Choosing the Right Toothpaste

smile sarasota choosing toothpasteChoosing the right toothpaste can be a bit of a challenging task, especially if you’re unsure of what to look for. When strolling down the aisles of your local pharmacy or grocery store, you’ll be overwhelmed with the enormous variety of toothpaste options available. From whitening to anti-cavity to tartar control and everything in between, it all probably sounds great. But which type of toothpaste is right for you? The fact of the matter is this: Everyone’s teeth are different and thus require varying forms of dental care. Rather than making a blind guess as to which toothpaste is the best for you, Smile Sarasota is here to help you find the right toothpaste for your unique needs to ensure your mouth stays as healthy as possible.

First, a little bit about toothpaste: Toothpaste’s main function is to provide abrasive agents that remove food and bacteria from your teeth. Calcium carbonate is the most common abrasive ingredient in toothpaste, though some brands may use a different ingredient in its place. Most toothpastes include flavoring. Some brands add saccharin (sugar) to make toothpaste taste better. Available flavors vary widely and include mint (most common), cinnamon, citrus and even bubblegum. Toothpaste is also available without added flavoring or with natural flavoring for those who want to avoid artificial additives. Detergents are added to many brands of toothpaste to create cleaning foam. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common detergent found in toothpaste. Fluoride is added to most toothpastes. It’s a mineral that prevents tooth decay by making tooth enamel stronger and provides minerals to parts of teeth that have started to decay. Moisturizers and thickeners. Toothpaste must be thick enough to spread on your toothbrush and must be kept moist inside the tube. So how do you decide? Here are a few guidelines:

Dentist Recommended Toothpaste: When shopping for toothpaste, Dr. Still recommends finding a brand that contains fluoride to fight cavities, as well as triclosan to kill bacteria if you frequently face gum issues or bad breath. You may also want to avoid artificial colors or flavors, and if you suffer from canker sores, avoid SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate).

Whitening Toothpaste: Although plenty of toothpastes on the market tout their whitening abilities, labeling can be somewhat deceptive. Most toothpastes aren’t strong enough to whiten. For those seeking a more reliable method for whitening teeth, Smile Sarasota offers Opalescence take home gel and custom trays, and Sinsational Smile in-office whitening treatment.

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: Tooth sensitivity is a fairly common problem amongst adults — in fact, roughly 40 million Americans experience the condition at some point in their lives. That being said, if this is an issue you regularly face, it’s important to find a toothpaste for sensitive teeth that won’t further irritate your teeth or gums. Dr. Still recommends Sensodyne Pronamel for those with sensitive teeth.

Otherwise, as long as you choose a toothpaste that has been approved by the ADA (American Dental Association), you can’t go wrong. Smile Sarasota almost always has samples at the front desk of the toothpastes we recommend. And of course feel free to call us or ask one of our fabulous hygienists!


Sources and Credits: American Dental Association, Colgate, WebMD