With so many toothpaste options out there, how do you choose? Well, it really depends on what your teeth need.
While tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, many factors (sugar, acidic foods and drinks, poor dental hygiene) can damage your teeth’s outer layer over time. Once it’s gone, it cannot be restored. That is why it is vital to prevent erosion in the first place. Dental experts recommend that all adults and children use toothpaste with fluoride to protect tooth enamel. Fluoride helps the teeth in two ways:
- Makes the teeth more resistant to acid attacks
- Reduces the ability of the plaque bacteria to produce acid in the first place
If you feel your teeth react to hot or cold food and beverages, you might have sensitive teeth. This could be the permanent result of enamel breakdown or a temporary reaction to new fillings. There are quite a few toothpastes intended to relieve the sensitivity and pain. They typically contain ingredients (strontium chloride and potassium nitrate) that block the path from the tooth’s surface to the inner nerve. Some may also contain analgesic for more immediate pain relief.
Tartar Control and Bad Breath
After you eat, a layer of bacteria-filled plaque forms on the teeth. If it’s not removed, the plaque turns into tartar deposits. This potentially leads to enamel damage and bad breath. Tartar control toothpastes are designed to fight the plaque and usually contain triclosan, which kills many types of the oral bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Remember - when choosing a toothpaste, always read the ingredients and make sure it has the ADA seal. If you have any questions or are looking for more information about what’s best for you and your family, ask us at your 6-month check up or your next appointment.