How to Choose a Toothpaste | Delmarva Dental Services

How to Choose a Toothpaste

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Walk into the toothpaste aisle of any store and the number of toothpaste selections is overwhelming. There are gels, pastes and gel-pastes. Various toothpastes claim to prevent cavities, gingivitis, canker sores, sensitive teeth, remove smokers stain, whiten teeth and freshen breath. Some are specific for one claim and others claim to do it all. It can be difficult to know which one to choose. The type of toothpaste you choose depends upon your specific needs. If you suffer from cavities or have had multiple fillings or crown and bridge, you should use fluoride toothpaste with the seal of approval from the American Dental Association. Children should use fluoride toothpaste but with a more child friendly flavor. When children are too young to avoid swallowing the toothpaste, one without fluoride should be selected. When your teeth are sensitive to cold due to gum recession, use desensitizing toothpaste that contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. Strontium chloride is more effective and can be found in Sensodyne Original. If it contains fluoride as well, that would be the best choice.  Avoid abrasive toothpastes. (See Toothpaste Abrasiveness) If you have a problem with tartar buildup, which makes your dental cleanings more difficult, you may want to use tartar control toothpaste. However, if you have sensitive teeth, you will want to avoid tartar control toothpastes, as these will worsen the sensitivity problem.
Whitening toothpastes: Remember, all toothpastes are considered whiteners because the ingredients in them act to remove stains when you brush. However, no whitening toothpaste has been proven to actually change the color of your natural teeth. If you suffer from canker sores, you will need to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate. 99% of all toothpastes contain this ingredient. You can use Biotene Dry Mouth, CloSYSII or Oral B Rembrandt Anti-Canker Sore toothpastes. If you suffer from gingivitis or bleeding gums, use Colgate Total along with the additional measures your dentist recommends.