Proper dental care is not as new age as you might think. In fact, did you know that people have been practicing dental hygiene since around 500 B.C.? Back in the day, ancient Greeks would use a mixture of iron rust and coral powder as toothpaste to clean their teeth, while toothbrushes were a bunch of tree twigs that they would chew on. Even back then people realized the importance of dental care! You rely on your teeth daily to do what we as humans do best…eat! But just like anything in your body that is constantly worked, your teeth can wear down over time. Luckily for us we have many advanced toothpaste products to help our teeth make it for the long haul (and they are a little more tasteful than the ancient Greeks’, I think). So here is a helpful guide on choosing the right toothpaste product for you by defining all that intimidating label-language.
All toothpastes fight cavities in some way or another. When used correctly, toothpastes are meant to remove plaque and therefore prevent cavities. Plaque is the build-up of bacteria, food debris, and other grossness on the teeth that can become acidic and cause cavities. One thing to definitely consider is that most toothpastes today contain fluoride, which takes fighting cavities a step further and has been proven to protect tooth enamel from decay. A majority of people, if not all, can benefit from using a fluorinated toothpaste, so next time you are looking at all the different tube, look for that magic word….fluoride!
This basically means that the toothpaste contains some level of peroxide or maybe an abrasive agent to shine up your pearly whites. Toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth will help fight surface stains from everyday food and drinks. So, if you need a little help removing tooth discoloration you might consider getting a whitening toothpaste. However, keep in mind that whitening toothpaste does not give you the results of dental office whitening treatments or at-home whitening kits! This is because the whitening agents in those treatments are much concentrated than the toothpaste.
Most major toothpaste brands have some sort of sensitive-teeth formula. People with sensitive teeth most likely have a slightly receded gum line that exposes the root of the tooth. There is no enamel on the root so temperature and pH changes in the mouth can cause what many people call “quickys” or “zingers”. Sensitive toothpastes help to block that stimulus that goes through the root surface. Potassium nitrate is the most popular additive in toothpaste that reduces tooth sensitivity.
If you have a history of gingivitis, this kind of toothpaste might be a good choice for you! Antibacterial toothpastes contain an agent called triclosan, which claims to protect gums against bacterial infections.
These toothpastes are all-natural, meaning fluoride-free. They use ingredients such as myrrh, peppermint oil, and aloe to clean and freshen your mouth. They can be pricier, but are sometimes a good choice for people with chemical sensitivities or youngsters who think the toothpaste is yummy and want to swallow it (the natural ingredients in it make it safe to swallow, whereas, anything even fluoridated toothpaste, is bad in excess).
With all the different formulas out there (and the hundreds of shiny silver and blue boxes), I am sure the toothpaste aisle at the store can be a bit daunting! However there is no reason to be overwhelmed. If you can identify what you are looking for in a toothpaste based on your oral situation, then picking out the right toothpaste for you should be easy as pie! (that might be a counterproductive statement…)
Did you find this article tasteful? Want more information on dental care products that are right for you? Dr. Argersinger and his team at DurhamDDS can help! We offer a generous helping of dental services for patients of all ages in the Triangle area. Call us at 919-286-0779 to set up an appointment or visit our website at durhamdds.com for more information. Did you find this article helpful? Please +1 us if you are a gmail-er or like us on Facebook at the top of the article! Thanks.