Standing in the toothpaste aisle at your local grocery store is overwhelming. Many patients ask What toothpaste should I choose? What key ingredients should someone look for in a good toothpaste? Palmetto Dental Associates provides a list of key factors to consider when purchasing toothpaste.
Brushing with toothpaste does more than just message debris and plaque off your teeth. Almost all toothpaste brands include fluoride, which is a natural cavity fighter. This works by coating the tooth’s enamel, which strengthens your tooth’s defense against bacteria. A helpful tip from Dr. Emily Hortman is to check for fluoride before buying your toothpaste. Do not assume every brand has fluoride. Many common brands may have special collections or natural brands can be fluoride-free.
American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance
Beginning in 1866, the American Dental Association (ADA) began evaluating dental products for ‘safety and efficacy’. Toothpaste companies were making hyperbolic claims about their product’s abilities and ADA wanted to minimize misinformation given to consumers. If a product has the seal of acceptance, this means that it is safe and their claims are accurate, however, this does not signal that the toothpaste is the best for you and your family. Always read the ingredients and talk to Dr. Hortman before making a toothpaste selection.
Abrasives in Toothpaste
Historically, these were rough materials that scrubbed debris off your teeth. Today, the ingredient gently removes and shines your teeth. Typically comprised of calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and dehydrated silica gels that wear down and remove the plaque and bacteria on your teeth. However, an abrasive does not destroy your tooth’s enamel, which is the tooth’s protectant layer.
Humectants in Toothpaste
Toothpaste is smooth, moist, and thick because of various humectants. An example is a glycerin which creates the sweet taste and water-filled consistency of toothpaste. Another type of humectant is sorbitol which captures the water in the toothpaste to create a smooth substance. If you are concerned about how certain humectants are produced, contact the toothpaste manufacturer before purchasing.
Sweet flavors can make brushing enjoyable for children and adults! Saccharin and sorbitol are examples of common sweeteners in toothpaste. Despite the fruity or candy-like taste, ADA accepted toothpaste brands do not contain sugar because this would cause tooth decay.
Detergents in Toothpaste
Just like your hand soap or laundry detergent foams when mixed with water, detergent in toothpaste causes the foaming action while brushing your teeth. A common detergent is sodium lauryl sulfate.
Choosing the best toothpaste for you and your family can be an important decision. With the right selection and good oral health habits, you can save thousands of dollars in restorative dentistry procedures. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hortman, call Palmetto Dental Associates today at (843) 399-2525.