Which toothpaste do I choose?

Dentist Office in Raytown and Pleasant Hill, Missouri

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                    It's funny, toothpaste companies such as Crest & Colgate spend hundreds of millions in advertising every year in an attempt to convince consumers their toothpaste is the best.  When people ask me what toothpaste I recommend, I'm honest and respond that they are mostly all the same.  So it can be confusing to walk into a pharmacy and have to choose from numerous brands and types of toothpaste. The two primary benefits of toothpaste are its abrasiveness to clean plaque from the teeth, and the flouride contained within it.  Fluoride is incorporated into the teeth and provides extra protection against dental decay.  Although some critics argue toothpaste is not necessary and brushing alone is fine, as your Raytown dentist, I disagree.  

Toothpaste Options Vary Based On Need
                  Raytown consumers select a toothpaste based on advertising, their perception of the product's ability to fight tooth decay, remove plaque, and whiten teeth, and based on price.  
For children, where the chief concern is to prevent tooth decay, the presence of fluoride is the most important component in toothpaste.  Yet most toothpastes contain fluoride and thus are appropriate for children, and that is why children's toothpaste is marketed based on other factors such as association with a cartoon character or superhero.  Although a segment of the population proclaims the negative characteristics of fluoride, the overwhelming majority of legitimate research contradicts these claims.  

                  For adults, although the flouride ingredient is still important, many choose tartar control toothpaste because they are concerned with gum disease and periodontal disease.   Tartar control toothpaste is a great adjunct to regular dental cleanings to help stop the accumulation of plaque & tartar, and as a consequence reduce the bacteria associated with it.
 
                  Yet another common variety of toothpaste is anti-sensitivity toothpaste such as Sensodyne or Crest Sensitivity. Both contain the same active ingredient potassium nitrate which, if used for several months, blocks nerve endings in the tooth to reduce pain perception.  So if you struggle to drink very hot or very cold beverages, one of these products is a great choice for you.  If these over-the-counter products do not relieve your sensitivity, a dentist can likely help you by prescribing a prescription toothpaste or sealing the teeth with a bonding agent or composite. 
             

                    Over the past decade whitening toothpastes have exploded onto the market and have become quite popular.  Most use an abrasive which aides in removing surface stains from the teeth, but I personally am skeptical if there is any actual activity by the bleaching agent in the toothpaste, simply because the tooth isn't exposed to the bleaching agent long enough during regular brushing.  If you desire a smile that is more white, do it the right way and talk to your Raytown dentist about professional whitening.  Additionally, some suggest overuse of whitening toothpaste can cause teeth sensitivity due to the abrasiveness. 

Choose a toothpaste with the ADA Seal!
                 With all of the marketing and fancy packaging done for toothpaste these days, it is easy to get confused.  I recommend choosing a toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval, because this indicates the toothpaste has been tested by the ADA to substantiate the manufacturer's claims!  If you need help in deciding on a toothpaste for yourself, please contact your Raytown dentist Robert M. Davis, DDS & Associates for assistance.