How do you choose which toothpaste to use? Do you have a favorite brand, flavor or texture? Do you like paste or gels; do you prefer whitening pastes or tartar control pastes? In a recent study by The Cosmetic Dental Home Care group, findings have shown that certain toothpastes may actually have some damaging effects on teeth.
While we realize the importance of routine dental cleanings and brushing your teeth, it’s important for you to know that is your toothbrush, not the toothpaste, that does most of the significant work. Toothpaste is really a lubricant and detergent to help in the brushing process. Brushing properly and effectively with basic fluoride toothpaste is really all that most people need.
Toothpastes that are touted as whitening pastes or tartar control pastes tend to be more abrasive than regular fluoride toothpaste. The abrasive and scrubbing agents in these types of toothpaste do not actually brighten enamel, they can cause microscopic scratches in the tooth surface that collect stains and promote decay. These scratches can also lead to tooth sensitivity.
Most whitening toothpastes don’t contain the materials that dentists use to professionally whiten teeth. Again, mainly focusing on scrubbing agents, most whitening toothpastes do not penetrate into the microscopic openings where the stains and darkening are occurring. They can be effective at removing surface stains, but not truly give you the lasting whitening results you are looking for. For safe and effective tooth whitening results it’s best to seek the advice of your dental professional.
Many of the toothpastes sold today are safe, but be sure to always look for products approved by the ADA. When brushing, a soft toothbrush is best for teeth and gums. There are many advances in toothpaste development, so ask your dentist which brand they recommend for your oral health care needs, and be open to changing to a different product if needed.