Start reading labels to choose the right toothpaste for you and your family.
All toothpastes have certain ingredients in common. They’ll contain mild abrasives for scrubbing, foaming detergents to help float away debris, fluoride to protect tooth enamel, thickening agents for stability, humectants for moisture retention, and flavors to make the mixture palatable.
Given what we know about the relationship between gum disease and your overall health, finding a toothpaste that will protect your oral health should be your top priority. Dental researchers at the University of Buffalo found that the ingredient triclosan outperformed fluoride in battling the bacteria that cause tooth decay, gum disease and halitosis.
Whether you’re a vegan locavore or just a mother bear with cubs to protect, you may wish to avoid sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial colors and flavors. Go for it with a natural toothpaste. Just make certain that you don’t trade away cavity-fighting protection. Xylitol, used in toothpastes to improve flavor, can help to keep plaque from sticking to your teeth, but you still need an active ingredient like fluoride or triclosan.
If something hot or chilly actually brings pain to your mouth, you may need a sensitivity toothpaste containing potassium nitrate. If you’re in this category, we recommend that you spit after brushing, then wait 20 minutes before rinsing.
If whiter teeth are your goal, choose a tube with hydrogen peroxide on the ingredient list, then hope it works for you. If this product doesn’t satisfy, ask us about other tooth-whitening options.
Who wouldn’t want it all? The American Dental Association has approved at least one toothpaste that can ward off cavities, guard against plaque and gingivitis, brighten your smile, and prevent bad breath – all while reducing sensitivity.
Above all, choose it, then use it!