The conventional dental hygiene wisdom is to brush two to three times per day, with each brushing session lasting at least two minutes. If you do that, then you’re following American Dental Association guidelines.
However, not all toothpaste is created equal. Some types may be more suitable for you based on your dental health or personal dentist recommendation. Here are the different types of toothpaste currently on the market.
Different Types of Toothpaste
The following are the common types of toothpaste available at your local store shelves.
The majority of toothpaste on the market contain sodium fluoride as the main ingredient. Fluoride has long been known for its ability to fight cavities and prevent dental caries. If you have gingivitis or even the more severe periodontal disease, then your dentist may recommend stannous fluoride toothpaste.
Studies show that subjects who used stannous fluoride toothpaste had 27% to 41% less oral bacteria than a control group after an eight-week trial.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
You may have seen toothpaste packaging with the label “with tartar control.” Tartar forms when plaque produces crystallized deposits that harden, making it difficult to remove through regular brushing. Tartar control toothpaste contains the ingredients sodium pyrophosphate or sodium hexametaphosphate. These compounds create phosphate when it interacts with your saliva and helps to dissolve the hard tartar deposits.
Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste
Sensitive toothpaste is designed for patients with teeth sensitivity to hot or cold. The main ingredient is potassium nitrate, which causes a mild numbing sensation to reduce sensitivity/pain during brushing. If you use toothpaste for sensitive teeth, expect two to four weeks for the numbing benefits to take effect.
Teeth-whitening toothpaste is designed for people with stained teeth, usually as a result of smoking or drinking coffee. Common ingredients include hydrogen peroxide or hydrated aluminum that acts as a mild abrasive.
Read Also: The Science of Teeth Whitening
Some people prefer 100% natural ingredients in their toothpaste, even if it means forgoing fluoride. Natural herbs in toothpaste vary; common ingredients include baking soda, xylitol, charcoal, and a number of extracts from natural compounds like green tea or peppermint.
Children just learning to brush should use toothpaste formulated for kids. The toothpaste contains less fluoride. This is important because young children may not fully spit out the toothpaste and end up swallowing a small amount. Fluoride ingestion in children can cause intestinal issues, including nausea and diarrhea. In addition, children’s toothpaste may also include sweeteners to make brushing more enjoyable.
Read Also: Fresh Breath: How Do I Get it?
How to Choose the Right Toothpaste
The majority of people with good oral health can stick to regular fluoridated toothpaste. If you have recurring issues, such as gingivitis or sensitivity, your dentist may recommend a specific toothpaste type and even a brand.
Additional tips on toothpaste selection:
- Only choose brands that have the ADA seal of approval
- If over-the-counter sensitivity toothpaste doesn’t work, then ask your dentist about prescription toothpaste for extremely sensitive teeth.
- If you choose to use herbal toothpaste, consider switching it up with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Choose a toothpaste with a combination of fluoride and calcium if you’re prone to cavities. These two ingredients work together to strengthen teeth enamel.
Regardless of what you choose, no toothpaste type is a substitute for regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental appointments.
Do you need a dentist in Lafayette, LA? Book your next appointment at Maestri Dental. Based on your existing oral health, we may recommend a specific toothpaste or even write you a prescription. Toothpaste type and selection, while relevant, is not as important as when and how you brush.