Sunday, June 30, 2013

When It Comes to Toothpaste, Does Brand Matter?

As with most hygiene products these days, it's easy to get confused by the sheer amount of varieties of toothpaste available on the market. For most people, regular toothpaste with no special additives will work just fine. However, there are a few key features to look for when deciding on a toothpaste.

Brush up on your toothpaste knowledge and consider some of these criteria the next time you're in the drug store's oral hygiene aisle:

Check for the seal

The American Dental Association puts a seal of approval on all brands that meet their quality standards. Each toothpaste is subjected to careful testing to ensure it meets the quality standards of the ADA. A tube without the seal may not offer the same protection and benefits as an ADA approved brand. Brands don't matter so much, but the ADA seal is a good indicator of quality.

Decide what you need

Many types of toothpaste advertise extra features or ingredients for whitening, sensitive teeth, or extra fluoride. These may or may not be helpful to you depending on your teeth. For instance, whitening ingredients contain abrasives to scrub stains from your teeth, but can damage enamel with prolonged use. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth contains potassium nitrate, which works to relax the nerves in your teeth.

Anti-cavity products contain a higher level of fluoride than normal toothpaste - your dentist can tell you whether elevated levels of fluoride are necessary for you. If that's the case, he or she can also recommend a prescription toothpaste with the proper amount of fluoride.

Some more pointers:
  • Whether it's a gel or a paste you're after, either option has the same mouth-cleansing benefits. Choosing a gel or a toothpaste is really up to personal taste.
  • Cover all your oral-care bases by reaching for a toothpaste that fights both bacteria and gum inflammation
  • Fluoride is a very teeth-friendly mineral. In fact, it's the most important ingredient in your tube of toothpaste because of the level of protection it leaves
  • Also look for triclosan in the ingredients list. It's an antibacterial agent that helps to prevent gingivitis
  • Keep in mind that although novelty-flavored toothpastes like bacon or cupcake might sound like fun, their dental-care qualities might not be up to snuff if the packages don't carry the ADA stamp of approval

Again, regular toothpaste is fine for most people; the most important thing is steady brushing and proper technique along with regular dental visits. Avoiding sugary drinks and coffee will help you avoid stains. If you think you may benefit from a toothpaste with special additives, your dentist can advise you on how to suit your particular needs.

Arthur Willet is a health writer on health and oral care topics. Discover similar high quality information from a top quality dentist in Greeley, Colorado. Dedicated to dental care for your family's good health, he is one of the top Greeley dentists offering personalized and preventative services.
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