Which toothpaste should I use?

Which toothpaste should I use?

Always select the type of toothpaste that is approved by the FDA. This not only means it has proven to be effective through testing, but that it contains the mineral fluoride. Fluoride coats teeth and protects the dentition from cavity-causing acids.

Every day and all the time, a layer of biofilm is forming on your teeth. This film is called plaque. It interacts with certain foods, mostly sugars—to produce acids that dissolves away at your tooth’s enamel, which results in tiny holes (cavities). This process is known as demineralisation. Tartar, which dentists sometimes refer to as “calculus,” forms the hardened bacterial plaque. When it has reached this stage, how hard you brush it won’t come off. When the condition reaches this point, only a dental professional can remove it.

Different types of toothpaste are available and made to target specific purposes. For example: caring for sensitive teeth, whitening/ stain removal, plaque, and tartar preventing, high fluoride, all-natural and herbal toothpaste.

Sensitive toothpaste:

People suffer from sensitive teeth for some reasons. This includes gum disease, gum recession, brushing too hard and bruxism. When the dentist has discarded out any potentially serious dental issues, then people who have sensitivity due to receding gums or teeth wear with exposed the dentine should use this type of toothpaste. It is crucial to try a few different types of sensitive toothpaste as they all have many mechanisms of action. This meaning, what works for one person may not work for someone else.

Some sensitive toothpaste is long-term acting and needs to be brushed on the teeth where the dentine has been exposed for them to work (examples are regular Sensodyne containing potassium nitrate. Others are short acting for immediate relief. They work by blocking up the tubules along the dentine, and because they chemically bind to the tubules, teeth don’t need to be brushed as efficiently (examples are ‘Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief’ and ‘Sensodyne Rapid Relief’).  The newest sensitive toothpaste contains an active ingredient called, “NovaMin,” which seals the tubules and layers a protective coating over the dentine.  You should try a variety of these kinds of toothpaste to find which one works best for you.

Whitening toothpaste:

Whitening toothpaste contains more abrasive particles to help remove the build-up of stains, and some also contain a tiny percentage of hydrogen peroxide to assist in teeth whitening. Whitening toothpaste used to contain larger particles that may be too abrasive on the teeth if use daily. Nowadays, the formulation has changed to contain smaller particles that will not contribute to any damage that is noticeable. While these particles will help reduce stains, darker stains may require a more robust product or professional treatment.  Persons who desire whiter teeth can seek out the expertise of a dentist regarding professional treatment options as whitening toothpaste will only whiten teeth 1-2 shades. Other more traditional whitening procedures can whiten by 6-8 shades. There are a lot of those products on the shelves of supermarkets, as a consumer you need to select wisely.

Patients that are prone to dental caries may need to use a high fluoride toothpaste to contribute to reducing new areas of decay forming as the fluoride in the toothpaste will harden any demineralised enamel. There is a large variety of toothpaste that can have high fluoride and whitening properties.

At the end of the day if you are still unsure about which type of toothpaste is best for you. Or, you have any questions about the topic, ask your dentist or dental hygienist who will be able to give you personal advice.