When shopping for toothpaste, we are really faced with a monumental choice. Do we go with whitening, baking soda and peroxide, enamel protection, total care, cavity fighting, or do we get the ones with the minty crystals, or the gel? There are various flavors, textures, and purposes. Expert-recommended toothpastes cover so many different varieties and brands, so how do you know what to choose?
And then there are all the DIY options scattered across the Internet and Pinterest. Does oil pulling really work, and what about just brushing with baking soda? Should you be swishing with peroxide once or twice a week? Should we be going back to the old days and using bark to floss our teeth?
The options are endless, it seems. So how do you choose the best option(s) for you? What should you be using to clean your teeth? Which products should you avoid? Dentists, orthodontists, and pharmacists have all weighed in on which toothpastes professional recommend.
Before you decide on toothpaste, you first need to figure out what needs you have for your mouth. There are many different categories of toothpastes, and different things they prevent and treat:
- Dry mouth
- Tartar control
- Sensitive teeth and/or gums
- Toothpaste for smokers
Your dentist can help you determine your specific toothpaste needs, and which type of toothpaste is best for you.
Over the years, there have been a number of helpful guides to the best toothpastes that have been published. These can certainly help you choose which toothpaste is best depending on your specific needs. Reviews of toothpaste brands can also be helpful when selecting a brand that has had the most success among consumers.
There are three specific rules for choosing and using the right toothpaste:
- Make sure that the toothpaste you buy bears the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. This means that the product has been tested for safety and has proven its effectiveness through controlled clinical trials.
- Don’t overuse your toothpaste. Remember to use a pea-sized amount—that’s it. And brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes each. The average adult tends to brush for only 20 seconds. So set a timer on your phone or use an egg timer to make sure you are brushing as long as you need.
- Consult your dentist for your specific toothpaste needs. When you are in for your check-up, ask your dentist or hygienist which toothpaste they would recommend based on your dental needs. They can point you in the right direction and help you eliminate some of the guesswork. Most toothpastes share a lot of the same ingredients, so getting direction from your own dental professionals is key.
Choosing a toothpaste that fits your needs does not have to be a monumental or intimidating process. There is a toothpaste that will fit you (and your budget) best, and it may just take a quick phone call to our Charleston dentist office at (843) 795-5565. And if you are in for your regular cleaning and visit, ask our team what they think would be best for you. Make it part of the conversation, and we could help you narrow down your toothpaste choices.
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