The most recent numbers we can find are that, as of early 2011, there were some 352 types of toothpaste available in the US, according an article in the Wall Street Journal. If you find the number of choices confusing, you’re certainly not alone. Whether you’re looking for an “advanced whitening formula,” or “tarter control”; whether you would like help controlling plaque buildup or a toothpaste for “sensitive teeth,” not to mention the variety of flavors available as gels, and pastes, the dizzying array of toothpaste choices can easily overwhelm and confuse the conscientious toothpaste shopper.
While it is not our purpose to endorse one brand of toothpaste over another, we would like to offer you some guidelines, in the hope that we can make buying toothpaste for you and your family just a bit easier – and less confusing.
Toothpaste with fluoride is good for your teeth
While resistance to the fluoridation of our water has lately become a popular political movement, fluoride in your toothpaste is good for healthy teeth. “Why include fluoride?” you may ask. Because fluoride in your toothpaste helps prevent cavities, in both the young and old, and all ages in between. Studies have shown that the introduction of this naturally occurring mineral in our toothpaste has helped to reduce cavities, and tooth decay in general, quite significantly over the past half century.
Having said this, we do recommend avoiding the use of fluoridated toothpaste in very young children, as they tend to swallow the tasty substance without spitting. Wait until your child is six or so before introducing fluoride toothpastes.
ADA Seal of Acceptance
The Seal of Acceptance by the American Dental Association (ADA) is an indication that the toothpaste or other dental product you’ve chosen has been tested and researched, and has been found effective and safe to use for its intended purpose. The ADA offers a shopping list of over 300 consumer dental products, including toothpastes of course, that “have passed our rigorous screening process and received the ADA Seal of Acceptance.”
Beyond these two critical factors to consider when shopping for toothpaste, you might also want to take into account:
Taste – if your family, especially children, can’t stand the taste of your toothpaste, they’ll brush less often.
Texture – take care not to buy toothpaste that feels “icky” to your family. For many, feel is as important as taste.
Special purpose – when choosing toothpaste that is advertised for a special purpose, such as cavity prevention, take care to ensure that it still contains fluoride and has the ADA Special Seal.
Every member of your family, including you, should brush their teeth for at least three minutes every day. If the taste or texture are unappealing, this is far less likely to happen. Not all toothpastes are created equal so, take the time to ask every family member their preference then, shop accordingly. If you’re unsure about the best choice of toothpaste for any member of your family, consult with your dental professional.
The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.