So, what is the best toothpaste? How do you decide which one to buy?
- Are you still using the same brand you used as a child?
- Do you just go with whatever your spouse or kids are using?
- Or do you pick a different brand every time for the sake of variety?
With annual sales of about $1.5 billion, toothpaste is big business. And with so many toothpaste brands vying for your attention and your wallet, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In fact, a survey by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that 56% of consumers admit to being confused about which dental products to buy.
To help you break through the clutter, we’ve put together a list of just 3 easy tips for deciding what toothpaste is best for your oral care needs.
#1: Always Look for the ADA Seal
Why choose an ADA approved toothpaste? Because it lets you know that a toothpaste meets minimum safety and efficacy standards.
- All products submitted must undergo independent clinical studies in humans to determine safety and effectiveness.
- All marketing claims — such as cavity fighting or tartar control — must be backed up by scientific evidence.
- The ADA reviews toothpaste advertising for accuracy.
About 60% of products submitted meet the ADA’s standards. In addition, manufacturers who earn the Seal must reapply every three years, as well as any time the product formulation changes.
#2: Look for a Fluoride Toothpaste
The growing use of fluoride in toothpaste and community water supplies is largely responsible for the dramatic drop in tooth decay over the past 50 years.
- Fluoride is actually a naturally occurring mineral.
- Toothpaste with fluoride protects your enamel from acids released by the bacteria that grow in your mouth.
- Fluoride works its magic in two ways:
- It makes the enamel stronger and less vulnerable to acid
- It reverses damaged enamel through a process called remineralization
- Mild abrasives to remove debris and residual stains
- Humectants to prevent water loss in the toothpaste
- Flavoring agents that don’t promote tooth decay
- Thickening agents to stabilize toothpaste formula
- Detergents to create foaming action
#3: Address Your Individual Oral Care Needs
While ADA approval and fluoride are important for everyone, you may need a toothpaste that is formulated specifically for your dental care needs.
Tartar control toothpaste. Plaque that stays on your teeth for too long hardens into tartar, which appears as a brownish deposit on your teeth and can lead to gum disease. Once it forms, your dentist or hygienist can only remove tartar. Tartar control toothpaste helps prevent tartar from building up on your teeth in between dental visits.
- Toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Adults over 35 may develop a receding gum line, which can leave your roots exposed and cause sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. Toothpastes made for sensitive teeth contain ingredients that buffer the nerve endings in your teeth to reduce their sensitivity to hot or cold foods.
- Children’s toothpaste. If your kids are under 6 years old, have them brush with a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste in case they swallow some of it. To make brushing more fun, look for children’s toothpastes in popular fruit flavors, or with shiny sparkles.
- Denture care toothpaste. If you wear dentures, you can use regular toothpastes to clean them. However, some people find that effervescent tablets clean more effectively than brushing alone.
- Whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes sold in retail stores generally don’t actually whiten your teeth. Instead they merely lighten superficial stains from things like coffee, tea, or tobacco. While not a true substitute for a professional whitening treatment by your dentist, a whitening toothpaste can minimize staining between visits.
Are you wondering how to choose the right toothpaste for your oral care needs? Ask Dr. Davis or Matthews at Excel Dental in Ozark.
We look forward to helping you find the right oral care products to keep you and your family Smiling Healthy!