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Go into your local shop or supermarket, down the health and toiletry section and you will see shelves full of toothpaste. Not only are these made up of different brands as you would expect, but there are different variations of toothpaste even within the same brand. This can lead the consumer to be a little confused (and perhaps overwhelmed) as to what is the best toothpaste for them and why there are so many different ranges. In our latest blog post we will take a closer look at this.
It’s perhaps necessary to get one important thing clear firstly. Toothpastes should contain all necessary ingredients to clean and protect your teeth and it is recommended to choose one which contains fluoride. Most leading brands do so you don’t need to look too hard for this. Beyond that it is all about finding a toothpaste which suits you and your mouth. As with anything in life, what works for one may not work for other, and sometimes finding the right toothpaste can be trial and error.
* Many ‘all purpose’ toothpaste exist which tend to be seen as a common middle ground between some of the more specific toothpastes. Most people look for plaque removal and fresh breath properties in any toothpaste and nearly all the multi-purpose ones will do this.
* Tartar / plaque control toothpastes exist which contain active ingredients to stop the further build-up of plaque inside the mouth and on the teeth. Remember that these normally work above the gum line rather than below, so don’t necessarily think that a tartar specific toothpaste will solve all your plaque problems.
* Gum enhancing toothpastes now exist, either as an ordinary everyday product or a special medicated substance. These help by targeting the gum area specifically, and easing associated problems including inflammation and bleeding. Gum toothpastes are no substitute for good oral health, and if you are suffering you are advised to see a dentist as soon as possible to prevent / rule out further problems.
* Smokers toothpaste is specific in that it helps to remove nicotine and tar from on the teeth and inside the mouth – normally a big problem for people who smoke.
* Sensitive teeth are a problem for many people, and it normally affects everyone at some point in their lives. Sensitive toothpaste works by plugging the gap in tiny holes (called dentin) around the teeth. This has the effect of desensitising the area and stopping the pain.
* Teeth whitening toothpastes are very popular and one which most people have seen or heard of. Ranges in these can vary quite greatly from reasonable priced well-known brands, to very high end and costly varieties. One complaint or thing to be wary about these, is that they can sometimes be too strong / abrasive for the teeth. This will again depend on the individual but you are best to ask advice if you are considering using a tooth whitening brand. Many tooth whitening brands contain micro ingredients like crystals which polish the teeth and give them the white shine.
* Children’s toothpaste doesn’t really need any explanation, but you may be wondering whether there is a fundamental difference between this and adult kinds? Generally these contain smaller amounts of fluoride more suitable for younger teeth.
These are some of the main varieties of toothpaste and we hope this post has decoded and made the choice a little easier for you. The question is, which do you use?
Why not visit our smile gallery to find examples of how we have helped our patients with ‘before’ and ‘after’ representations.