What Should You Look For In a Toothpaste?

shutterstock_237562723You’re brushing your teeth and are trying to get that last little drop of toothpaste out of the tube. It’s that time again—time to buy new toothpaste. But there are so many options at the store! Brand names versus cheaper knock-offs, mint versus fruity flavors . . . How can you know which one is right for you?

First thing is first: look for a toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval. This will let you know that the American Dental Association recommends it as safe and healthy for your teeth.

Stop Cavities

Fluoride is an important part of brushing, and one of the most important components of your toothpaste. Although it can be toxic in large amounts, toothpaste does not contain enough fluoride to be harmful. In fact, it actually strengthens your tooth enamel to prevent cavities. And as long as the decay is in the very early stages, fluoride can even help remineralize areas that are suffering from acid damage.

Stop Tartar

One of the reasons we brush our teeth is to stop the buildup of plaque. If this plaque hardens, it is called tartar. If you don’t keep it under control, this tartar can lead to discoloration and gum disease. Look for ingredients like pyrophosphates, zinc citrate, and triclosan. These compounds kill bacteria in the mouth and have proven to be effective against tartar.

Stop Gum Disease and Sensitivity

If your gums are red and bleeding, you might be in the early stages of a gum disease such as gingivitis. Your toothpaste can help you with gingivitis and more—including receding gum lines.

If your teeth are temperature sensitive, there are also toothpastes with ingredients like potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These help stop the pain by blocking the pain signal to the nerve. These pastes often need to be used for at least 4 weeks in order to be effective.

Stop Discoloration

Whitening toothpaste contains polishing substances that whiten your teeth. If you have teeth that are yellowed or stained, this is a great way to help return to and maintain your natural color. While you should avoid whitening toothpastes if you have sensitive teeth, there are no bleach substances and the abrasive elements are only hard on color—not your tooth enamel.

If you still have questions, talk to our dentists today!

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