In a lifetime, the average person can spend up to 35.5 days brushing their teeth, so it’s common for people to go through multiple tubes of toothpaste rather quickly. If you’re like most, the thought of standing in the toothpaste aisle during your shopping trip doesn’t sound ideal. Lucky for you, there are a few things to know before you shop that might help you choose your next tube without wasting too much time.
Whitening Your Teeth
A large portion of people buying toothpaste are looking to make their smile just a little whiter. Whitening toothpastes can contain mild abrasives that will help make your teeth shiny, and prevent any new stains from forming. However, most of these toothpastes will not actually remove the old stains. While peroxide and baking soda are often great ingredients to help whiten your smile, modified silicone abrasives in a gel format is the best way to go. If you pick a whitening toothpaste, though, test it for a month. If you’re not seeing the results you want, contact your dentist about alternate methods of whitening.
Everyone wants to prevent cavities, so it’s often one of the most important factors when purchasing a new toothpaste. Keep an eye out for products that contain fluoride, as it’s nature’s cavity fighter per the ADA. While most toothpastes with a seal from the ADA will contain fluoride, some may have a higher concentration, which can help prevent decay and remineralize teeth along the root surface.
Bonus Tip: Try brushing and spitting, but not rinsing. This will allow some fluoride to stay behind, letting the chemical do a little additional work.
Dealing with Sensitive Teeth
If you’re experiencing pain when drinking hot drinks, or eating cold foods like ice cream, there’s a chance that you have sensitive teeth due to weakened enamel or tooth rot. While it’s important to get to a dentist quickly, active ingredients like strontium chloride or potassium nitrate can help in desensitizing your teeth and lessen the pain while brushing. There are a number of brands that have this as their specialty, and often label it clearly on their packaging.
Brushing For Children
Pretty packaging can be an instant win for your children, but do you know what the active ingredients are? If your child is under two, it’s important to purchase a toothpaste with little to no fluoride, as they may swallow it while brushing. As your child gets older, adding fluoride to the mix isn’t bad, but it should be in small amounts. The ADA recommends a rice sized smear of toothpaste for children under three, and a pea-sized amount for children three to six.
While you will certainly find the type of toothpaste that you enjoy and purchase it over and over again, finding the right fit for you is often a daunting task. When in doubt, always look for the ADA symbol on your toothpaste, as it’s a good indicator that it is quality. For more information, or to ask specific questions, contact Dr. J.D. Robinette, DDS, FICOI today.