It seems that we are given a never-ending array of options at every point in our life. Chicken or fish? Red car or blue? Scenic route or quickest way? When it comes to decision-making, sometimes it’s easy to follow our gut and know what is best for us, but other times the amount of choices can be simply overwhelming. When it comes to our health, making an informed decision about the products we use is incredibly important. Standing in the oral care aisle of the store, we are inundated with dozens of options as far as toothpastes go. Gels, pastes, and even liquids all promise whiter teeth or reduced sensitivity. Mint, cinnamon, bubblegum… it can be near impossible to know what is going to care for your mouth best. Today, we’re looking at the most important components of toothpaste to help you make the best choice for your health needs!
Fluoride is your friend.
First and foremost, a toothpaste needs to contain fluoride in order to do an adequate job protecting your teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is known to help strengthen enamel and prevent cavities. The American Dental Association (ADA) will not give their seal of approval to any toothpaste not containing this crucial ingredient.
Trust the experts.
The ADA has rigorous testing procedures for every product they stamp with their seal of approval. A board of experts reviews and tests products to ensure they do an adequate job cleaning and protecting teeth before they decide to include it on their list of recommended products. If you don’t see an ADA seal on the toothpaste you’re buying, chances are it isn’t up to the highest oral health standards. Checking for this seal is particularly important when looking at budget or off-brand toothpastes as many of these options do not meet ADA requirements.
Once you’ve established the fluoride content and ADA approval of your toothpaste, it’s important to consider your own personal needs and desires. Some toothpastes are specially formulated to whiten teeth, while others help with tooth sensitivity. Many brands will boldly list the benefits their particular product boasts on the front of the box, but checking ingredients is a good way to know what you’re getting. If you’re after whiter teeth, look for the ingredient sodium hexametaphosphate as this is a known stain remover that also helps stains from forming. If you’re concerned about the buildup of tartar, check the label for pyrophosphates as these help with tartar control.
At the end of the day, personal preference is what is most important after all of your health bases are covered. Flavor, consistency, and appearance are all in your control. As with any oral health concerns, if you have further questions about the best toothpaste for you and your family, do not hesitate to reach out and ask your dentist for help!
To schedule your next appointment, give us a call at Oak Park Dental Group in Chicago today!