The Ultimate Guide to Toothpaste Selection

Author: Dr. Rima Solanki, DMD

One topic that patients routinely ask us dentists about is, “How do I know which toothpaste is best for my daily use?”. There are many different brands of toothpaste out there that are fabricated for different purposes and each one has a unique flavor and underlying ingredient. There are a variety of factors that one must consider when selecting the right toothpaste and the crux of it has to do with the ultimate goal the patient has in mind.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), choosing the right toothpaste is crucial for proper dental care. No matter what toothpaste you choose, it is important to select a brand that indicates a label that it has been approved by the ADA. This tells consumers that this toothpaste has been tested and that the ingredients are proven to be effective.

Here are some things to consider when buying toothpaste:

Cavity Fighting: Fluoride in the form of sodium monofluorophosphate, sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride are the only agents accepted by the FDA as ingredients that help prevent caries. Fluoride strengthens teeth to help prevent tooth decay and remineralizes tooth enamel in the early stages of tooth decay. If you are at a high risk of getting cavities, you should ask your dentist to write you a prescription for an anti-cavity toothpaste such as PreviDent 5000 Plus.

Sensitive teeth: Toothpastes that contains potassium nitrate or strontium chloride will help desensitize the teeth. The ADA recommends a variety of Sensodyne products if tooth sensitivity is your main concern.

Tarter control: Hardened bacterial plaque is known as tartar. Once tartar has built up on your teeth, it must be removed with professional dental cleanings. However, you can prevent the plaque from becoming tartar with a toothpaste that contains pyrophosphates, triclosan and zinc citrate.

Whitening: Peroxide: Essential ingredient in whitening toothpaste that is the most effective at removing stains from the outer layer of the enamel however teeth sensitivity is a common side effect. Talk to your dentist at Spring Lake Dental Group before you decide to purchase one!