Choosing the best toothpaste
With over a hundred different varieties available, including many “multi-component” toothpastes, you’d be forgiven for being unsure which one to buy.
There are so many questions surrounding the choice; Is a sensitive toothpaste really going to take away my sensitivity when I eat ice cream? Will I get a Simon Cowell smile by using a whitening toothpaste? And is an expensive toothpaste more effective than a cheaper one?
How does it work?
Toothpaste contains an active ingredient called fluoride. Brushing your teeth thoroughly with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day is one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in water and many foods. It works by reducing bacteria in our mouths which cause acid to form and cause decay on our teeth.
A range of toothpastes are available that contain different levels of fluoride. The amount of fluoride that’s in the toothpaste can be found on the side of the tube and is measured in parts per million (ppm).
Toothpastes containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride are the most effective. Your dentist may advise you to use higher-strength toothpaste if you or your child is at particular risk to tooth decay.
Children under three years old should brush twice daily, with a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride.
Children between three and six years old should brush at least twice daily with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm fluoride.
Adults should brush at least twice daily with a toothpaste containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride.
Some people want their teeth to be whiter, whether that’s whiter than they once were, or whiter than natural, like the shades we’ve grown accustomed to by celebrities and in magazines.
You cannot change the colour of your teeth with a toothpaste. To get colour change of the teeth, you have to hold a whitening gel against the teeth for at least an hour or two for a couple of weeks. This is done with a product that contains carbamide peroxide—ideally, at-home whitening trays made by your dentist. This is the only way you can get teeth whiter than the teeth you were born with. Years and years of using a whitening toothpaste won’t do anything more than remove every day staining such as tea, coffee and red wine.
A whitening toothpaste is grainier and more abrasive than regular toothpaste, and those particles act as a polishing agent to break down the biofilm build-up and remove the staining.
For more details on tooth whitening treatments, please contact one of our patient care advisors.
Many people suffer from sensitive teeth and it can start at any time. It is more common in people aged between 20 and 40, although it can affect people in their early teens and when they are over 70.
Some brands claim their toothpaste can reduce sensitivity within two uses. We would usually recommend patients to use the toothpaste for a month before judging if it has successfully treated your sensitivity.
Toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth has special ingredients that reduce the sensitivity of your teeth. These work by blocking the tubules in the dentin (the sensitive layer of your tooth). Brush regularly with this type of toothpaste, but also rub the paste directly onto the sensitive areas for even better and faster results.
The leading brands for sensitive toothpaste are Sensodyne, Colgate and Oral B. Be sure to use the appropriate toothpaste for the reason of sensitivity and treat the root cause of the problem.
Contact us today to make an appointment with a specialist or our Dental Hygiene Therapist, who will be able to advise you further on which toothpaste is best for you.