There are so many different toothpastes on the market these days that it can be tough sometimes to make an informed decision on which ones to purchase for all the members of your family. Should you buy the kind of toothpastes that whiten your teeth? Should your toothpaste contain fluoride for cavity protection? What about the kind of toothpaste that helps keeps your breath fresh, or the kind that controls tartar, or the kind that combats sensitive gums? Do these actually work? And what if you’re a smoker? Should you use a special kind of toothpaste made just for those who use tobacco? The fact is that there are so many different brands, flavors, and kinds of toothpaste on the market today, but there are really only just a few different types of toothpaste, with most stemming as hybrids from those types. If you’ve always wondered what type of toothpaste is best for you, here’s more information that may help break down the differences.
Toothpaste for adults
Most toothpastes are made with just about everyone in mind, from young children to seniors, although oftentimes parents choose to buy special toothpastes for kids. This is why this category of toothpaste is considered toothpaste for adults. These toothpastes typically contain fluoride for cavity protection. They come in varying flavors, brands, and prices and most folks use one of these for their daily oral hygiene routines. Some of these toothpastes also include additional protective agents, such as ingredients that help to control tartar or whiten teeth. Many newer toothpastes combine multiple protections, such as the inclusion of a whitening agent as well as ingredients that help to fight plaque and control tartar all rolled into one.
Toothpaste for kids
Most toothpastes that are made especially for kids really are only adult toothpastes that are marketed to children. Many of them are flavored to taste like stuff kids like, such as bubble gum. Some even have effervescent bubbling action or turn colors when kids use them, as these added extras may make kids brush longer.
Toothpaste for sensitive teeth and gums
A lot of folks have sensitive teeth and gums, for varying reasons such as receding gums or medical conditions. These situations can expose the root surface of teeth and cause pain or hypersensitivity, making hot or cold foods especially difficult to tolerate. The toothpastes for those with sensitive teeth and gums are made specifically to address this issue. These toothpastes are formulated to help relieve pain and discomfort that can come with eating or brushing.
Toothpaste for tobacco users
Using any type of tobacco products such as cigarettes or chewable tobacco can cause stains to form on teeth from tar deposits. The use of these can also cause bacteria buildup on teeth that can cause tooth decay. Often referred to as ‘smokers’ toothpaste,’ the specially formulated toothpastes that are made with tobacco users in mind contain abrasives that are generally stronger than regular toothpastes. These help to remove the stains that are caused by tobacco use. It’s important to note, however, that because of their strong abrasives, these toothpastes should be used gently on teeth, as brushing forcefully with these can damage enamel over time.
Natural toothpastes are those that are made from products such as herbal extracts and other natural ingredients. These often do not contain fluoride, and may be formulated with seaweed extract, ginger, or other natural products.
Though fairly new to the toothpaste aisle, whitening toothpastes are abundant and getting more so every day. Whitening toothpastes combine fluoride with enzymes that whiten teeth. Many of these toothpastes actually bleach teeth, rather than restoring them to their natural whiteness. It’s important to learn about the different whitening toothpastes that are on the market, as some can damage enamel if used regularly, especially those that bleach teeth. Whitening toothpastes should not be confused with whitening systems that use hydrogen peroxide and other whitening agents that are available through your family dentist.
So what do top dentists in Summit say the best type of toothpaste is for their patients? Perhaps surprisingly, most dentists throughout the country seem to agree that the best type of toothpaste is the one that helps you maintain a good oral health routine. A proper dental hygiene routine includes at least twice-daily brushing, once-daily flossing, and twice-yearly visits to your family dentist. If you don’t have a regular family dentist, contact a dental office in your neighborhood to schedule an appointment.