While all toothpastes are designed to clean your teeth, some are more effective than others. At the same time, some toothpastes have special formulations that help them strengthen enamel, eliminate stains and reduce tooth sensitivity. Here is your guide to choosing the right toothpaste for your specific needs.
Look for ADA approval
It’s important to make sure any dental product displays the American Dental Association seal of approval. This indicates that the product has provided scientific evidence that has clearly demonstrated safety and efficacy in the eyes of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. If a toothpaste does not have the ADA seal of approval, it has not necessarily been tested for its claims and quality.
Consider your individual needs
In addition to fluoride, some toothpastes often contain other active ingredients designed to help whiten teeth, lessen tooth sensitivity, prevent gingivitis, reduce enamel erosion, limit tartar build-up or prevent bad breath. When choosing a toothpaste, you will want to carefully consider your options and select a product that addresses your needs. It can help to talk to your dentist and get recommendations about the most effective toothpaste for your unique dental requirements. Again, you will also want to make sure the toothpaste you select has the ADA seal of approval.
Choose a fluoride toothpaste
According to the ADA, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is fundamental to oral hygiene and health, due to fluoride’s proven cavity fighting properties. Unfortunately, many natural toothpastes do not contain fluoride. Much of this is due to misinformation about the health implications and effectiveness of fluoride as it relates to preventing tooth decay. In reality, numerous studies have proved that brushing without fluoride toothpaste is less effective and can leave teeth more vulnerable to decay.
Avoid problematic toothpastes
If you have sensitive teeth, you will want to avoid whitening toothpastes, which contain abrasive ingredients designed to eliminate stains and polish teeth. While generally safe and effective for most people, these toothpastes can irritate or worsen tooth sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth but are concerned about the color of your smile, talk to your dentist about in-office whitening alternatives that will be gentle enough for your teeth.
Soothe your sensitivity
If you experience pain or discomfort when you drink hot or cold liquids, your dentist may recommend a toothpaste designed to strengthen enamel and soothe your symptoms. This should be a toothpaste that contains fluoride and potassium nitrate, which interrupts the nerve impulses that cause tooth pain. If this toothpaste works to ease your sensitivity, you will need to use it long term, because the positive effects wear off when you stop using the toothpaste.