When you walk into the toothpaste aisle the selection can be overwhelming, no longer is it as simple as gel or paste, spearmint or peppermint.
There are many types of toothpastes that claim to do certain things better than others. And, each one of those companies wants you to believe that they are producing better products than the other items they share shelf space with.
Meaning the marketing can sometimes get in the way of the important information on choosing which toothpaste is right for you.
To give our patients a bit of guidance on toothpaste possibility, we here at EK Dental have put together the following guide outlining the major types of toothpastes available today.
Fluorides and Fantastic Teeth
At EK Dental we understand the importance of fluoride and encourage our patients to brush with toothpaste that contains this vital substance. Substantial research has shown that fluoride has a very positive impact on teeth, and when used in the right amounts, like brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste it can help teeth repair and significantly reduce the chance of a patient getting gum disease or cavities.
Brushing, naturally, is one of the key ways that fluoride can get to the teeth and so we recommend a fluoride toothpaste and a healthy routine of tooth brushing every day.
A toothpaste that contains whitening properties is a popular choice for individuals who want a brighter smile. Whitening toothpaste is very effective at removing stains from the outer layer of the enamel but it should be clear that this will only remove external stains, and will not affect deeper stains, or actually change the color of teeth.
In addition, whitening toothpaste sometimes causes sensitivity and is abrasive therefore we would not recommend using it regularly. Also, it is considerably less effective than professional whitening treatments. If you are in search of whiter teeth, it likely makes more sense to get your in-chair whitening treatment in our EK Dental offices, or take home one of our convenient at-home whitening kits.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
Accumulation of plaque is an unfortunately common scenario for many people. This accumulated plaque, if not removed, may eventually harden to form tartar, which harbours bacteria and can contribute to periodontal disease and even loss of teeth. Tartar control toothpastes were developed to help avoid this outcome.
Many tartar control toothpastes contain an antibiotic called triclosan, which helps prevent bacteria proliferation. These types of toothpaste also have zinc citrate and different forms of pyrophosphates that work in combination to control plaque accumulation.
If you have a clinical history of plaque and tartar issues, tartar control toothpaste can be helpful to keep tartar from forming in the first place.
However, if you already have tartar, these toothpastes do not remove it. In that case, you need to visit EK Dental and we will completely clean your teeth, including removal of your tartar. Then your toothpaste can defend your teeth against additional tartar buildup.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
It is always worth discussing your tooth sensitivity with your dentist or hygienist so treatment can be advised accordingly. In some cases sensitive teeth are the result of underlying dental issues that need to be solved by your dentist. In the meantime, one of the best things you can do at home is use a desensitizing toothpaste while understanding that these toothpastes work as a treatment, and not as a cure.
One of the ways de-sensitizing toothpaste works is by plugging the tubules in the dentine so that pain is not transmitted to the nerve. Therefore if you stop using the toothpaste, your sensitivity is likely to return.
In some cases, the toothpaste has a desensitizing agent that blocks the feeling of pain. They can be used in place of your normal toothpaste and they can also be rubbed in like an ointment to very sensitive areas.
The most important element in choosing your child’s toothpaste is the child’s age. Before the age of two, select fluoride-free baby toothpaste and use a soft brush to clean the teeth twice daily. Between the ages of two and four select an ADA approved brand containing fluoride.
Try to settle on a toothpaste with a taste that your child likes. The better the taste, the more likely your child will brush thoroughly and for a long enough period. Remember, young taste buds are more sensitive to ‘tangy’ flavours, so let your child do the choosing!
Reasons to Smile at EK Dental Surgery
EK Dental Surgery offers a wide range of preventative and cosmetic dental procedures that will help you achieve the smile of your dreams!
EK Dental Surgery is conveniently located on Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.