Which Toothpaste Do You Use?
Do you have a preferred brand, or do you buy what’s on sale? What’s the best toothpaste out there?
Well, if you’ve been through the toothpaste aisle at your local drug store, you know there are an endless number of options. What makes the choice more difficult is the level of branding, advertising and marketing campaigns geared to consumers making promises of reduced tooth decay, fresher breath, and whiter smiles.
If you’ve ever wondered which the best toothpaste is, here is what you need to know:
Toothpaste is made up of several ingredients. Abrasives account for approximately 50% of toothpaste content, these ingredients help remove plaque from teeth. The next most common ingredient in toothpaste is Fluoride, an active ingredient that aids in the prevention of cavities. Most toothpastes sold over the counter contain a 1000 to 1100 parts per million fluoride. Surfactants are also common in toothpastes (and other household products like Shampoo) which are a foaming agent and promote even distribution of the toothpaste through your mouth. Other toothpastes will have antibacterial agents, flavourants, and miscellaneous ingredients to help maintain the consistency of the toothpaste. Potassium nitrate can be added to toothpaste to reduce sensitivity if used twice a day.
So, which one should you buy?
Well, at Southeast Dental in Markham, we believe the most important ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride functions to repair early tooth decay, strengthens the surface of the tooth and makes it more resilient to decay. It also inhibits the growth of harmful oral bacteria.
If you experience sensitivity, you should see your dentist to find out the underlying reason for your discomfort. Thereafter, your doctor may prescribe a low abrasion toothpaste, specifically designed for sensitivity.
Your dentist may also prescribe a high fluoride toothpaste, sometimes containing up to 5000 parts per million of fluoride if you are at a higher risk of tooth decay.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring ingredient and is often added to our water supply in small amounts. It is important that young children are supervised when using a fluoride based toothpaste, better yet, it’s important that if your child has a habit of swallowing toothpaste that you use a non-fluoride tooth paste for them. Fluoride consumed as a child, can often cause discolouration in permanent teeth once their milk teeth have fallen out.
Whitening toothpastes are heavily marketed and are very popular. They whiten teeth by including more abrasive ingredients in their product so as to remove more surface stain. The important thing to note is that, because they only remove surface stain they will not whiten your teeth from within. For this, you will need to whiten your teeth with a bleaching agent.
Our general belief is that any fluoride based toothpaste, as long as it used twice a day and part of a regular oral hygiene routine will be effective in improving your overall oral health.