Every time you go to Target, you can be inundated with a hundred plus options for toothpaste. Each box on the dental care aisle proclaims a different benefit—“whitening, ADA approved, advanced”. Which one is best for you and which one merely wins the competition for prettiest packaging and catchy marketing?
Let’s begin with the purpose of toothpaste use—it’s actually three-fold—past, present and future. You want to remove plaque, bacteria and food debris that has already accumulated on your teeth, promote better smelling breath (with the removal of the aforementioned yuck!) and establish some type of protection against future issues of dental caries (cavities) and gum disease. But it can be confusing to navigate the toothpaste scene. From “natural” toothpastes to whitening formulas, each concoction boasts a better smile but could they actually damage your teeth?
So we’ll dig a bit further and hear from the experts on what you should look for in toothpaste.
American Dental Association (ADA) recommended
If you are buying toothpaste in the United States, you’ll want THE dental authority to have your back. The ADA is the oldest and largest national dental association in the world and the ADA Seal of Acceptance exists to “help consumers make informed decisions and dental professionals make informed recommendations about the safety and efficacy of consumer products” according to the ADA website. To receive the prestigious rank, the ADA evaluates safety and efficacy of products based on clinical and laboratory studies. “The ADA’s opinion is time tested and trustworthy for both consumers and dental professionals, said Dr. Bobbi Stanley. “Their standards are rigorous and not all oral health products are able to meet those standards. As a healthcare provider, you can feel confident when recommending products with the ADA Seal of Approval”, she continued.
To fluoride or not to fluoride, that is the question?
Fluoride is referred to as nature’s cavity fighter—with good reason. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the tooth’s enamel, thus helping to prevent cavities. Both children and adults need fluoride for better dental health but parents should carefully monitor fluoride consumption in children up to age 8. An overuse of fluoride can lead to a condition known as fluorosis which causes white stains or streaks on the teeth.
Does it suit your individual, oral healthcare needs?
Sure, everyone wants a whiter, brighter smile but be cautious and do your homework before falling prey to advertisers. "We are a trusted, cosmetic dentistry so we provide a lot of smile makeovers, including crowns and veneers", said Dr. Bobbi Stanley. "Cosmetic dentistry is an investment and you want to protect that investment. I caution patients not to use whitening products on crowns and veneers in the aesthetic zone (front of mouth) because it can scratch the veneer material", she continued.
However, with natural teeth, users can can safely whiten their teeth using an ADA approved whitening toothpaste of their choice.
Sometimes whitening is not as much of a concern as sensitivity and a propensity for cavities. In these cases, our office recommends Fluoridex Sensitivity Relief toothpaste to patients. This formula provides maximum strength fluoride to ward off future cavities and enhances remineralization in addition to helping relieve sensitivity. This toothpaste is only available when dispensed by a dental professional.
No matter your dental care needs, it is important to have a trusted relationship with your family dentist. At Stanley Dentistry we are committed to improving the oral health of our community and value the trust our patients have in us. If you are looking for a dental home, we would be happy to care for you and your family.