Most toothpastes contain a handful of ADA-approved and trusted ingredients, including abrasive agents to polish the teeth, a flavor like mint or bubblegum, and a detergent, which creates the “foam” or “soapy” texture when you brush your teeth. Perhaps the most important ingredient to look for on your toothpaste label is fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that protects your teeth from acids that cause tooth decay, strengthens your tooth enamel, and reverses light or recent acid damage to your teeth. The following are just a few of the most popular toothpaste varieties chosen by consumers and recommended by dentists.
Unlike bleaches, which typically require a dentist referral for application, most whitening toothpastes contain abrasion chemicals that polish the teeth or pull stains off of the tooth’s surface. People with sensitive teeth should consult their dentist before using an abrasive toothpaste, although most studies have shown that whitening toothpastes aren’t damaging to teeth.
Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth
Often those with sensitive teeth have trouble eating or drinking excessively hot or cold items. This issue can be resolved with a toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth, which contains chemicals that block pathways to the nerve endings in the teeth. This can greatly reduce tooth sensitivity and pain.
Tartar Control Toothpaste
If you or your dentist notices an especially heavy layer of tartar, you may need to start using a fluoride toothpaste to help fight the bacterial buildup on your teeth. Tartar control toothpastes contain chemical ingredients that fight plaque, and sometimes contain chemicals that kill some of the bacteria in the mouth related to tartar. Because tartar and plaque can lead to gum disease, tartar control toothpaste can be instrumental in your long-term mouth health.
Some toothpaste buyers choose to stick to toothpastes made from only natural ingredients. Even if you opt for all-natural toothpaste, make sure you check for ADA approval, and look for fluoride on the ingredients list. For a natural way to whiten teeth, try a toothpaste containing baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
How do I pick a brand?
For the most part, your toothpaste brand is unimportant. Instead, opt for ADA approval, and an ingredients list that contains fluoride to prevent cavities and tooth decay.