So, you’re shopping for the best toothpaste? Which do you think is the right for you and your family?
That’s a hard question to answer. Standing in one of the personal hygiene aisles at the supermarket or a drug store can be mind boggling when looking over the seemingly endless varieties of toothpaste available. Which is the best? Which is right for YOU? It may not take long to come to the conclusion that “four out of five dentists” are willing to endorse just about anything.
Before you consider which toothpaste is right, it’s important to remember always to use a toothbrush with soft, synthetic bristles. And be sure you have mastered the process of the actual brushing. Yes, there is a proper way to brush!
Everything You Need to About Shopping for the Best Toothpaste
Once you’ve got brushing down here’s how to decide on the best toothpaste for you and your family. There are many different types of toothpaste available. Toothpastes:
- That fight tartar
- That whiten your teeth
- That give you fresher breath
- With all kinds of sweet flavors for kids.
There’s even a bacon-flavored toothpaste! And of course, there are many “all in one” kinds of toothpaste that contain a combination of agents that do it all – from reducing tartar formation, to improving gum health to addressing the most basic of dental concerns.
While almost all claim to be the best at what they are supposed to do, it’s important to note that you can verify the truth of toothpaste advertising claims of being “clinically proven” by seeking information from dental public health personnel with expertise in the field – starting with your own dentist.
As for the toothpaste itself, it’s good to know that more than 95% of all toothpaste sold contains fluoride – the single most effective chemical compound there is for fighting tooth decay. It has been recognized that the decline in the prevalence of cavities recorded in most industrialized countries over the past 30 years can be attributed mainly to the widespread use of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Investigations into the effectiveness of adding fluoride to toothpaste have been carried out since 1945, and cover a wide range of active ingredients in various abrasive formulations.
Happy Tooth Helpful Hint: Squeeze out an amount of toothpaste about the size of a pea. Using too much paste creates a lot of extra suds which encourages you to spit and finish too early!
All that science aside, simply be sure that the toothpaste you choose is a fluoride toothpaste. And if it also fights tartar, whitens teeth, or even tastes like bacon … that’s a bonus!
How Much Fluoride is Enough?
Most dentists agree that, for optimum protection, a toothpaste should have at least 1,000 parts per million fluoride and the American Dental Association stamp of approval. After that, it’s all about how the toothpaste tastes to you personally, and what those “bonuses” mentioned above mean to you.
But are the bonuses for real? Does whitening toothpaste, for example, really work? Studies have proven that, yes, over time – usually a long time – it does. If by the way, the whitening process isn’t happening fast enough for you, there are options such as tooth whitening and dental veneers.
How to Clean Sensitive Teeth
Your choice of toothpaste might be different if you have sensitive teeth. Many people have them, whether it’s from gum issues or a lack of enamel coating. For those with sensitive teeth, there are a couple of choices. First, your dentist can prescribe a toothpaste for you – though it will be higher in price than what you’re used to paying. As an alternative, there are over-the-counter toothpastes for sensitive teeth that are a little more affordable. Either way, you’ll notice a difference in your comfort level while brushing.
Concern for Children
Because young infants and children under age two often swallow most (if not all) of the toothpaste when brushing, there has been concern that the use of toothpaste with excessive fluoride could result in an affliction known as enamel fluorosis of the front permanent incisors.
Enamel fluorosis is a condition which can vary from minor white spots to unsightly discoloration of the enamel due to excessive intake of fluoride. In response to the concern over enamel fluorosis, some toothpaste manufacturers now market low fluoride “children’s” or “pediatric” toothpastes containing minimal amounts of fluoride. While the effectiveness of such products has yet to be established, it’s important to know about the possible concern.
Consulting a Professional
This concern, along with the choice of a proper fluoride toothpaste in general, is reason enough to consult with your Happy Tooth dental professional about the toothpaste that’s best for you and your family.