A Simple Toothpaste Guide
Are “fancy” toothpastes worth your money?
Here at our Abbey Road Dentist we get lots of questions about toothpaste. Are the whitening toothpastes any good? Which toothpaste is best for the kids? Are any types of toothpaste harmful to my teeth?
Brushing our teeth every day and practising good dental hygiene is important, so our selection of toothpaste really does matter. Which is why we have created this simple guide to help you feel a bit more in the know when it comes to buying that important bathroom staple – toothpaste.
Is A Toothpaste Better The More Features It Has?
Quite simply, probably not. Modern marketing techniques can mean descriptions of features are really just elaborating on ingredients that you will find in a standard tube of paste, or elaborating on ingredients that have little to no real effect on your teeth.
When you pay attention to all the top brand exciting toothpaste features, you’re likely to want to give them all a go. But time, money and common sense tell us that simply isn’t possible. Some additives matter, some don’t, but the manufacturers will list all of them to try and get you to buy their product. If you really want to know what is in your toothpaste – read the label. Don’t be afraid of all the long confusing words, most toothpastes follow the same basic recipe. Aside from water, most popular toothpastes contain an abrasive ingredient which works to remove stains from your teeth, a surfactant which makes the product foam, and fluoride which protects against decay. Added to these basic ingredients are ingredients that preserve or add flavour to your toothpaste. As long as you have a toothpaste with this basic recipe, you’ll likely have a toothpaste good enough to keep your teeth healthy. Given a decent, basic toothpaste, correct brushing technique, flossing and regular visits to see us, then you should be on your way to good oral health.
Does Fluoride Matter?
Fluoride really does matter when it comes to dental health, and most toothpastes contain fluoride in a variety of different forms. That’s not a marketing strategy, it’s just because fluoride comes in different forms which work more effectively when combined with other chemicals or ingredients. All toothpastes tend to list how much PPM (parts per million) of fluoride they contain, and you should be looking for the higher PPM of fluoride. Generally speaking, anything lower than 1100 PPM isn’t high enough.
Are Whitening Toothpastes Worth The Money?
Whitening toothpastes are incredibly popular at the moment, and here at our NW8 Abbey Road Dentist we get plenty of questions about them. Unfortunately some whitening toothpastes can be incredibly abrasive to your teeth, and can actually cause damage. Because everyone’s teeth are different, we would recommend when you come in to us you have a chat about whitening toothpaste so we can give you our expert advice on whether or not they are right for your teeth.
As well as whitening toothpastes you may have also been tempted by smokers toothpaste, which can also be abrasive and damaging to teeth. In general, a lifestyle free from smoking and with minimal consumption of staining foods and drinks like red wine, coffee and tea is the desirable way to prevent staining. However, in the real world we’re not all able to be that perfect, so it is inevitable mild to severe staining will affect most people’s teeth at some point of their lives. If you would like whiter teeth, it might be worth having a chat with us about the professional whitening services we offer.
It may be the case that you also purchase toothpaste for sensitive teeth which contain nerve calming ingredients. Some of these toothpastes can be very effective, but we would advise persistent sensitivity is looked at by one of our friendly NW8 dentists who can check there aren’t any preventable or treatable underlying reasons for your sensitivity.
What Are The Best Toothpastes For Kids?
Generally, establishing a good brushing routine and positive attitude towards dental hygiene is your priority in children. However, if you’re still concerned you’re not using the right toothpaste, you can opt for a lower strength toothpaste with at least 1000 PPM of fluoride in it for kids under six. Alternatively children up to the age of seven who are still being supervised when brushing their teeth will be fine using a family toothpaste, as long as it has an appropriate amount of fluoride within it.