It seems like every time you turn on the television, you see a different commercial for dental products. Eventually, they all start to blur together and it’s hard to tell the difference from one brand to the next; or, one company’s claims seem to be so extravagant, that you wonder if they’re really true.
How can you tell which type of toothpaste is best for your teeth?
Problem-Focused Toothpaste Products
As you browse the products in the oral health care aisle in your favorite grocery store, you’ll probably notice a common theme: problem specific tubes of toothpaste. Depending on what you’re looking for, here are four of the main types that you’ll see among the leading national brands:
- Tartar Control — Heavy tartar buildup can increase your risk of gum disease and cause unsightly staining when you smile. Some people are just more prone to having extra buildup on their teeth, even if they brush regularly. The ingredients used in tartar control toothpaste can help you reduce how much dental calculus accumulates across your tooth enamel between professional cleaning appointments with your hygienist.
- Sensitivity — Tooth sensitivity can make it challenging to drink a cup of iced tea, hot coffee, or bite into ice cream. A sensitivity formula can protect the tiny nerve endings throughout your tooth structure by sealing off the pores across your enamel. This process limits how susceptible the tooth is to changes in temperature. It may take up to two weeks of use before the full results become evident. To keep symptoms at bay, you have to continue using the toothpaste. If you’re considering a professional whitening treatment, your dentist may recommend using this type of product.
- Whitening — Are you especially prone to stain buildup between your dental checkups? Adding whitening toothpaste into your normal oral hygiene routine can limit the discoloration that accumulates from one cleaning to the next. Whitening toothpaste is best for maintenance and prevention of stain (making them great to use alongside your professional whitening treatment.) Unfortunately, they’re not very effective at lifting deep-set stains that build up within the tiny pores of your teeth.
- Gum Health — If you tend to be prone to gingivitis or gum disease, look for a toothpaste that contains gum-healthy ingredients that reduce bacterial levels, such as Stannous Fluoride or Triclosan. However, true gum health won’t come unless you’re actively brushing along the gums and flossing each day…not to mention making regular preventive trips to see your dentist.
If You Don’t Have Dental Problems
Choosing the wrong type of toothpaste could lead to problems like tooth sensitivity or staining.
For instance, whitening toothpaste can make teeth very sensitive. Tartar control toothpaste may cause staining with long-term use. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is commonly found in toothpaste, but some people find that it causes breakouts/rashes around their mouths.
If you don’t have an obvious dental problem that your dentist has already made you aware of, or you’re positive that you have (such as sensitivity to a specific ingredient) then don’t use a problem-specific toothpaste.
The safest bet is to go with a general, fluoridated toothpaste that’s made for everyday use. When in doubt, check the label for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Most major brands that have been around for several years will have a type of non-whitening or another formula that’s well stocked.
Talk to Your Dentist
The best way to find out which type of toothpaste is right for you is to talk to your dentist and hygienist. They know your past oral health needs and current concerns and can advise you on which type of oral products are appropriate for your needs.
But what if you don’t have dental insurance and haven’t been to a dentist in years? A great alternative to consider is a dental savings plan. These discount dental programs offer 10-60% savings on services like checkups, cleanings, fillings, and more. Contact LowerMyDentalBills.com to find out more about these affordable savings plans to find out how to enroll yourself or your family, or to just get a customized quote.