Deciding on a toothpaste can be hard! Here are just a few things to keep in mind when selecting a toothpaste. I suggest taking some time to wander down the toothpaste aisle at your grocery store and take a closer look at some of the different kinds.
- Personal preference- It is completely OK if you pick a toothpaste based on personal preferences. This is the number 1 reason people pick a toothpaste. I use Colgate Total because I like how clean I feel after I brush and even hours later. I also like the taste. Pick a toothpaste that you like, for whatever reasons, so that you will use it!
- ADA Seal of approval- This is important because it means the product has been carefully tested and then approved. All of the test results get submitted with an application to make sure that the product is safe and does what it claims to do. Advertisements, labels, and packaging for the product are all checked as well. The manufacture must reapply for the seal every 3 years.
- Fluoride- fluoride can help with sensitivity as well as keep enamel and existing restorations strong. Stannous fluoride found in some toothpastes can cause staining. High dose fluoride toothpastes are available by prescription from your dentist.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate- This is a common detergent used in soaps, shampoos, and toothpastes. There is a difference of opinion about if it is an irritant or not. It has been suggested that sodium lauryl sulfate allergy is common. If you notice that your tissue is red, itchy, or sloughing then check your toothpaste label because you might be allergic or sensitive to it.
- Baking soda and peroxide toothpastes should not be used with bonded brackets as they increase acid and decalcification.
- Tarter control- This will slightly reduce plaque and tarter build-up above the gum line but can cause sensitivity. Colgate Total and Crest Prohealth are popular examples of tarter control toothpastes.