We’ve all been there…you’re at the store with your shopping list and head over to the dental care aisle to pick up a simple tube of toothpaste. 10 minutes later, after staring at what seems like hundreds of options, you finally pick whatever is on sale… but even then you’re not sure you made the right choice. If you’d like to finally know which toothpaste is the best, a good place to start is talking to your dentist at your next check-up. In the meantime, you can keep reading to learn about which product will work the best for you – you might even save yourself some time on your next shopping trip.
What Does Toothpaste Actually Do for Your Teeth?
The foundation of good preventative dental care is brushing regularly with the right toothpaste. The main benefit of a good paste will be cavity prevention, assuming it contains fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that does for your teeth what calcium does for your bones. It prevents cavities by strengthening the enamel.
The good news is that the vast majority of toothpastes already contain this beneficial mineral. If in doubt, always read the label carefully.
Beyond cavity prevention, toothpaste has several other important benefits. It polishes the teeth and removes plaque, bacteria and stains. It also freshens your breath and can help counteract dry mouth.
What Kind of Toothpastes Are There?
Now that you know the basics, the next step is to determine your specific needs:
- Sensitivity – These pastes will have extra fluoride in addition to several unique ingredients that can significantly reduce sensitivity to cold foods and beverages. They work better after several weeks of consistent use.
- Cavity-prone – If you have a lot of cavities every time you go in for checkups, a high-fluoride paste can make a big difference. This type of paste has a higher concentration of fluoride than you can get over-the-counter, and can be prescribed by your dentist.
- Staining – This will have a higher amount of mild abrasive ingredients, which give it greater polishing power. “Whitening” toothpastes can’t actually whiten your teeth, but will help remove stains from coffee, tea or red wine.
- Dry Mouth – Many people suffer from dry mouth, which can be uncomfortable and also make them much more susceptible to getting cavities. These formulas help moisturize the mouth, while sugar-free gum and mints can help stimulate salivary flow.
- Tartar Control – if you accumulate more tartar than most people, a tartar-control formula can help reduce the amount of buildup you get.
- Natural Lifestyle – if you prefer a natural lifestyle, or have an adverse reaction to the synthetic ingredients in some products, a natural toothpaste may be a good option.
With this information, you’ll be well prepared to choose the right product to take care of your smile for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Sherman is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and has been practicing dentistry for over 30 years. He prides himself on providing exceptional dental care as well as empowering his patients with the information they need to have a beautiful, healthy smile for many years. He can be contacted through his website, or at (516) 538-1100.