Which toothpaste should I use?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked and in truth our answer is a simple one- whichever tastes the best and costs the least but most importantly, has fluoride in it!
The technique we use to brush, how often we brush and our diet are far more important than the brand of toothpaste we use, as long as it contains fluoride.
Here is our guide to the different types of toothpaste available-
So we’ll start with the most exciting one- whitening toothpastes! For those of you looking for a Hollywood gleaming smile I’m afraid this is not the answer it is advertised to be. These toothpastes work by containing abrasive compounds that remove surface staining from your teeth. They do not unfortunately ‘whiten’ or ‘bleach’ your teeth and are not recommended for long term use due to the damage they can cause to the surface of your teeth from being so abrasive. They are however good on a short term basis alongside normal toothpaste for patients who’s teeth stain quickly and heavily e.g. patients who smoke or drink a lot of tea, coffee or red wine. For whiter teeth you really need to see your dentist for a professional course of whitening, or the hygienist to remove those surface stains safely and effectively.
As dentists, we often recommend using sensitive toothpaste, as they have proven time and time again to be effective in reducing mild cold sensitivity. These toothpastes have salts like potassium nitrate that help occlude porous areas of the tooth and prevent temperature changes from reaching the nerve. These toothpastes also contain fluoride. If your sensitivity is extreme to begin with or doesn’t subside after a week of use, please make an appointment as it could be a sign of a more serious problem.
No problem using these toothpastes, although the title may be a gimmick to get you to buy a particular brand! The anti-cavity ingredient is in fact, fluoride, which all toothpastes (unless stated) contain. It is this active ingredient which gives your teeth the best protection in a toothpaste.
These toothpastes have ingredients like zinc citrate or pyrophosphates that can help reduce the build up of hardened plaque, known as tartar. A good brushing technique will also help with this as will any normal toothpaste. Unfortunately if brushing is not effective enough then tartar forms under the gums, this is what can lead to gum problems, disease and poor oral health. A visit to the dental hygienist or gum specialist is required to remove this.
Natural toothpastes usually mean that they are free of added colour, artificial flavours and other synthetic chemicals. These toothpastes can be fine to use; however they often don’t have fluoride in them, so it is important to check the box for the presence of fluoride if you are considering using a Natural toothpaste. On a plus some of the more natural toothpastes as well as some sensitive pastes do not contain the ingredient SLS, which can cause or irritate mouth ulcers in some patients!
So in brief, as long as the toothpaste contains fluoride and is not abrasive, then it’s fine for long term use! If you have any questions relating to toothpaste or any other dental matter feel free to contact us!