There are definitely some toothpastes that are better than others, and using any toothpaste is better than using none. Thanks for visiting us at Shoreline Endodontics of Groton, CT.
Yes, it actually does matter what kind of toothpaste you buy. Choosing a brand and a type, however, shouldn’t require too much forethought. Most of the time, toothpaste “features” don’t matter and you’re better off just buying an ordinary tube. That’s the simple answer that should work for most people, but let’s get into the details.
Toothpaste “Features” Rarely Matter (and You May Want to Avoid Them)
We spoke with Dr. Martin Hogan to get an idea of what several additives provide and if they’re actually helpful:
“Toothpastes that advertise for whitening often contain abrasives or other additives that work to remove surface stain from the enamel layer of a tooth; excessive use of these toothpastes can sometimes cause sensitivity due to wearing down the enamel layer. In sensitivity toothpaste, potassium nitrate is the main ingredient in sensitivity toothpaste and works to calm the nerve of the tooth. “Anti-cavity” or fluoride toothpaste can contain levels of fluoride in their paste that is higher than a normal toothpaste; there are also prescriptions you can get from your dentist for toothpaste that contains even higher amounts of fluoride than you can get over the counter to help prevent or fight cavities.”
Of course, you should consult your dentist before purchasing toothpastes with additives. You may not need the extra cavity protection and could end up spending too much (although a little fluoride certainly won’t cause problems for most people). Some people (myself included) end up buying whitening toothpaste that causes sensitivity problems, then start paying more for sensitivity toothpaste instead. In general, your teeth should be white enough if you just brush them properly and avoid vices like coffee, cigarettes, sodas, and sour candies. In fact, if you just avoid sipping and drink water you can limit the harm to your teeth caused by sugary drinks and coffee. In some cases you may need a fancy toothpaste, but most people can stick with the regular stuff if they follow good dental care guidelines.
Ensure Your Toothpaste Bears the ADA’s Seal of Approval
A standard toothpaste with few abrasives will serve you well. While many recognizable brands pass the test, you can save a little money by going with a smaller brand that works just as well. As Dr. Joseph Banker explains, you just need to locate the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance:
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