So you go into your local chemist or your local supermarket and find yourself in the healthcare aisle – looking at row upon row of tooth paste! We all know that looking after your teeth is vital, and part of that is to brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time.
But who’d have thought there were so many tooth pastes to choose from?!
Are they all the same? Does it really matter which one I buy? There are ones for children too? Which one is right for me – Whitening toothpaste? Fluoride toothpaste? Plaque-beating toothpaste? Toothpaste for sensitive teeth?
We all want white teeth, fresh breath and to avoid plaque, yet we can’t use three different toothpastes every day. So, if you want to know which toothpaste is right for you, you need to know what is actually in each of them. Most recognised brands of toothpaste have the same basic ingredients, normally including;
• Flouride. This actively protects your teeth against decay.
• Calcium. This helps to strengthen teeth and remove stains
• Flavouring and foaming agents
So, in truth, any toothpaste containing these three basic ingredients should, if used correctly and regularly, be enough to keep your teeth healthy and free from decay. Of course, you have to put the effort in too!
Outside of these factors, it really is down to personal preference and taste. If you prefer a whitening toothpaste for example, just be careful as they can be sometimes be a little abrasive and cause damage to your enamel. Also, remember that as every person’s teeth are different, using a whitening toothpaste may not be as effective for you as it is for someone else. If in doubt about its effectiveness, please get in touch with your dentist here for more advice.
Some brands on the market claim to help remove stains caused by nicotine. Again this is only possible by being extremely abrasive. Obviously the better option is to give up smoking rather than use ‘smokers’ toothpaste. However, you may wish to consider professional whitening with your dentist instead, which provide far better results than any toothpaste will achieve.
‘Sensitive’ toothpastes can work for a lot of people. The active ingredients, such as Strontium or Potassium Chloride can help to make sensitivity more bearable. Ultimately, however, we would recommend you see your dentist to help find the cause of the discomfort.
Finally, it is important for children to have their own specially formulated toothpaste. Most brands or even supermarket own brands will usually have toothpaste for 0-2 years 3-5 years and 6years+. This is due to the agreed ‘safe’ levels of fluoride for each age group.