Anyone can get a little dizzy when choosing the right toothpaste for their family because of the unending range of options. Should you go for fluoride toothpaste or select one with chloride? Moreover, everyone’s different oral needs make it even more challenging to pick the right toothpaste.
As tricky as toothpaste selection may be, you need to make the right call when selecting one for yourself. Otherwise, you could develop a host of dental problems that warrant frequent trips to the dentist. Keeping that in mind, we at Soft Touch Dentistry, in Sacramento, decided to go over the different categories of toothpaste and share tips on choosing the right option.
But before we get on with the article, we want you to remember a general rule of thumb when picking a toothpaste; look for fluoride in the list of ingredients. Toothpaste with fluoride is safe and incredibly beneficial for everyone’s teeth across the board because it will strengthen the tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay.
More on the reasons to use fluoride toothpaste later in the piece, let’s quickly go over the basics and learn tips to choose the best for yourself and the family.
All kinds of toothpaste contain a basic set of ingredients that are
Fluoride in toothpaste makes teeth strong and prevents them from developing cavities. Although fluoride is a fundamental constituent in most toothpaste formulas, it might not be present in some toothpaste. But such toothpaste (one without fluoride) doesn’t generally have the seal of approval from ADA, American Dental Association. Besides, using fluoride toothpaste is suitable for your oral health.
Don’t be alarmed; detergent in toothpaste is safe and aids with foam formation. When you brush your teeth, the detergent is the compound that helps the toothpaste spread around the mouth. The most commonly used detergent in toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate.
Also known as thickening agents are chemicals that stabilize toothpaste formula.
Toothpaste can have different flavors, typically mint, to make it easier for people to brush their teeth. Some kinds of toothpaste tend to have a bit of sweetness to their taste, but that comes from sugar-free compounds, so the chances of tooth decay are close to none.
Humectants keep your toothpaste viscous by preventing water loss, ensuring that it doesn’t dry out. Some examples of humectants include sorbitol, glycol, and glycerol.
Abrasives, perhaps the most crucial ingredient in toothpaste, is responsible for cleaning one’s teeth and removing all food particles. An abrasive agent gives a toothpaste formula to the faculty to clear the stains on someone’s teeth. Calcium carbonate and hydrated aluminum oxides are modern-day abrasives used in most toothpaste.
Some tubes of toothpaste may have more elements than those mentioned above, depending on the toothpaste variety. That is, a toothpaste exclusively made for sensitive teeth will contain compounds such as potassium nitrate.
What To Look For When Buying A Toothpaste?
As already stated, a toothpaste should have the six ingredients mentioned above, but most importantly, it should have fluoride. Here are some tips for choosing the right toothpaste.
1. Look For The ADA Seal Of Approval
The American Dental Association has an entire panel of scientific experts who assess toothpaste for effectiveness and safety. Therefore, any toothpaste that passes ADA’s evaluation is safe for you to use.
2. Check The Ingredient List
Every toothpaste comes with a list of ingredients that you should check when making a purchase. If a product contains an unfamiliar compound, look for another option. Doing so is essential to avoid risking your dental health. In 2007, a toothpaste containing a toxic substance, diethylene glycol, was found on the market, and people ended up buying it. It was made in china, which is why after the incident unfolded, The FDA advised people not to purchase toothpaste that claimed to be made in china.
3. Consider The Needs Of Your Family
Everyone in the family has individual oral needs, which means you need to consider when buying toothpaste. Generally, people have only so many specific dental needs, so knowing which formula will work best for a particular case is possible. Here is a rundown of all everyday dental needs and the suitable toothpaste based on each
Hard plaque or tartar
Every person has a film of bacteria on their teeth. You should treat it with immediate corrective dental measures like proper cleaning. But if someone doesn’t take care of the problem in its early stages, it turns into a much harder layer of bacteria called tartar.
Tartar can be hard to remove, so many toothpaste manufacturers have product varieties that tackle tartar on teeth. Generally, toothpaste containing fluoride plus pyrophosphates and zinc citrate is used to remove tartar.
In some cases, you may also use toothpaste with antibiotics to kill the bacteria in the mouth.
Sensitivity is a widespread dental condition that affects every 1 in 8 adults in America. Because having sensitive teeth is a common problem, toothpaste manufacturers have specialized products to help people get some relief.
Toothpaste commonly used to treat sensitivity include the ones with potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These compounds block the nerve pathways in your teeth, reducing sensitivity.
Some people struggle with stained or yellow teeth, which can shatter their confidence more often than not. For those individuals, different varieties of whitening toothpaste are available on the market, containing a bit harsher abrasive agents.
You don’t need to look for any particular compound when searching for a whitening toothpaste. Such products advertise their ‘whitening characteristic‘ rather blatantly so you’ll know when you see one. With all that said, using these kinds of toothpaste might not be suitable for your teeth, as studies report that they can sometimes damage your enamel.
Preventing Cavities And Tooth Decay: Fluoride Toothpastes
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s discuss the wildly prevalent dental problem. It’s one of the widely unmet health treatment needs worldwide; cavities, and how fluoride toothpaste can help tackle the issue.
Tooth decay is a widespread dental condition that affects every 1 in 4 adults between 20 and 64. Studies also show that 90% of the young adult population aged 20 and older have one cavity.
In adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19, more than half the population, approximately 57% of youngsters, have at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. Suffice to say, tooth decay is a rampant problem globally.
Causes and Prevention Of Cavities
A cavity, also referred to as dental caries, is a crater or hole that develops in a tooth when its outermost layer, the enamel, is eroded due to exposure to acid. Generally, teeth with a weak, prone to erosion due to poor dental health, enamel are more at risk of growing a cavity.
The most straightforward way to prevent getting a cavity is to strengthen the enamel and make it insusceptible to erosion. This is where fluoride toothpaste comes in, as it improves our teeth’ health and protects them against tooth decay.
Fluoride Toothpaste: Your Defense Against Tooth Decay
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral present in water and other natural resources, such as soil, rocks, and plants. It is also found in human bones and teeth.
Fluoride is typically a must-have ingredient in every dental product, primarily in toothpaste and rinses. However, some specific oral hygiene supplies may come without fluoride.
According to a survey, approximately 500 million people use fluoride toothpaste, and 60 million utilize fluoride mouthwashes, tablets, and other supplements.
Despite being readily available all across global markets, fluoride toothpaste remains inaccessible for many, particularly those from low socio-economic backgrounds. Nonetheless, those who use fluoride-based dental products have a lower chance of developing dental caries.
Here is a detailed breakdown of how fluoride prevents tooth decay or the reasons to use fluoride toothpaste.
It Treats Demineralized Teeth
The bacteria in our mouths break down sugar and other carbs into acidic components that tear away the minerals in the outermost layer of our teeth, which is responsible for protecting the tooth enamel. This process of mineral reduction is known as demineralization.
As a result of said phenomenon, a person’s teeth become weak and vulnerable to cavity-causing bacteria. Once such a microorganism makes its way to an exposed tooth, it settles in, creating a hole.
Teeth that suffer from demineralization cab restore their lost minerals with the regular use of fluoride products, as it encourages remineralization, reversing signs of tooth decay, and prevents further damage to a tooth.
So, if you spot early signs of a cavity formation in your teeth, start using fluoride toothpaste daily if you don’t already.
It Strengthens Your Tooth Enamel
As mentioned earlier, your tooth enamel is responsible for protecting your teeth from foreign particles. This means if it gets damaged due to any reason, your chances of tooth decay will significantly increase. But if you use fluoride toothpaste, you can strengthen your tooth enamel and save yourself from the pain of enamel erosion and dental caries.
Different Concentrations For Different Levels Of Decay
Since everyone’s oral needs are different, the products they use need to be different, based on the individual level of oral hygiene. Therefore, people with weaker teeth or a higher chance of developing cavities should use toothpaste with higher fluoride concentrations.
The amount of fluoride in toothpaste is measured in parts per million (ppm). Generally, a good quality toothpaste contains 1350-1500 ppm fluoride for effective cleaning. However, people with more severe dental concerns might have to use toothpaste made with a higher concentration of fluoride. Suppose you believe your teeth might not be the strongest and need some extra protection. In that case, you should consider buying toothpaste with a more potent dose of fluoride- consult your dentist for the best advice.
Can There Be Too Much Fluoride In A Toothpaste
Many times curious dental patients inquire about the possible risks of damage to one’s teeth due to excess fluoride exposure. And they are right to wonder because over-abundance of the this component can lead to a dental condition known as dental fluorosis. However, it’s more likely to occur in younger patients.
It is a condition characterized by white spots that appear on a person’s teeth due to exposure to excessive fluoride. Dental fluorosis affects those who consume too much fluoride while their teeth are forming or under the gums. Naturally, this means kids who haven’t gotten their permanent teeth are at greater risk of developing the said condition.
Regular toothpaste does not have dangerously high amounts of fluoride, which is why they are safe to use. But in the case of kids, you can never be sure that a regular toothpaste wouldn’t lead to adverse effects of fluoride overconsumption. Children tend to swallow toothpaste while brushing, mostly inadvertently. Nonetheless, this leads to excess fluoride in the mouth, which can result in dental fluorosis.
The best practice to prevent the occurrence of dental fluorosis in kids is teaching them the right way to brush and staying with them while they clean their teeth.
Your oral health is as essential as your physical wellbeing. Therefore, you should never neglect your dental needs and invest in the right products.
Choosing the right dental products varies from person to person based on everyone’s requirements, but generally, using fluoride-based toothpaste, rinses, and supplements effectively maintains oral health. So, the next time you are in the toothpaste aisle looking at colorful boxes to pick one for yourself, go for the fluoride variety, as it will keep your teeth strong and protected against cavities.
With that said, it’s always advisable to consult your dentist before making any oral hygiene-related decisions. Always try to keep your periodontist in the loop when using toothpaste or rinse.
Lastly, suppose you are looking for a family dentist in Sacramento to care for you and your family’s dental needs. In that case, you should reach out to us at SoftTouch Dentistry. Our team of experts is well-versed in treating all kinds of teeth issues that you might be experiencing, so hit us up today!