There are so many varieties of toothpaste available, and they each promise to do so many things, that it is easy to become confused and overwhelmed when choosing which one to use. The right toothpaste for you depends at least partly on your personal preferences in regards to flavor, consistency, and the results you want to achieve. However, some of the results that toothpaste manufacturers promise may seem too good to be true.
To aid in your decision, the following is a list of the features commonly found in many brands of toothpaste and an analysis of whether or not each lives up to the hype.
1. American Dental Association Seal
The ADA is a professional association of dentists based in the United States. Its membership is currently more than 150,000 members strong. It only places its seal of approval on toothpastes that are proven effective and safe for the claims on its label according to scientific testing. Any toothpaste you choose should have this seal.
Fluoride is proven to help prevent cavities. Therefore, it is a must-have ingredient in a toothpaste. Check the label for such ingredients as sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride, or monofluoride phosphate. The lattermost may be abbreviated as MFP.
3. Formulas for Sensitivity
People with sensitive teeth have the choice of either obtaining a prescription for toothpaste formulated to combat sensitivity or over-the-counter formulations. OTC sensitive teeth formulas work very well for most people. If you continue to have symptoms even after using an over-the-counter toothpaste for sensitivity, it may be time to talk to your dentist about a prescription.
4. Whitening Toothpastes
The amount of whitening ingredients in toothpastes is usually too small to have much effect, especially in the short term. Furthermore, long-term use of whitening toothpaste can contribute to sensitivity. In other words, it probably isn’t worth your time or money.
5. Tartar Control
Brushing alone cannot remove tartar from teeth. For that, you require a dental cleaning. What tartar control toothpastes are supposed to do is prevent tartar from forming in the first place. Some dentists are hesitant to recommend toothpastes containing tetrasodium pyrophosphate, the active tartar-control ingredient, despite its proven effectiveness because of the risk of irritation to the mouth.
6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
SLS is a foaming ingredient. If you are prone to canker sores or mouth irritation, avoid toothpastes containing SLS. It can cause gum and mouth irritation.
A dentist in San Clemente, CA can recommend a toothpaste based on your situation and preferences. Contact our office today for an appointment.
Thanks to John Redmond Orthodontics for their insight into dental care and how to choose a toothpaste.