Finding The Perfect Toothpaste
The toothpaste aisle at the store is a bit daunting. There seems to be an endless selection of brands, flavors, and kinds of toothpaste. Some say they are for whitening, others are for cavity control, and others proclaim they are for sensitive teeth. How do you choose a toothpaste with all of these options? Are some better than others? Are there any you should avoid?
For children over the age of six, anti-plaque toothpaste is your best option. Children may not have completely mastered their brushing technique, and using a toothpaste that will give an extra boost in preventing plaque build-up will help. Children under six should not use this type of toothpaste.
People who have exposed root surfaces or crown and bridgework may want to use a desensitizing toothpaste for relief from sensitivity. Products with potassium nitrate are the most effective over-the-counter toothpastes. Make sure there are no additives, such as baking soda or tartar removal components, which are abrasive and would defeat the desensitizing effect.
What To Watch Out For
Watch out for tartar removing toothpastes, which, due to pyrophosphates, can increase susceptibility to canker sores and cause the tissue in your mouth to become tender. Additionally, look for stannous fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash, and try to avoid it. It may cause surface staining on your teeth. Products that contain stannous fluoride often have sodium hexametaphosphate added to counter the staining, but this causes sensitivity.
Most people experience dry mouth either from medications or natural maturing process. Many toothpastes contain sodium laurel sulfate which can increase dry mouth. Dry mouth is a condition which promotes tooth decay.
Look For The Seal
Generally, any toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal is a safe toothpaste that does what it says. That seal means that the toothpaste has been evaluated by the ADA and proven to be safe and effective. The ADA requires higher standards than what is required by law.