With the myriad of options on the market today, it is getting harder and harder to choose the right toothpaste for your dental needs. Toothpaste used to be sold as a one size fits all but with sensitivity, enamel recalcifying, gum issues, dry mouth, or for whitening it has become much more customized to each individual.
The primary function of toothpaste is to clean teeth and prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a main ingredient in almost every toothpaste on the market today. Fluoride has the ability to enhance remineralization of the tooth’s enamel which can allow for reversal of very small tooth decay.
Different Types Of Toothpaste
-Whitening. This has become quite popular to the general public. These teeth whitening toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or some other custom ingredient. These toothpastes work in a variety of ways to whiten your teeth. Some work through the mechanical action of brushing while others work chemically to whiten our teeth. Some are even able to remove staining present on our teeth from our daily eating activities.
-Sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is a very common issue for many of us. Luckily, there are many good sensitivity toothpastes on the market today including crest pro health line of toothpastes. Many of these toothpastes contain potassium nitrate. The potassium nitrate is able to plug the holes in our dentin layer of our tooth to form a protective layer, protecting the nerve, thus relieving sensitivity.
-Remineralizing. These types of toothpastes allow for tooth enamel to repair itself and remineralize. This is only effective in small areas of decay and will not work for very large tooth decay. A good example of this is colgate prevident or GC MI paste with recaldent.
-Xylitol. This is a commonly used as a sugar substitute but it also has the added properties of not allowing bacteria to adhere to tooth enamel. This gives it the ability to lower a person’s risk for tooth decay. It has also been found that xylitol when combined with fluoride (fluoride concentration greater than 0.8 ppm) it can provide additional remineralization benefits.
-SLS free toothpaste. SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate is the bubbling agent in toothpaste. For some people, SLS causes irritation to oral tissue, apthous ulcers (canker sores), peeling or red gums.
-Mouthrinse in toothpaste. Many toothpastes contain mouth rinse, supposedly to help gums, and give fresher breath.
-Fluoride free. Some people prefer natural toothpaste without fluoride.
-Specialty toothpaste for children. It is important to choose a toothpaste specifically for children because a toothpaste with fluoride when they are too young to swish and spit will be swallowed. The level of fluoride in toothpaste is much higher than in the water supply, fluoride if swallowed often, can be harmful. As a child gets older, you can use children’s toothpaste with fluoride, but only a pea size amount.
With the multitude of toothpaste choices comes the responsibility of choosing the right toothpaste for you and your family. It is important to use the toothpaste that suits your needs. Brush at least twice a day to stave off tooth decay as well periodontal disease. Luckily, for dentists and patient, with all these choices a toothpaste can be custom selected for each individuals needs.