Brushing at least twice per day is vital to maintaining your oral health and preventing both tooth decay and gum disease. This fact is common knowledge, but what about choosing the right toothpaste?
With so many options on the shelves, choosing the right toothpaste can prove overwhelming. However, there are a few basic criteria you can consider to ensure that you’re making the right choice to maintain your oral health and address your individual needs.
Best Toothpaste Overall
Overall, fluoride content is the most important factor you should be looking for in a toothpaste. A fluoride toothpaste remineralizes enamel that has been damaged by bacteria in your mouth. This is the earliest stage of tooth decay, and combating it with a fluoride toothpaste helps prevent cavities and other issues.
You should also look for the seal of approval from the American Dental Association to make sure that the toothpaste you’re using has been thoroughly tested and approved. There are plenty of unapproved toothpastes on the market that make big promises that they probably can’t back up with real results.
Don’t forget that keeping up with regular brushing and flossing is the most important step you can take toward great oral health. Choosing the right toothpaste can provide additional protection, but just about any approved toothpaste on the market can meet your needs.
Along with general and comprehensive options, toothpaste brands also provide a range of specialty toothpastes. If you’re dealing with a specific issue, then you could consider one of these specialty toothpastes to address it effectively.
Best Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is the top priority for any toothpaste. However, many individuals try to choose a toothpaste that provides whitening as well. The whitening power offered by toothpaste isn’t as fast or effective as in-office whitening from your local dentist, but it can have an effect over time.
Just about every major brand of toothpaste has several different whitening toothpaste options, ranging from dedicated whitening toothpastes to all-in-one options with added whitening. There are also some specialty brands out there focused solely on whitening.
An essential factor in choosing a whitening toothpaste is to look for the seal of approval of a reputable organization like the American Dental Association. This will let you know that the toothpaste is both safe and effective.
Whitening toothpastes generally contain one of two key ingredients for added whitening. Some contain baking soda, which provides mild abrasion to remove surface stains. It also helps neutralize acidity in your mouth that causes tooth decay. For deeper whitening, whitening toothpastes may contain minute amounts of hydrogen peroxide.
Some products contain charcoal for whitening, but these should be avoided. Charcoal whitens through strong abrasion, which can provide noticeably whiter teeth but wears away enamel. Over time, this contributes to tooth decay the same way that grinding your teeth does.
Best Toothpaste for Bad Breath
Another major deciding factor for many individuals when choosing a toothpaste is what it can do for bad breath. Keep in mind that bad breath is an early warning sign for gingivitis and more advanced stages of gum disease, so you should also mention it to your dentist.
All toothpastes help reduce bad breath by managing the levels of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease, and they also produce an unpleasant odor in high numbers. Keeping their numbers down with routine brushing is the best way to avoid bad breath.
Most toothpastes that specifically claim to help with bad breath will also include ingredients that mask the smell of bad breath with a more pleasant odor. Mint is among the most common.
Best Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Anyone dealing with sensitive teeth on a regular basis likely puts sensitivity protection at the top of their list when you’re considering toothpastes. There is a wide range of options on store shelves today that can help deal with sensitivity, but you should also raise the issue with your dentist when you can.
Fluoride content is one of the most crucial elements in a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Fluoride remineralizes enamel, keeping it strong and preventing tooth decay. You can have fluoride treatments when you have a routine cleaning at your dentist’s office, but you can also choose a fluoride toothpaste to provide protection every day.
Be careful when choosing any toothpaste that also advertises whitening. If they contain hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient, then they could cause increased sensitivity instead of providing relief.
While fluoride is the most important ingredient, toothpastes can also include additional active ingredients focused on sensitivity. Both potassium nitrate and strontium chloride are common ingredients meant to relieve sensitivity.
Best Toothpaste for Gums
Gum disease is caused by the same bacteria that lead to tooth decay. The most important factor in preventing gum disease is regular brushing to manage the growth of bacteria in your mouth. Make sure to brush thoroughly, including at the gumline.
Different types of toothpaste can contain different kinds of fluoride. While all types of fluoride provide enamel remineralization, some types can provide additional benefits. The most commonly used types are stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, and sodium monofluorophosphate.
In the case of gum health, stannous fluoride is the most effective active ingredient. It provides antibacterial properties that can help better regulate the levels of bacteria in your mouth. In turn, this reduces your risk of gingivitis and gum disease.
Implementing mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine can be beneficial to gum health in some cases. Bacteria can take hold in the tiny nooks and crannies around the gumline and prove difficult to manage with brushing and flossing alone.
The Best Approach to Oral Health
Choosing the right toothpaste is an important part of maintaining your oral health. However, it’s far from being the only part. You’ll also need routine dental exams and cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The team at Rancho San Diego Dental Group can provide for all of your dental needs, including a dental emergency, in Rancho San Diego, Spring Valley, El Cajon, La Mesa, and Jamul. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.