November 5, 2014

Which toothpaste should I use?

Are you confused on what type of toothpaste you should use?

Which type of toothpaste you should use is equally as important to what type of toothbrush you should use. With so many types and brands on the market, the answer is specific to the needs of the patient.

Which toothpaste should I use for my children?

  • For children, a good rule of thumb is if your children can comfortably spit on their own, then they can comfortably use a children’s toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • If your child is struggling with spitting or is not yet able to comfortably spit, then a safe-to-swallow toothpaste is ideal. When in doubt, use the safe-to swallow children’s toothpaste.

ToothpasteWhat’s the difference between all these toothpastes on the market?

  • Toothpaste for sensitive teeth: A major ingredient is usually Potassium Nitrate, which is added to these toothpastes to help calm nerve fibers that cause sensitivity.
  • Fluoride-containing toothpastes (Prescription only): Sometimes a dentist may recommend a prescription strength toothpaste based on your cavity risk.
  • Tartar-control toothpastes: These toothpastes can contain additional chemical compounds like pyrophosphates, zinc citrate and/or triclosan to help control tartar buildup.
  • Whitening toothpastes: These toothpastes usually contain some amount of hydrogen peroxide to help brighten teeth.
  • Fluoride-free toothpastes: For those patients that would like a fluoride-free alternative.
  • All-natural toothpastes: These toothpastes claim to contain more natural products and less chemical products. Some toothpastes contain fluoride and others do not.

Most toothpastes will contain some abrasives to help clean teeth. Some toothpastes are less abrasive than others. No toothpaste is completely non-abrasive. The best combination for a healthy mouth is a low-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When in doubt, look for a product that bears the American Dental Association Seal of Approval. If you would like some recommendations, please discuss with your dentist.

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