Frequently Asked Dental Topics

Choosing the best toothpaste?

Choosing the best toothpaste with so many options at the store can be a little tricky. But look no further. Together we will break it down and get you using the best toothpaste for you.

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Types of Toothpaste

Today friends, we are going to start with what I call toothpaste variations. This will help with the idea of why there are so many types. Toothpaste can be antimicrobial and contain a special type of fluoride called Stannous. Some are tartar control. These contain ingredients like sodium hexametaphosphate and sodium pyrophosphate. These crazy long chemical names are used to not only help reduce the formation of plaque/bacteria but helps with fighting against stain formation. There is also whitening tooth paste that help to also decrease the amount of surface stain that builds on teeth. And of course there are fluoride and fluoride free versions. Let’s explore a little closer below.

Infant Training Paste vs Kids Toothpaste

Let’s begin with a type that I often get questions on and that’s Infant training paste vs kids toothpaste. I love using infant training paste on my tiny human. It is fruity flavored and the consistency is more gel like than a traditional paste texture. It is usually made for babies and toddlers. I personally recommend using this type of paste until your child can confidently spit. My reason why, well let’s face it parents. Most kiddos like to eat the toothpaste and although the amount of ingested fluoride can be small. I would rather my tiny human patients at this age not swallow any at all.

Kids toothpaste on the other hand usually contains fluoride. There are fluoride free variations available if that’s what you prefer. Children’s toothpaste also comes in more colorful flavors like bubble gum, strawberry and fruit punch. They appeal to kids because they also come with fun sparkles in the paste and the packaging is usually a cartoon character that they recognize like Batman, Paw Patrol and Barbie. This is definitely a good first step paste to introduce once your child is beyond the stages of training paste.

Adult toothpaste vs prescription toothpaste

Ahh the good ole faithful adult toothpaste. This what I like to call traditional paste and it isn’t much different than a kids toothpaste. The major difference sited here is flavor. Most adult toothpaste will come in a variety of mint and cinnamon. So unfortunately there are not many other alternatives for my mint disliking friends out there. But do not fear because Dental Momma is here. I will do a separate blog post on non-mint toothpastes just for your guys!

Prescription toothpaste on the other hand is just as the name suggests requires a trip to the pharmacy. This type of toothpaste in my experience has been delivered for two reasons. One for extremely sensitive teeth and two for higher cavity risk patients. You will need a Dentists to fill out a prescription form for you. But if you feel like you fall into one of these categories please don’t hesitate and call your dentist today.

Fluoride toothpaste vs Fluoride Free toothpaste

This can be a touchy subject for some so I will keep this brief. The ADA ( American Dental Association) highly recommends the usage of fluoridated toothpaste, especially by those who are at higher risk for cavities. But with that being said, I personally feel that you have to make that decision for your family. Some people do not feel like it is necessary and others feel the opposite. Whatever choice you make just be confident in it, because you know your family and what’s best for them!

Choosing a toothpaste doesn’t have to be hard. Just think about how you’ll use it and stick with a brand you already love!

hygienus Thought

Whitening toothpaste

One of the questions I got a lot in practice is what’s the best whitening toothpaste and do they actually work like the commercials say. So first I suggest using a whitening toothpaste from the same brand as your regular toothpaste. You like that brand and chances are you will enjoy the whitening toothpaste as well. Secondly, look at the back of box for ingredients. If the toothpaste has hydrogen peroxide, silica, baking soda, then its going to be a good option to help reduce surface staining. However please do note that whitening toothpaste are not miracle workers. They should be called stain reducers instead of whiteners. If you are looking for a more dramatic change in the shade or color of your teeth, you may want to consider other whitening products like strips or professionally made whitening trays or even in-office whitening completed by your dentist.

Sensitivity Control Toothpaste

This type of toothpaste is actually one of my favorites because they work very well especially if your have hot/cold temperature sensitivity. This toothpaste is more commonly recognized as store brand Sensodyne. I know you’ve seen the commercials on TV. Their Pronamel line gets a lot of airtime. But did you know that almost every major toothpaste brand now carries a type of sensitivity control toothpaste. The active ingredient to look for is called Potassium Nitrate. It is the key ingredient to sensitivity control. So if you have a favorite brand that you prefer, just take a look at their sensitivity control paste and if it has Potassium Nitrate then your “a winner winner chicken dinner”! Even the generic store brand paste with the key ingredient in it will work the same. You may also see an ingredient called Stannous Fluoride on the back of some packages in the toothpaste aisle. Though it does help with sensitivity, I prefer to recommend products with Potassium Nitrate in them when patients specifically complain of hot/cold sensitivity.

Hygenius Thoughts

Picking a toothpaste doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to first think about how you’ll use the toothpaste. If it’s for your child, choose the age appropriate option whether it’s training paste or regular kids paste. For adults if you drink a lot of coffee or tea then a whitening toothpaste may just be what you’re looking for. Just remember to use what works for you and your family. Even if that means you need three or four different toothpastes in the house. Until next time friends, See you in my next post!

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