If you have been shopping for toothpaste lately, you know that it can be very confusing.

Unlike the old days -when the choices were few, these days it seems that there are just too many options!  Whitening toothpastes, tartar control, paste or gel, gum health, desensitizing……. which is best? This is a question we are asked all the time.  Sometimes it seems the best thing to do would be just forget the labels and buy whatever is on sale!

The fact is – buying a particular type or brand of toothpaste is usually not as important as how you brush and how often you do so.  However, if you’re interested, here is a quick run-down.

Tartar control toothpaste: Tartar is calcified plaque which naturally forms on your teeth and can wreak  havoc on both your teeth and gums.  While tartar control toothpaste has been shown to reduce the formation of new tartar deposits, it still won’t remove existing ones and does nothing to prevent these formations where they are the most dangerous – underneath the gum line.

Paste vs.gel: No significant difference here;  it’s more of a personal preference. However, it has been thought gels can cause a higher occurrence of cancre sores mostly because  have they have a higher level of SLS  or sodium laurel sulfate which is used to make the toothpaste foam.

Desensitizing toothpaste: These pastes have ingredients in them which block the small tube-like channels in the root surfaces that connect to the nerve tissue inside of your teeth. If you have exposed roots due to gum recession or teeth that are generally sensitive to hot and cold, this may be a good solution for you. But please be patient – it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the “magic” to kick in.

Whitening pastes:  The abrasives in these products may reduce surface stains, but they do little to treat the actual yellowing of teeth from the inside.  The good news is that most teeth can be whitened with the right treatment. Be sure to ask us what the proper whitening method is for you.

“Gum Care” toothpaste:  Studies have shown these to be questionable at best, and they may not be as valuable as standard toothpastes in preventing cavities.

Expensive or bargain brand?  The good news, price doesn’t seem to be related to effectiveness when choosing a toothpaste.  Actually, very recently, Consumer Reports magazine rated an expensive paste near the bottom of their list with bargain basement brand Ultra-Brite near the top in several categories!

So which brand should you use?

Most studies are fairly inconclusive on this one. Your best bet is always a brand that contains fluoride and has the American Dental Association seal of approval. And if that brand happens to be on sale – all the better!!

In the end, the most important thing is to brush often (morning,bedtime, and if possible, after every meal), use a soft brush, try to reach every surface of every tooth, and spend two minutes doing so.

The proper technique is important as well, and we will be glad to demonstrate this to you at your next visit to Dr. Robert C.Malenius and Associates! If you have any more questions or would like to set up a visit, please give us a call at 630-668-6180. W e are here to help you!

Did you know that we are now on Facebook? Please “like” our page at Malenius|Dental for great dental health tips, contests, giveaways,and great special announcements!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: