There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different varieties of toothpastes on the market and sometimes, it can be quite overwhelming making the right choice. Here are some tips for you to consider when choosing the right toothpaste.
What are Your Needs?
Different people have different needs when choosing toothpastes. Ask your dentist if they recommend a specific category of toothpaste to suit your specific needs.
Any good toothpaste should have fluoride in them. Fluoride is important for tooth strengthening by remineralising your tooth enamel and preventing cavities. Most toothpastes come with fluoride but you should check the ingredients just to be sure.
Some people have teeth that are sensitive to hot, cold, even sweet or sour. If that’s you, you may consider looking for toothpastes that help desensitise teeth. They help block the gap between your teeth and gums (so your root isn’t exposed) or uses ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to block pain signals to the tooth’s nerve.
Please note: whitening toothpastes contain chemicals that are powerful to provide a brighter smile. Although they’re safe for use on normal teeth, these ingredients may irritate or worsen sensitive teeth. If you want a whitening toothpaste but suffer from teeth sensitivity, speak to your dentist about a gentler brand.
Anti-bacterial toothpaste is great for people with chronic gingivitis. It contains triclosan which protects the teeth and gums against bacterial infections. Of course, don’t solely rely on this anti-bacterial toothpaste as the be-all-and-end-all remedy to your gum disease. You still need to see the dentist regularly for a professional clean and make sure that you floss properly every day.
This is quite a popular toothpaste type. Tooth whitening kits contain a great deal more peroxide than whitening toothpastes. Some whitening toothpastes don’t even contain peroxide but rather use an abrasive agent of some kind. The toothpaste helps to clean the surface stains on your teeth, thereby improving your teeth colour.
If you want toothpastes that are all natural (i.e. without chemicals such as fluoride, triclosan, or peroxide) there are many brands that sell toothpastes that contain natural ingredients. These could include peppermint, aloe vera, and myrrh just to name a few.
Children toothpastes are generally sweeter than adult toothpastes. It’s advisable to buy toothpastes that contain fluoride but just be mindful that a lot of children tend to swallow toothpaste when they’re younger. If they swallow fluoride toothpaste, they may develop dental fluorosis due to the higher levels of fluoride intake so you should definitely supervise your children to ensure they don’t swallow after they’ve finished brushing.
Just be careful to not get toothpastes that are heavily sweetened or contain abrasive ingredients (like natural walnut shells or plastic microbeads). These will actually damage your teeth rather than clean them. Above all, look for toothpaste that will reinforce and strengthen your teeth, not weaken them.