Choosing the best toothpaste can be overwhelming with so many options available in the market. Toothpaste is not just a minty-flavored paste that we use to brush our teeth. It plays a vital role in our oral hygiene and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The two most common mistakes people make with toothpaste are picking the wrong kind and using it the wrong way. In this blog, we will discuss what makes a toothpaste the best and which toothpaste suits your needs the most.
Ingredients in toothpaste:
The primary purpose of toothpaste is to clean the teeth, fight bacteria, and freshen breath. To do so, toothpaste contains several key ingredients, such as:
1. Fluoride: This is the most important ingredient in toothpaste. It helps prevent cavities by strengthening the tooth enamel and making it more resistant to acid attacks. Almost all toothpaste brands contain fluoride.
2. Abrasives: These are small particles that help remove food particles and surface stains from the teeth. Common abrasives used in toothpaste include calcium carbonate, silica, and baking soda. We strongly recommend against using “charcoal” toothpaste or highly abrasive pastes, as they will remove your enamel over time and destroy your teeth.
3. Antibacterial agents: These help kill bacteria in the mouth and prevent the formation of plaque and tartar. Some common antibacterial agents used in toothpaste include triclosan, chlorhexidine, and zinc.
4. Desensitizers: These ingredients help reduce tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. Potassium nitrate and strontium chloride are commonly used desensitizers.
5. Flavorings and sweeteners: These ingredients are added to give toothpaste its taste and freshness. Common flavorings include mint, cinnamon, and fruit flavors. Sweeteners such as sorbitol and xylitol are also added to improve the taste.
Choosing the right toothpaste:
Now that you know the primary ingredients in toothpaste, you can choose the right toothpaste that suits your needs. Here are some factors to consider:
1. Fluoride content: Check the fluoride content in toothpaste before buying it. Fluoride content varies from brand to brand, so choose a toothpaste with the right fluoride content as per your dentist's recommendation. Some toothpastes are prescription strength and contain a higher level of fluoride to protect those at high risk for cavities. Be very cautious with toothpastes that do not contain fluoride, as they may result in more frequent cavities if you are not getting adequate fluoride elsewhere. We also want to be careful with fluoride content in children, as they are more prone to swallow toothpaste.
2. Type of toothpaste: Toothpaste comes in different types, such as regular, whitening, tartar control, and sensitivity. Choose the one that addresses your specific dental concerns. Be very cautious when selecting a whitening paste to ensure that it won’t cause long term damage to your teeth.
3. Age group: Toothpaste for children is different from that for adults. Children's toothpaste has less fluoride and is less abrasive. If you have children, buy toothpaste designed for their age group.
4. Taste and texture: Toothpaste is available in a range of flavors and textures. Choose one that you like the taste and texture of, as this will encourage you to brush regularly.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to which toothpaste is the best. The best toothpaste is one that meets your specific dental needs and preferences. Choose a toothpaste that has the right fluoride content, addresses your dental concerns, is suitable for your age group, and has a taste and texture that you like. In general, the total care varieties from Crest, Colgate, and Arm and Hammer are excellent. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and don't forget to floss regularly to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Lastly, remember to avoid rinsing your mouth with water after brushing, as this will remove toothpaste prematurely and reduce all the benefits. This is especially important right before bed!