Choosing the right toothpaste can be confusing with so many types and flavours on the market today.
The shelves in the dental hygiene aisle at stores are filled with a variety of dental care products. The large selections make it overwhelming to choose the best product that suits your needs.
At Smiles Nambour our normal response to questions about toothpaste is: “As long as it contains fluoride it all comes down to your preference and personal needs.”
There are different forms of toothpaste, normally pastes or gels (there are still some powders, but they are increasingly rare). This decision will be based on the texture and taste preference. Gels tend to be less abrasive as they are smooth in texture and do not create a foamy texture like you get with a paste.
If you’re a messy brusher gels tend to create less of a spatter. Pastes are thicker and gritty in texture and tend to be a solid color. Typically creating a bit of a mess. The taste and flavour will vary between gel and paste so experiment to see what you like better.
The second thing to consider are your personal needs; do your have sensitivity, dry mouth, build up a lot of tartar in-between appointments, or are you looking for a brighter smile?
Because there are so many options available to fit your individual needs, this handy guide will help you make an informed decision so you can keep your teeth sparkling clean and healthy between routine visits.
Your Friend, Fluoride
Fluoride is added to toothpastes to provide protection against tooth decay. It protects and strengthens teeth against acid attacks from bacteria and works in two ways:
- It encourages calcium uptake by the enamel, to repair minor damage (remineralisation).
- It strengthens tooth enamel, to resist calcium loss (demineralisation).
Experts recognise brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, morning and night (especially after the last meal of the day) as the single most important behaviour children can pick up to help prevent cavities.
Brushing morning and night with fluoride toothpaste will not only brush away bacteria, but the extra fluoride left on teeth helps to strengthen and protect them from decay. This can cut tooth decay by up to 50% for children, compared with brushing just once (Pine et al. International Dental Journal 2000; 50: 312–323).
All toothpastes help remove surface stain through the action of mild abrasives. Whitening toothpastes contain polishing or chemical agents, rather than bleaches, to improve tooth appearance by removing surface stains. They do this through gentle polishing, chemical chelation, or some other non-bleaching action.
However, they can only remove external stains, and sometimes have negative effect on dental health. They should be used in certain cases, and then carefully. If you want true whitening, ask Smiles Nambour about our in-office or at-home professional treatments.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
This type of toothpaste slows the buildup of tartar, which is hardened plaque along the gum lines. Although this type of toothpaste does slow the buildup, it can’t remove tarter and plaque that already exists. Only a professional cleaning can do that. Because the active ingredient in tartar control toothpastes has to be dissolved in a stronger detergent, people that have more sensitive mouths can be affected.
Toothpastes for Sensitive Teeth
If your teeth are sensitive to hot, cold, or when pressure is applied, sensitive toothpastes may be the best option. Teeth are sensitive when something called dentine becomes more exposed. Sensitive toothpaste either numbs the affected area or by blocking the tubules in the dentine making your teeth feel better. Repeated use increases effectiveness, so don’t expect immediate results. Use sensitive toothpastes for a couple of weeks first.
When shopping for toothpaste for your entire family, it is important to note that your kids should have their own. Start with a training toothpaste for toddlers, as it is completely safe to swallow. Children’s toothpaste is the best choice for older kids. It is very similar to adult toothpaste, but it typically comes in flavors that are more appealing to kids, and it contains less fluoride.
Best Toothpaste for Braces
Braces make oral hygiene a lot trickier – at least until you get the hang of cleaning around brackets and wires. What braces patients want to avoid is enamel decalcification, which shows up as white spots after braces are removed. Using fluoride toothpaste will help keep this problem from affecting your newly straightened teeth.
Dentistry at Smiles Nambour
If you’re thinking about changing toothpaste or changing your smile, it’s critical to find a dentist who offers what you need and can be completely trusted. At Smiles Nambour we are happy to sit down with you and talk about any treatments you might want or need!
At Smiles Nambour, we provide top-quality dentistry with the help of cutting-edge instruments and caring staff!
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