The Ultimate Toothpaste Guide
The toothpaste aisle at your local pharmacy is probably long and filled with dozens of different options. Not unlike toothbrushes, there are a large number of toothpastes to choose from. So how do you decide?
With toothpaste, you need to consider two things: the age of the person using it and what your primary dental concerns are.
Does age matter?
According to the Canadian Dental Association, children under 3 should have their teeth brushed by an adult with a rice grain sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste if they are at risk for tooth decay – this is something you can discuss with your dentist at their first visit. You don’t want a lot with young kids because they don’t have a good reflex for spitting it all out, rather than swallowing it.
Over age 3? A pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should do the trick!
Toothpaste for kids can be sparkly or fruity or come with a character on it. Whatever the type that appeals to your child – and you may want to have older kids pick out their own to ensure that they’re more apt to use it – make sure that it has the Canadian Dental Association logo and that it contains fluoride.
What are your primary dental concerns?
There are toothpastes for a variety of concerns:
- For sensitive teeth – many of these pastes will contain either strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. These compounds reduce sensitivity by blocking the pathways that connect teeth to the nerves.
- To whiten teeth – these will usually contain an abrasive material to scrub away stains from the surface of teeth. Others contain peroxide, for a bleaching effect. It’s worth noting that the abrasive materials can, in some people, contribute to tooth sensitivity.
- For enamel protection – protecting teeth from the wear that is caused by acids, from foods or drinks. If your diet includes fruit juices, various fruits like pineapple, grapefruit, oranges and berries, wine or other acidic foods or drinks, an enamel protection toothpaste purports to help maintain a natural level of acidity in your mouth and help re-harden softened enamel.
- Tartar control – these contain ingredients that break down tartar before it becomes harder to remove plaque on your teeth and below your gum lines.
- Many brands will attempt to combine several of these concerns in one paste. For example, a paste for sensitive teeth that also has whitening ingredients.
How effective any of these are in what they claim to do is certainly up for debate but any paste that has fluoride and has the CDA logo / symbol is an acceptable choice.
Ultimately, if you are standing in the toothpaste aisle, totally unsure which one to pick, remember that simple is always better. And if you would like professional advice, be sure to ask us on your next visit. We’re happy to discuss it with you! Orion Dental offers a complete range of dental services, including regular checkups and cleanings, teeth whitening, conscious sedation dentistry,cosmetic dentistry and oral surgery. If you’re looking for a dentist in Milton or a dentist in Scarborough for the entire family, call us to book an appointment and let’s get started!
“Do you have unused insurance coverage for 2015? Get the most from your plan by exploring your dental treatment options!”