The Importance Of Choosing The Right Toothpaste
Brushing your teeth is one of the most fundamental aspects of your at-home dental care routine. By brushing after meals, you can remove food particles that may get stuck to or between your teeth and prevent the production of plaque and dental decay that could compromise your dental health. While brushing with water alone is better than not brushing at all, you should not underestimate the importance of using toothpaste.
What is Toothpaste and How does it Work?
Although it is the action of brushing that primarily helps to combat the bacteria in the mouth that cause dental decay, using toothpaste is recommended because the ingredients it contains are beneficial for your teeth. These include:
- detergents which create a foaming action that helps to remove food particles and areas of plaque.
- abrasives which lift stains and help to remove discoloration.
- fluoride which remineralizes your teeth and combats the effects of acid, which can erode your teeth and make them vulnerable to decay.
Contrary to popular belief, when you brush your teeth, you don’t need to load up your toothbrush with heaps of toothpaste. Too much and you will end up with a mouthful of foam that makes brushing each individual tooth properly very difficult. Instead, opt for a pea-sized amount and work your way methodically around your teeth.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste
When you walk down the dental aisle at your local store, you are probably greeted with an array of different products, including many brands and varieties of toothpaste. With so many to choose from, how can you be sure that you are buying the one that is best suited to your teeth?
Every patient is individual and may have completely different dental needs. For this reason, we strongly advocate that you speak to our dentist for a recommendation as to the right toothpaste to you. Our dentist knows your teeth and your dental history best, so is your most valuable ally when it comes to your dental health.
Varieties of Toothpaste
There are many different varieties of toothpaste, and most are designed to address specific types of dental needs. For example:
As their name suggests, these toothpastes target improving the color of your teeth. They tend to contain the whitening agents’ calcium peroxide and carbamide peroxide and may have slightly higher levels of abrasive to help remove staining.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
If the enamel on your teeth has been damaged, often as a result of acid erosion and decay, you may suffer from sensitive teeth. This is most often characterized as experiencing pain while eating or drinking items that are particularly hot, cold or sweet. Toothpastes that are designed for sensitive teeth usually contain at least 5% potassium nitrate, which blocks pain receptors in your brain.
High Fluoride Toothpaste
Again, high fluoride toothpastes are exactly as their name suggests – higher in fluoride than a regular adult toothpaste. This variety is often recommended for patients with high levels of tooth decay, or who are at a higher risk of developing dental caries.
An increasing number of patients are now choosing toothpastes that market themselves as ‘natural’. They tend to be made from herbal extracts and other obviously natural ingredients, but the health claims of many of these varieties of toothpaste have not yet been substantiated. Fluoride is the most important ingredient of any toothpaste, so if you do want to choose a natural type, ensure that it still contains the recommended levels of fluoride.
For further advice on which type of toothpaste is best for your dental needs, contact us and make an appointment with our dentist.