With so many different choices in your supermarket aisle, does it matter what kind of toothpaste you buy? The answer is yes.
Toothpaste can take many forms: gel, powder, paste. It can help get rid of accumulating plaque, bacterial buildup on teeth and fight gum disease.
Most toothpaste will do its job well. Here are the different types:
Which toothpaste should I choose?
- Whitening: to whiten their teeth or remove stains from smoking or beverages, speak to your dentist. Whitening toothpastes can be particularly abrasive and tough on your teeth. Professional teeth-whitening may cost more than a tube of toothpaste, but it produces great results.
- Fresh breath: bad breath can be caused by diet, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, dry mouth or gastrointestinal issues. Toothpaste won’t cure it. Flossing and tongue cleaning are important for fresher breath together with the right toothpaste. Combine cleaning techniques at home with a checkup with your dentist to help eliminate odor-causing bacteria.
- Gum disease: to fight gingivitis (gum disease) or tartar buildup, choose a toothpaste that contains pyrophosphates, triclosan and zinc citrate.
- Sensitivity relief: tf you have sensitive teeth, look for products with ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride.
- Enamel protection: there are a number of ways to minimise enamel erosion – avoid contact with acidic drinks on your teeth’s surface by using a straw. There are toothpaste options that help strengthen your enamel as well. They usually help replenish natural calcium and minerals in weakened enamel, and polish the enamel surface so germs are less likely to stick.
Which toothpaste should my child use?
- Look for fluoride: children should use toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect teeth against cavities and plaque build-up. The advised amount for children under three years of age is a ‘smear,’ while a pea-sized amount is recommended for older kids, as ingesting too much fluoride is not healthy. Kids under two years of age generally are unable to spit out their toothpaste, so be cautious.
- Take flavour into consideration: flavour will help your child get involved and interested in brushing.
Check with your dentist
Your toothpaste is only part of your dental health regime. If you are concerned your toothpaste may not be the right choice, contact your National Dental Care dentist, because your teeth are tools for life.
Read here to discover what the Australian Dental Association recommends for brushing your teeth.