors including cinnamon, lemon-lime, orange and even bubble-gum.
  • Humectants – These are used for moisture retention. Paste or gel toothpastes need substances like glycerol to prevent them from drying out.
  • Thickeners – Gums and gooey molecules that are found in seaweed are added to help maintain proper texture.
  • Detergents – Detergents make the suds or bubbles when you brush your teeth. They usually contain sodium lauryl sulfate.

Fluoride Toothpaste

One of the most important ingredients to look for in toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has helped to reduce tooth decay and cavities greatly in the past 50 years. There are bacteria in the mouth that feeds off of sugars and starches that have been left behind by food. When the bacteria feed they release acids into the mouth. Fluoride helps to protect the teeth from acids by strengthening the tooth enamel. It can also reverse early stages of acid erosion. Even if you live in an area that includes fluoride in the drinking water, it is still a good idea to use fluoride toothpaste. The higher amount of fluoride in your mouth helps to protect your teeth better.

Tartar Control Toothpaste

Tartar control toothpastes normally contain fluoride. In the mouth there is a layer of bacteria on the teeth called plaque. If it is not removed it will harden into tartar. When the plaque gets this hard, it is even harder to remove and will build up on the teeth and under the gums. This generally leads to gum disease. There are different chemicals that help to prevent tartar from building up. The toothpastes that contain multiple anti-plaque agents are the best.

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

Many people have sensitive teeth and are easily irritated by things like temperature differences. Toothpastes that are made for sensitive teeth normally contain potassium nitrate. These chemicals can help relieve pain in up to four weeks. They reduce tooth sensitivity by blocking pathways through the teeth that attach to nerves.

Whitening Toothpaste

There are many people looking ti whiten their teeth without all the hassle. Now there are whitening toothpastes that are made for everyday use. Unlike traditional tooth whitening products, the toothpastes don’t normally contain bleach. Instead they have abrasive particle or chemicals that polish the teeth. They can also bind stains and pull them off the teeth. The abrasiveness in these toothpastes doesn’t cause any more damage than normal toothpaste would.

Tips for Choosing Toothpaste

These are just a few tips in picking the best toothpaste for your needs.

  • Opt for ADA approval-Make sure the toothpaste has earned an American Dental Association seal of approval. This seal means the toothpaste has been evaluated for safety and effectiveness by scientific experts. These toothpastes will also contain fluoride.
  • Be wary of imposters-It was recently found that some toothpastes imported from China could contain toxic substances.
  • Consider the needs of you and your family-As long as the toothpaste contains fluoride, the chose is really up to preference. Get the tastier ones for the young children. They will be more likely to want to brush their teeth more if they like the taste. Whatever you need the most, choose that kind.

For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr. Wishneff at[email protected]  or call (561) 488-3111Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.