How many times have you been in the grocery store and completely gone blank on what kind of toothpaste to buy for you and your family? We’ve all been there, and it’s especially easy to forget what brand you usually get when there are so many similar looking packages to choose from!
At Pioneer Dental Group we think that all those options do is make things more difficult. In reality you only really need to be checking for a few basic things when you choose a toothpaste. Let’s break down the important parts of choosing a toothpaste in order to make it as simple as possible.
What’s In A Good Toothpaste?
Every reputable toothpaste out there is going to have three basic ingredients. A detergent to get it to foam up, an abrasive material to help scrub stains away, and fluoride to help rebuild lost enamel.
A lot of people think that fluoride is an optional part of cleaning your teeth, but it really isn’t. The bacteria in your mouth does small amounts of damage to your teeth every day, and with regular fluoride from toothpaste and water you can easily rebuild most damage. If you’re buying toothpaste make sure it contains fluoride!
The abrasives in toothpaste pair with the detergent to scrub off bacteria and food while carrying it away from your teeth in the foam created by brushing. When you spit all that bacteria gets carried away from your teeth, keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
What To Watch Out For When Buying Toothpaste
Just like how every good toothpaste has a few similar ingredients, all good toothpaste is going to conform to some basic standards too. Make sure that all of these conditions are met so that your choice is safe and effective.
- Make sure that any toothpaste you’re considering has the American Dental Association seal of approval on it. The ADA tests every toothpaste that comes onto the market. If it doesn’t have that seal it’s probably not a trustworthy brand.
- Toothpaste manufactured outside of the United States isn’t subject to the same rigorous standards that the ADA and the FDA subject our products to. Try to avoid toothpaste manufactured overseas since it can be adulterated with harmful chemicals.
- Avoid toothpaste from bargain shops like the dollar store. In 2007 there was an outbreak of poisonings due to imitation toothpastes imported from China. They were labeled to look like name brand products, but actually contained harmful chemicals that caused a number of hospitalizations.
Do Speciality Toothpastes Do Anything?
A lot of toothpastes you see on the shelves say they can whiten, fight plaque, destroy tartar, and do other things that might seem improbable. Some of these toothpastes can definitely help, but some are less than perfect at doing what they say.
- Whitening toothpastes aren’t able to remove existing stains from your teeth, but they can stop new stains from forming. They’re a great product if you’ve recently had your teeth whitened.
- Anti-plaque toothpastes sometimes contain antibacterial compounds that fight oral bacteria, so they can be of use when paired with good oral hygiene practices.
- Anti-tartar toothpaste won’t destroy tartar, which is actually calcified plaque. It needs to be removed by a professional, but this variety of toothpaste can stop the production of more tartar.
- Desensitizing toothpastes usually work. They use special compounds designed to seal the tubules in your teeth. If you use a desensitizing toothpaste consistently you should start to notice improvement in about a month or so.
The Complete Oral Health Package
Keeping your teeth clean is important, but you can’t do it simply by brushing and flossing at home. You also need to be sure you’re getting the kind of professional care we can provide at our Oregon City office. Regular cleanings and exams are the last essential part of oral health because they allow us to remove plaque from areas you can’t reach along with detecting problems early in order to treat them before they’re serious.
If you want to keep you and your family’s smiles healthy you’ll need more than just good home care habits. You need twice annual checkups. Do your teeth and gums a favor by giving us a call today to schedule an appointment!