Gables Perfect Smile Dental Blog

Choosing the Right Toothpaste

Walking down the dental aisle of the grocery store, you can expect to be confronted with dozens of different brands and variety of toothpaste. You’ll see boxes shouting properties such as ‘whitening’, ‘tartar control’, ‘sensitive’, ‘baking soda’, ‘natural’ and many more.

As brushing is the crux of any oral health regime, how can you tell which is the right toothpaste for you? Can the whole family use the same toothpaste? Where do you even start?

Here is our guide to helping you choose the right toothpaste to keep your teeth healthy and happy for years to come.

There are five types of toothpaste that are most recommended by dentists in the U.S. and Europe.

Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral that is absolutely crucial for the health and longevity of your teeth. It provides strength and resilience against the wear and tear of day to day use and helps to protect against decay. Because it is a great all-round defender of teeth, fluoride toothpastes are almost always recommended for adults and children alike. This makes them a great choice if you are after one great toothpaste for the whole family. Make sure that you choose one that has at least 1000ppm (this information will be on the box) to make sure you get an adequate dose of fluoride each and every time you brush!

Tartar Control Toothpaste

Our mouths are full of bacteria, and if you don’t brush your teeth regularly then these bacteria sit on your teeth, eventually hardening into a surface known as tartar. Once it reaches this stage, a professional clean by your dentist or oral hygienist is the only way to get rid of it. Not only that but if you have tartar and leave it untreated, it can eventually cause gum disease which is much more unpleasant and tricky to treat.

Some people are naturally more prone to tartar build up than others, and if you are one of the unlucky ones then your dentist may well suggest a tartar control toothpaste. This variety of toothpaste contains sodium pyrophosphate – which halts the chemical reaction that causes new tartar to be formed.

Sensitive Toothpaste

Tooth sensitivity is a common problem and is caused when the enamel weakens and exposes a softer part of the tooth called dentin. If you have experienced a sharp pain across your teeth when eating or drinking something hot or cold, then this could well be a sign that you have sensitive teeth.

There are a wide variety of toothpastes for sensitive teeth. They contain ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride which block pain signals from the nerve to the tooth. You can also purchase sensitive toothpastes that contain fluoride which will help strengthen the enamel on your teeth.

Whitening Toothpaste

Let’s face it, everyone would like a dazzling smile and whiter teeth are an economical way to do this. Many toothpastes now contain active ingredients such as baking soda to fight stains or peroxide to lighten your tooth color. Your dentist will be able to advise which is right for your dental needs, but make sure you always choose one that includes fluoride as this well help keep your teeth strong and prevent against decay as well as brightening your teeth.

Children’s Toothpaste

It is so important to teach your child good brushing habits from a very young age, but when they are small, more often than not your child will swallow their toothpaste when they brush. This isn’t great news if you are using a fluoride toothpaste as it can eventually lead to a condition called fluorosis which affects the enamel. If your child is still at an age where they can’t be taught to spit the toothpaste out after brushing, then use toothpastes that don’t contain fluoride and are safe to swallow. As soon as your child is old enough to spit their toothpaste out, switch to a fluoride variety for the best protection.

If your dentist believes that a fluoride toothpaste is still necessary for your younger child, then remember to only use a rice-sized amount for an under 3, and a pea-sized amount for 3-6yr olds.

Choosing the right toothpaste can be confusing, but using our guide it doesn’t have to be. However, if you are still in any doubt then speak to your dentist who will be happy to advise you which is right to keep your smile happy and healthy for years to come.