Have you ever noticed how many types of toothpaste are out there? Every brand seems to make a particular claim why theirs is the best…but do you know which is right for you? What are all of those different ingredients? Do they really work or is it a gimmick? Here are a couple of facts and tips to help you find the toothpaste that is best for you:
Toothpastes contain 2 types of ingredients:
1. Active: such as those that control cavities, plaque, gingivitis, hypersensitivity, and tartar
2. Inactive: these are things that cause the toothpaste to foam, thickening agents, preservatives, sweeteners/flavorings, and coloring agents.
The active ingredients are listed first on the tube in alphabetical order. The inactive ingredients are next, listed from greatest to least concentration.
When you go to the drug store, think about what your needs are:
1. Cavity control: When looking at the active ingredients, the toothpaste must contain fluoride.
2. Hypersensitivity: There are two active ingredients that are proven to help. The first is Potassium Nitrate at 5% concentration. It works by blocking repolarization of the nerve, thus stopping transmission of the signal. Stannous fluoride also works by occluding the dentinal tubules, which prevents the movement of fluid within the tooth.
3. Anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis: triclosan, zinc citrate and stannous fluoride are the leading ingredients to reduce plaque and gingivitis. They are effective because they are either bactericidal or bacteriostatic, meaning they either kill bacteria or prevent its growth.
4. Anti-calculus (anti-tartar): These types of toothpastes inhibit the mineralization of dental plaque or the crystalline formation of calculus. Some of the ingredients include: pyrophosphates, zinc salts, triclosan/copolymers, and sodium hexametaphosphate.
5. Whitening: Most whitening toothpastes make their claims because they remove extrinsic stain. This is accomplished through an abrasive incorporated into the toothpaste such as sodium bicarbonate, silicas, and aluminum oxide.
Hopefully the next time you are out buying toothpaste, you can make the best choice for your oral health. If you have questions about which toothpaste is right for you, feel free to give us a call at Dalseth Family & Cosmetic Dentistry or ask us on Facebook!