When you walk down the toothpaste aisle at the grocery store, there are so many choices and brands to pick from. They don’t make it easy for the consumer to help them determine the best one for them. There is every variety from whitening to tarter control to fluoride toothpastes. But how to do you know which one is the best for you without spending forever trying each every one.
First, you need to understand what all these terms mean, and what each type actually does.
- Fluoride Toothpastes: For those who aren’t even sure what fluoride is, it is a natural mineral that helps to prevent cavities and has been proven to prevent tooth decay. It does this by making the enamel (protective coating on your teeth) stronger and stops bacteria from causing damage to your teeth. Toothpastes that are created with fluoride are the most basic. They are great if you don’t have specific dental needs and are just looking to maintain your healthy mouth.
- Tarter control: Many toothpastes will promote that they help prevent plague or tarter build up. These two things are the same, just in different stages. Plague is a naturally occurring bacteria that is in a layer over our teeth. When it is allowed to linger and is not removed with oral hygiene it hardens into tarter. Tarter is hard to remove, and it can build up around your teeth and under you gums, leading to gum disease. Toothpastes that are tarter control often also have fluoride in them. These are best suited for those that are working on restoring their mouth to healthy, or are advised by their dentist to use tarter control. It can also be used as a preventive for tarter and plaque for those who do not have issue with it.
- Whitening: These toothpastes are designed to remove discoloration from teeth that occurs naturally from eating and drinking. They often use abrasives and agents that bind to stains to remove them from teeth, rather than bleaches. This toothpaste is often used for those on the quest for pearly whites. Many of these toothpastes also contain fluoride, providing a great combination for oral health.
- For Sensitive Teeth: Many people have teeth that are painful when given different stimulus. Sometimes this makes teeth brushing painful. These toothpastes battle that by using different chemical compounds to block pathways through the teeth that allow nerves to sense the irritation. These often have fluoride as well, and can make all the difference for those that struggle with sensitive teeth.
Now that is the differences of most toothpastes on the market. But still, how do you choose?
Here are a few helpful hints.
- Make sure the toothpaste is ADA approved, which is an independent board certification.
- Avoid purchasing toothpastes from China; some have had a toxic compound in them
- Think about your current oral health; purchase a toothpaste that helps improve it.
Armed with this information, it should be much easier to combat the vast jungle of choices in the toothpaste aisle next time.