Which Toothpaste Is Right For Me?
Toothpastes, otherwise known as dentifrices, are “pastes” used to clean the teeth and maintain the health of the gums. They usually come in different varieties, and most people sometimes find it difficult to choose which one will be the most appropriate for them. To make this easy, what you should do is to choose the right toothpaste based on your needs, or based on the condition of your mouth. For instance, if you are experiencing teeth sensitivity, then desensitizing toothpastes will help you get rid of your problem. Or if you want to make your teeth color a bit lighter, whitening toothpastes like those which contain baking soda is recommended.
But if you don’t know which one is which, you can also check the list of ingredients on the toothpaste label for you to find what you’re looking for. Toothpastes have specific ingredients that are meant to relieve certain dental problems.
There are different types of toothpastes on the market today. Some of the common toothpaste varieties include herbal toothpastes, fluoride toothpastes, desensitizing toothpastes, whitening toothpastes, anti-plaque, and anti-tartar toothpastes. We will discuss each one in this article.
Herbal or natural toothpastes contain ingredients derived from natural sources (mostly plants extracts), and are therefore labelled as organic. Such ingredients may include essential oils, aloe vera extracts, guava extracts, honey, and citrus extracts. This type of toothpaste does not have synthetic dyes, artificial flavors, and other ingredients found in conventional toothpastes. Herbal toothpaste is the best choice if you don’t want to use regular commercial toothpastes with artificial ingredients.
Fluoride toothpastes, as the name suggests, contains fluoride in any of the following forms: sodium fluoride, monofluorophosphate, and stannous fluoride. These toothpastes are indicated primarily to prevent tooth decay and also dentin hypersensitivity (although there are toothpastes made specifically for this condition). According to research studies, sodium fluoride is considered to be the most effective among all fluoride forms, and because of that, it is widely used in many commercial toothpastes.
The fluoride toothpaste for children contains 500ppm fluoride and comes in nice, fruity flavors to help them be more excited in brushing their teeth. On the other hand, the fluoride toothpaste for adults contains 1000-1500ppm. This dosage is effective in increasing salivary flow, remineralizing the enamel, and reducing the chance of tooth decay. And so, if you want to prevent tooth decay and have stronger teeth, then you should choose fluoride toothpastes.
Desensitizing toothpastes are used for the prevention and relief of tooth sensitivity. These toothpastes contain active ingredients like potassium nitrate, which works to seal the tubules of the exposed dentin. Children, including those who are experiencing tooth sensitivity, must not use desensitizing toothpastes.
You should consult your dentist and undergo a thorough dental check-up to determine what causes your teeth to become sensitive. He or she can help identify the most appropriate desensitizing toothpaste for you.
Whitening toothpastes are recommended for those who want to lighten the color of their teeth. Most toothpastes that fall under this type contain baking soda, which have abrasive properties that help remove extrinsic stains. Additionally, it is proven to be effective to get rid of halitosis. It is important to note that baking soda toothpastes offer no therapeutic benefits, and overuse of such can cause gum irritation.
Whitening toothpastes, in general, is not advised for long-term use as it abrades the tooth enamel and causes rough surface where stains get deposited easily and impart dark color to the tooth.
Anti-plaque toothpastes prevent plaque accumulation and are therefore indicated for patients with periodontal disease. The toothpaste works by inhibiting bacterial invasion on the periodontal structures, thereby reducing the chances of disease from occurring. The commonly used active ingredients in anti-plaque toothpastes include zinc citrate and triclosan.
This type of toothpaste is also recommended for denture wearers to help maintain good oral hygiene. The formation of plaque on artificial teeth can be avoided with anti-plaque toothpastes made specifically for dentures.
The Anti-tartar toothpastes help prevent calcification of dental plaque. It is recommended for patients with severe plaque accumulation on the surfaces of the teeth and gums. These toothpastes contain zinc citrate or pyrophosphate. You must obtain an advice from your dentist if you are at a high risk of developing tartar and are planning to use an anti-tartar toothpaste.
Choosing the right toothpaste for you should be based on the overall condition of your teeth and gums. Whatever toothpaste you choose, it is advised to gently brush your teeth for around 2 minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day. You must also check look for an ADA approval seal on your toothpaste container to confirm that it is clinically-tested to be effective and safe.