What kind of toothpaste should I be using? 11-7-18
Buying dental products, specifically toothpaste, can be a daunting task for most people. The aisle has grown significantly over the years with numerous brands, flavors and variations of virtually the same product.
A common question we get from patients is: “What kind of toothpaste should I be using?” You are in luck, because we know the tips for finding the most effective and safest toothpastes.
The first tip: Location , location, location ! Check out the lower shelves in the dental aisle, which is often where the safest toothpastes are located.
We suggest only plain toothpastes with no extra enhancers . The only “extra” that may be of any advantage is the cavity protection in products. One plus is that these toothpastes, safe ones, are typically the cheapest! There is no need for the added extras which can even do more harm than good. This brings us to our next tip….
The second tip: Stay away from whitening and abrasive toothpastes.
Whitening, brightening toothpastes are advertised everywhere; they are all over commercials, social media, and are displayed in flashy boxes right at eye level in the dental aisles. These toothpastes draw in the most sales for companies and HOW they whiten is the biggest misconception and danger for your teeth.
What many people do not know is that whitening toothpastes are abrasive and cause irreversible damage. They appear to whiten the teeth because of their big “scratchy” particles take the stain out, BUT they also take bits of enamel with them too! Over time with repetitive use this wears away enamel, the protective covering of the teeth, and as the enamel thins the teeth will start to appear yellow since the layer under the enamel is yellow. There are many safe ways to whiten your teeth in the dental office or at home but whitening toothpastes should be avoided at all costs.
The third tip: If you are not sure if your toothpaste is abrasive, try this trick.
Rub your toothpaste between your fingers and if it feels granular then it is too abrasive for your teeth. The combination of brushing with just a little abrasive toothpaste can cause sensitivity and ledges which will start to appear toward the gumline. Abrasive toothpastes are also very harmful in that they can dull cosmetic restorations such as bonding and veneers too. Test your toothpaste today to avoid unwanted damage to your teeth!
The fourth tip : The mechanical brushing is more important than what’s on the brush.
What you may not know is that toothpaste is not necessary to clean the teeth. It is the mechanical brushing itself that removes plaque from the teeth. Believe it or not, you could even use water. Toothpaste is more of a breath refresher or a delivery method for additional ingredients such as fluoride. At our Health Inspired Dental Office, we often recommend an effective “brushing mouth rinse” which has benefits for teeth and gums and can safely whiten teeth too!
Take the time today to analyze what you are using to brush your teeth and make a conscious effort to purchase safe toothpastes. Your teeth and wallet will thank you:)
Feel free to ask us if your toothpaste is SAFE by bringing it with you at your next Oral Wellness Visit!
See this video on how to properly brush your teeth.
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