Toothpaste plays a crucial role in your oral health, but with so many options out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. How can you be sure which toothpaste is best?
Check the fluoride content. One thing you’ll want to look for in your toothpaste is fluoride, the natural mineral that protects tooth enamel and fights cavities. Fluoride in toothpaste is considered one of the leading factors in the reduction of cavities over the past few decades. The American Dental Association (ADA) and most dentists consider fluoride to be an essential ingredient in toothpaste.
Look for ADA approved toothpastes. Some toothpastes will carry the ADA seal of approval. To meet ADA standards, a toothpaste must contain fluoride, contain active ingredients to improve oral hygiene, be free from flavoring agents that contributes to tooth decay (such as sugar), and have scientific evidence to support that it is safe to use. Because participation in the ADA program is voluntary, however, it should be noted that not all good toothpaste brands will carry the seal.
Read the label. Not all types of toothpastes are suitable for everyone, so look closely at the label. There are certain products that are unsuitable for children or people with sensitive teeth. Also, if the manufacturers include flavorings or sweeteners in the toothpaste, it should be on the label. Knowing the ingredients in the toothpaste allows you to avoid things you are sensitive to. Common ingredients in toothpastes include: saccharin (a sweetener), calcium carbonate and silicates (which are abrasive materials), glycerol (to give the toothpaste a gel-like consistency), and sodium lauryl sulfate (also known as SLS, a detergent that causes toothpaste to foam). If you suffer from mouth ulcers or canker sores, you may wish to avoid products that contain SLS. Some research suggest that it can increase the risk of mouth ulcers.
Consider your own specific dental problems. Choose the toothpaste that suits your needs. Some people may require desensitizing toothpaste, which contains specific compounds, such as potassium nitrate, that block parts of the tooth to stop pain signals. If you need to, you can also shop around and try different options to see what works best for you. Consider if you’re sensitive to certain ingredients, how well the product meets your needs, and how refreshing the toothpaste is.
Beware the cost of whitening toothpastes. Some toothpastes can help whiten your smile, but they often accomplish this by using abrasive ingredients that polish the teeth or remove stains from the tooth’s surface. People with sensitive teeth may want to avoid whitening toothpastes because of these ingredients and other chemicals that can make sensitivity worse. Your dentist can provide advice on whitening options that are safer for sensitive teeth.
For very sensitive teeth, consider asking about prescription toothpaste. Brushing becomes an uncomfortable experience if you suffer from sensitive teeth. There are special types of toothpaste that can alleviate the symptoms of sensitivity and over-the-counter options can help. However, if you find over-the-counter options don’t give you the relief you need, ask your dentist about a stronger product.
Check the RDA level. The abrasiveness of a toothpaste is also known as its relative dentin abrasivity, or RDA. All ADA approved toothpastes must have an RDA of 250 or less, indicating the level of RDA that is effective. If a toothpaste has a higher RDA level it can actually damage your teeth.
Avoid sugary toothpastes. Children’s toothpaste, in particular, may contain high levels of sugar to make it more palatable, but sugar contributes to tooth decay. ADA approved toothpastes will not contain sugar.
Of course, a crucial part of oral health is scheduling regular visits with your dentist. Be proactive about your oral health – schedule an appointment today for an oral check-up with Gresham Family Dentistry. At Gresham Family Dentistry, our priority is your comfort during your visit. We take pride in protecting the oral health of Gresham families. We offer cleaning, oral surgeries, child dentistry, and more at Gresham Family Dentistry. Contact us today for an appointment or call 503-661-2600.
Our hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM and Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM.