Go shopping at any store to purchase toothpaste and you will likely find an aisle full of various options.  How do you begin to choose what toothpaste to use?

It’s important to think about your individual dental needs to select the best option.

Let’s start with the basics:

Choosing the right toothpasteDo you want a gel or paste?  Let’s check the ingredients.   Some common ingredients are found in both, such as calcium carbonate or silicates, and will help in removing stains or food bacteria.  Also look at flavoring and artificial sweeteners if this is important to you as well.  Don’t be afraid to read the labels.

Another ingredient to include is fluoride.  This important ingredient is instrumental in the fighting bacteria that causes tooth decay.  It not only strengthens your tooth enamel, but can reverse the early stages of acid damage.

Tartar Control.  Tartar is a hardened layer of plaque that builds up on your tooth enamel and under your gums.  This buildup can then lead to gum disease.  Choosing a tartar control toothpaste will help fight tartar and keep in mind that most tartar control toothpastes will contain Fluoride.

Whitening Toothpaste.  Many toothpastes are now emphasizing whitening ingredients.  They contain abrasive particles or chemicals that effectively polish the teeth.  Whitening toothpaste is not recommended for sensitive teeth though.

Speaking of sensitive teeth, you can find toothpaste for that too.  Specially designed for those whose teeth are easily irritated by hot or cold temperatures, they contain chemical compounds that block pathways from the teeth to the nerves inside the teeth, offering relief from pain.

Additional Toothpaste Tips:

Be careful when choosing.  Stick with reputable brands and look for the ADA seal of approval.  Also consider the needs of your family.  What works for one person may not work for all.  Lastly, when in doubt, check with your local dentist.  Your dentist will be happy to make recommendations for you based on his knowledge of your overall dental health.