Toothpaste, when used in conjunction with a toothbrush and flossing, is an essential part of any daily oral hygiene routine. You’re likely to see lots of different types of toothpastes on the shelf. Choosing the right brand to use can be confusing. Which kind of toothpaste is right for you?
The majority of toothpastes contain fluoride, although there are a few available brands that do not. Fluoride is a mineral that can help to prevent tooth decay. Many cities put fluoride in their local water supply. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and lessens the likelihood that any bacteria left on your teeth after eating will do any damage. If you use toothpaste without fluoride, you are merely cleaning the outer surface of your teeth and freshening your breath.
Most toothpastes also offer a form of tartar control. Plaque is a thin film that forms on the teeth after eating. If not brushed away on a daily basis that plaque can harden and turn into tartar. Tartar is a hard, yellow substance that builds up on teeth that can only be fully removed by a dental professional. A tartar control toothpaste can’t remove tartar from your teeth, but it can help prevent the accumulation of additional tartar. Some individuals may be sensitive to the tartar control chemicals and experience tissue sloughing on their cheeks.
There are in increasing number of toothpastes on the market that claim to whiten teeth. These toothpastes contain whiteners and abrasives that can remove some stains from your teeth. You may see a slight improvement in the color of your teeth, but it pales in comparison to what you’d see after a cleaning at the dentist’s office. These toothpastes don’t provide much benefit in terms of overall dental health.
There are some toothpastes available that offer a combination of these effects. Talk with your dentist to determine which type of toothpaste best fits your specific oral health needs.