What to Look For in a Toothpaste

When making a quick trip to the pharmacy the other day, I remembered I needed to grab a tube of toothpaste. I was in a bit of a hurry and thought it would be a fairly speedy diversion -- that is, until I was standing in front of several massive store shelves housing approximately a million different kinds of toothpaste, all with overlapping purposes.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found themselves in this particular purchasing dilemma. It was at that point that I decided I needed to do a little toothpaste research, and I thought I’d share my findings with our loyal Colchester Dental readers!

Cavity Fighting Toothpaste

When used correctly, all toothpastes fight cavities because they help to remove plaque. One thing to consider, though, is that many of these kinds of toothpastes contain fluoride, which has been proven to protect tooth enamel from decay. Fluoridated toothpastes are beneficial for everyone, though children under the age of 6 should only ever use a small amount when brushing, under close supervision from their parents.

Whitening Toothpaste

Toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth will help combat food stains, but they can’t offer the same results as dental-office treatments as they only remove surface stains. Though some whitening toothpastes do contain a very low level of peroxide, most use an abrasive agent to shine up your pearly whites.

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth

If you have problems consuming hot or cold food and drinks due to sharp pains, chances are you have sensitive teeth. This occurs when your gums recede from the base of your teeth, exposing the sensitive parts of the tooth. These types of toothpaste generally require several weeks of use before they begin to offer some relief.

Children’s Toothpaste

This type of toothpaste typically contains less fluoride than those designed for adults. This is due to the health risks posed to children who might accidentally ingest too much fluoride. Children’s toothpaste also generally contains fewer abrasives since kids’ teeth are much more sensitive than those of adults. Additionally, children’s toothpaste is often flavoured with the candy-loving tastes of youngsters in mind!

Tarter Toothpaste

Tartar control toothpastes are designed to remove as much plaque as possible before it builds into tartar, but unfortunately are not able to reach the significant tartar which collects below your gum line. There are some companies, however, that are actively trying to develop toothpaste which specifically combats gum disease.

Our conclusion is that there is no simple answer concerning which toothpaste you should purchase, as it all depends on your specific needs. If you’re still unsure what to purchase, feel free to ask your dentist or dental hygienist for their advice on your next trip to the clinic. The staff at Colchester Dental love to help you keep a bright, healthy smile, and they’d be glad to offer some suggestions tailored specifically to you!

Stay tuned for next month’s blog post, where we’ll be discussing the link between brushing your tongue and cavities!