Picking the right toothpaste

Dr. Garrett here! I want to take a quick minute or two to talk about how to pick the right toothpaste for your teeth. Going to the grocery store to pick out a toothpaste can be an overwhelming endeavor. There seems to be more toothpaste than you can imagine! So how in the world are we supposed to know which to pick? It is important to look for several things when deciding on the correct toothpaste for your own teeth, but first we need to talk about these teeth. Are your teeth sensitive? Do you have active cavities? Do you have periodontal disease and/or gingivitis? How old are you? These are all questions whose answers can have an impact on which toothpaste is the correct one for your specific teeth. So let’s dive into this!

-ALL toothpaste you consider should have fluoride in it. No fluoride, no go! Fluoride is a molecule that helps prevent decay and even aids in the re-mineralization of enamel. The only exception is for infants and children who are unable to rinse and spit following brushing. They should use a toothpaste with xylitol in it. Xylitol is a natural sweetener shown to reduce tooth decay. Spry is a great example of such a product.

-ALL toothpaste should have the ADA seal on the box/tube. This ensures it has passed the rigorous testing process instituted by the American Dental Association in order to obtain the ADA’s stamp of approval.

-If you have active decay in your mouth, as diagnosed by your dentist, you need something with extra fluoride in it to help control and eliminate the decay process in your mouth. ClinPro 5000 is an example of such a toothpaste. It can only be sold through a dental practitioner. Once you have been free of cavities for a whole year, you can return to over-the-counter toothpastes (your dentist should make this decision for you).

-If you have gum disease, a toothpaste that includes an anti-microbial has shown some benefit for controlling that disease. Triclosan is an anti-microbial included in some toothpastes that has this benefit. Colgate Total is an example of such a toothpaste with this ingredient. (There are many others out there).

-If you have sensitive teeth look for a toothpaste that includes desensitizing ingredients in their formula. Stannous fluoride is the main one to look for. Sensodyne is my personal favorite and one that my patients seem to have the best results with.

-We recommend staying away from whitening toothpastes, especially if you have any enamel wear (which most of us do).  The abrasives in whitening toothpastes can be too harsh on our enamel and cause eventual erosion.  This can lead to you having sensitive teeth.  We have much more effective, and much safer ways to whiten your teeth if that’s what you desire.

Those are the basics for picking out your toothpaste. It is really quite simple. Does it have fluoride? Does it have enough fluoride for your mouth? Is it approved by the ADA? Does it have any additional a ingredients to help with any extra conditions you may have? That’s basically it! So don’t feel overwhelmed by the large variety you see at the store. Narrow down your specific needs and go from there.

If you are ever unsure or have a questions about what toothpaste is right for you, please do not hesitate to ask one of us doctors! We are always here to help and love talking about your teeth!!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.