When you go to the store to buy toothpaste, you’re confronted by a myriad of different brands and additives, all of them promising to improve and protect one aspect of your oral hygiene or another. With so many different choices, it’s important to know whether differences in brand really matter, and if the different additives and various kinds of toothpaste can really help keep your mouth both clean and attractive. At Dental Partners of Boston, we want you to have the best preventive dentistry that is available, and choosing the right toothpaste is an important part of that. Here are some things to know when you go shopping for toothpaste:
Brands don’t matter too much. Brand-name and generic toothpastes generally have the same ingredients, which you can check by looking at the toothpaste box. What is important, however, is that you select an ADA-approved toothpaste, which is also printed on the box. ADA approval means that the toothpaste has undergone rigorous testing to ensure quality, safety and usefulness. Some generic toothpastes are not ADA-approved, but many are.
Know what different additives are in toothpaste. Anti-cavity toothpastes, for example, contain more fluoride than regular toothpastes, which does help to strengthen the teeth against the acid made by bacteria, assuming that good oral hygiene practices are followed. Whitening toothpastes do work to remove stains from the teeth, but they do so using abrasive additives that scrape the teeth. Though this whitens teeth, it also scrapes away at the enamel, eventually leading to tooth damage and sensitivity. Hypersenstivity or desensitizing toothpaste contains potassium nitrate or strontium chloride that helps dull the nerves that register tooth pain. Anti-gingivitis toothpastes contain antibacterial agents that can alleviate gingivitis, but only in its mild stages. This is less important, however, since brushing with normal toothpastes and carefully flossing also alleviate mild gingivitis.
Consult with your dentist before making decisions. You know how your mouth feels and what you want for your smile, and we at Dental Partners of Boston have decades of experience in helping people have the healthiest mouths possible. Let us examine your teeth and then help you decide what you need and what methods will be help you meet those needs.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using specialty toothpaste, whether brand-name or generic. In order to better understand the risks and choose the toothpaste that will be of most use to you, contact Dental Partners of Boston today and let one of our experts examine you and help you decide what toothpaste is right for you.