How to Pick Out the Perfect Toothpaste for Your Needs

So many choices – whitening, tartar control, minty fresh – can make picking the perfect toothpaste for your needs a little overwhelming. However, the most important characteristic of your toothpaste is its effectiveness at fighting plaque and cavities with a form of dentifrice, such as paste, gel, or liquid. Next, your toothpaste should contain fluoride to further strengthen your teeth. 

Aside from these essential components of your toothpaste, choosing the best toothpaste for you is all about preference. You can opt for a certain toothpaste based on three main characteristics:

  • Consistency – Liquid toothpastes are the least popular consistency, as they may be difficult to keep on your brush. Pastes and gels are easier to use.
  • Taste – For children, bubble gum-flavored toothpaste can encourage brushing, but you may prefer a spicier flavor.
  • Goals Beyond Cleaning – Consider what you want to achieve beyond cleaning and fighting cavities, such as reducing pain from tooth sensitivity or the buildup of tartar, or maybe you want a toothpaste with extra whitening power. Below are some other important considerations when choosing the best toothpaste.
  • Does whitening toothpaste actually work? – Whitening toothpaste will whiten your teeth, but you won’t get noticeable short-term results, and tooth sensitivity can occur after long-term use.
  • Is over-the-counter (OTC) sensitivity toothpaste as effective as the one prescribed by our office? – Although sensitivity toothpastes are proven to work well for many people, you also have the option of receiving a prescription toothpaste recommended by our office. However, it’s generally recommended to try OTC sensitivity toothpaste first to see if you get the results you’re seeking. If not, contact our office to discuss getting a prescription-strength toothpaste. 
  • Can toothpaste restore enamel? – Many toothpaste brands boast enamel-restoring power and, although possible, the effectiveness of this function will depend on the condition of your teeth. Fluoridated toothpaste will contribute to restoring enamel that is not yet decayed. No toothpaste can restore decayed enamel.
  • What about natural or aloe vera toothpaste? – Many brands will advertise that their toothpaste contains natural products, such as aloe vera, to fight plaque and cavities. Although these ingredients may be safe, there is little evidence that they fight cavities and gum disease any more than traditional toothpaste. Also, many ‘natural’ brands don’t contain fluoride.

Along with a diligent and thorough oral care routine, as well as regular visits to our office, using a toothpaste that is effective at fighting plaque buildup and cavities is essential. A fluoridated toothpaste in your favorite flavor and consistency, with elements that address your oral care goals beyond cleaning, should be more than efficient, as long as you are brushing and flossing twice a day, for two minutes each time. For more information about choosing the best toothpaste, please contact River Valley Smiles at 479-646-0706.

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