With so many different formulas and features you see on fancy looking tubes, buying the right toothpaste that works for you and gives you the benefits you’re paying for certainly becomes daunting. You often find yourself staring at all the options in the toothpaste aisle wondering about what makes them different and pondering whether you should pay extra for the benefits being promised.
We all want to wear the best smile. We all want pearly white teeth, free of cavities and tartar, fresher breath and strong teeth. But the question is, can you get all these benefits in one tube of toothpaste? The answer is simple: Definitely, yes! But let’s get into more details and specifics so the next time you walk down the toothpaste aisle, you’re no longer confused.
The “Special Features” of a toothpaste
The most common features you’ll find advertised on those fancy tubes are:
- Anti-cavity toothpastes
The main ingredient in anti-cavity toothpastes is fluoride. Anti-cavity toothpastes usually come with a slightly higher level of fluoride that fights and prevents cavities. Though it’s a good feature to look for, the truth is most toothpastes available in the market are made with a simple, basic formula that almost always contains fluoride as a main ingredient. Hence, even if you’re buying a standard tube, chances are it contains enough fluoride to keep your teeth protected.
- Tartar control
Most tartar control toothpastes include the active ingredient tetrasodium pyrophosphate. Experts agree that tartar control toothpastes cannot remove the tartar that is already built on your teeth. It can only prevent the formation of tartar. And unless you’re extremely prone to tartar or gingivitis, there is no need to buy a tartar control toothpaste, which can even cause irritation in your mouth.
- Whitening formulas
Another most common feature you’ll find is whitening formulas. Whitening toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients that can help to remove the surface stains on your teeth. If you’re trying to change the underlying color of your teeth, keep in mind that a toothpaste can’t help. And although a whitening formula can help remove surface stains, the ingredients can be quite tough on the teeth and can wear away the enamel layer, causing tooth sensitivity.
- Special formulas for sensitive teeth
There are also special formulas that are known to reduce hypersensitivity and pain in the teeth. Dentists agree and recommend using these toothpastes if you experience a sharp pain in your teeth when eating or drinking something. The ingredients recognized for being effective for treating sensitivity are strontium chloride and potassium nitrate. These ingredients block the tube like channels that pass through teeth and connect to nerves hence, reducing the ability of the nerves to transmit pain.
Look for the ADA Seal Of Approval
While you should consider the ingredients included, what’s even more important is to check whether the toothpaste is approved by ADA or not. A product that has the ADA Seal of Approval means it has passed rigorous testing to ensure a quality and effective product. You’ll be surprised to realize that not all brands you find in the toothpaste aisle have the ADA seal. And you’ll definitely not want to use something in your mouth that’s not been tested and approved.
So while you can choose to pay extra for the special features or not, you should definitely consider the ADA Seal and avoid buying any brand or product that hasn’t been approved.
Use only a pea sized amount
You often see actors using a swirl of toothpaste in commercials. But the truth is, you only need a pea sized amount – more than that is just product waste.
Your brushing technique matters the most
No matter what type of toothpaste you use, ultimately it all comes down to your brushing technique and how often you brush your teeth. You can buy the most advanced toothpaste formula but unless you brush your teeth properly twice a day, you won’t see the results promised.
To get results, brush twice a day for at least two minutes. Keep your brush at a 45 degree angle and brush in soft circular motion. Use a soft bristled toothbrush with a small head that easily reaches the hard to reach areas in your mouth.
With the right toothpaste, a well-designed toothbrush, daily flossing and rinsing, you can ensure good oral hygiene.