Toothpaste is a necessity for good oral care and hygiene and it is almost an afterthought in today’s modern world. Most of us take it for granted and don’t think much about it other than when the tube runs out and it’s time to buy more. And even then, most people don’t put much thought into their toothpaste choice. However, because it is such a common yet essential product, there is an overwhelming selection available to most of us.
“Toothbrushing tools date back to 3500-3000 BC when the Babylonians and the Egyptians made a brush by fraying the end of a twig. Tombs of the ancient Egyptians have been found containing toothsticks alongside their owners. Around 1600BC, the Chinese developed “chewing sticks” which were made from aromatic tree twigs to freshen breath. The Chinese are believed to have invented the first natural bristle toothbrush made from the bristles from pigs’ necks in the 15th century, with the bristles attached to a bone or bamboo handle” (Toothbrush History). We thankfully have come a long way since then and with newer more modern styles of toothbrushes available, we now have a wider range of toothpaste varieties to use with them!
So, how do you know you are getting the right toothpaste for you and your family? Here are ten tips for choosing the right toothpaste that the dental experts here at Comfort Care Family Dental share with all of our patients:
Fluoride is still widely used
Just about all commercially manufactured toothpaste sold in the United States contains fluoride. It has long been held that fluoride can help protect teeth so it’s been used for years in toothpaste. However, much of the water supply for city residents has fluoride added into it now, so there is some debate now on if fluoride toothpaste is a good idea or not. Our dental team can help you determine if your family needs fluoride toothpaste for optimal dental care.
Address specific dental problems
There are many different types of toothpaste to choose from. Many are manufactured to do certain things, such as desensitizing, cavity fighting, gum disease prevention, or whitening. You may purchase any toothpaste you like that meets your needs but it is important to know what your most pressing issues are so you can choose a toothpaste that meets those needs. Also, your dental team can also let you know about any types of toothpaste you should avoid.
Avoid whitening toothpaste with sensitive teeth
Whitening toothpaste is made with ingredients that help to provide a brighter smile. These kinds of toothpaste are generally safe and effective. However, the chemicals in them can be problematic for individuals who have sensitive teeth or gums. We do not recommend whitening toothpaste for our patients who have sensitive teeth as it can do more harm than good. There are other whitening options that won’t cause pain and damage in the long run.
Read the label carefully
Some kinds of toothpaste are made to be safe for older or younger individuals. Children’s toothpaste often has less fluoride and harsh chemicals in case it is swallowed during brushing. You need to be sure you read the label carefully, especially if you or a family member has an allergy or are sensitive to certain ingredients. Choosing the right toothpaste for your needs means taking the time to read and understand the label and the ingredients listed there.
Baking soda toothpaste can be an option
If your teeth are overly sensitive, you struggle with bad breath, have a history of gum disease, or are prone to cavities, baking soda toothpaste may be an option to consider. For many of our patients, it gives them the same clean feeling and power without the harsh chemicals and abrasive nature that irritates teeth and gums. It is also a good option for children or those who are prone to swallowing some of the toothpaste during brushing.
Understand what natural toothpaste is
“Many natural types of toothpaste do not contain fluoride. Fluoride is a toothpaste ingredient that is highly recommended by the ADA due to its proven cavity-fighting ability. However, some holistic dentists are starting to question whether fluoride is entirely safe” (Everyday Health). This is why the push to go natural is so strong these days but you must still be smart when choosing the right toothpaste, even among natural options that are out there.
Check for ADA seals
The ADA approves many types of toothpaste to ensure they are safe and effective. It is always best to stick with brands carrying their seal of approval. It is not to say that a brand without the seal is not good, but if you are stuck between two different brands and one has the approval and the other doesn’t you may be better off choosing the ADA approved toothpaste. It is a good way to further sort through the options that are available to you.
Not every toothpaste is suited for every individual
Everyone’s body chemistry is different. What works for one person may not be as effective for someone else. Your friend may love one brand but you find it leaves your mouth feeling coated or it may irritate your gums or tongue too much. You should also talk with your dental team about any issues you have to ensure you are not having an allergic erection to something in your toothpaste. Our team can help you pinpoint the causes of your issues.
Avoid heavily sweetened toothpaste
It is surprising to many to learn that toothpaste, the very thing meant to keep teeth healthy and clean, often contains sugar. Many children’s toothpaste varieties are especially high in sugar! This is why you must read the labels and talk with your dental provider about what options are best for your unique needs. Someone prone to cavities needs to avoid that added sugar but someone else may be fine. So, talk to your dentist to see what’s best for you!
Good home care is essential
Choosing the right toothpaste is a necessity to maintaining good oral hygiene and dental health. But it also comes down to how well you are taking care of your teeth in every other aspect. Make sure you follow all instructions and directions given to you by your dental team. Make good lifestyle choices and be smart with how you treat your body so you can protect it for years to come. The home has to be the primary place for good dental care habits take place.
To learn more about how to take care of your teeth or overall oral health, give us a call today at Comfort Care Family Dental. Whether you need help with an existing dental concern or you are confused when it comes to choosing the right toothpaste or you need helps to establish good dental care habits, we are here for you! Call today for your consultation appointment!