As with any product, it is important to do your research when choosing a toothpaste. Given the fact that everyone needs toothpaste to maintain their oral health, the market is heavily saturated with many options, and not all are created equal. Marketing can be quite deceptive, so it’s important to educate yourself on what to look for in a toothpaste. At Smiles by Dr. Santos, we are happy to personally recommend you a toothpaste based on your specific dental health needs. In the meantime, we have put together this handy guide to ensure you’re making the right choice for your needs. Here are things to consider when choosing a toothpaste.

Think About Fluoride

Nearly every toothpaste sold in the U.S. contains fluoride, and it isn’t hard to understand why. Fluoride offers cavity-fighting properties that cannot be replicated; in fact, the American Dental Association recommends that everyone uses fluoride toothpaste to brush twice daily. However, not everyone is behind fluoride; many natural toothpaste brands find issue with it, for example. A fluoride mouthwash may also help dental health, though it is not recommended that children under 6 use fluoride toothpaste.

Consider Whitening

Many of our patients are concerned about the whiteness of their teeth. While a whitening toothpaste may help and are often safe and effective, keep in mind the sensitivity of your teeth. The chemicals used in whitening toothpaste can irritate sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth and want to whiten them, talk to your dentist about gentler whitening methods.

Read the Label

Make sure to take the time to read the label before you buy it. Some types of toothpaste are designed for adult use and are not recommended for young children. Others suggest talking to your dentist before extended use. Also, think about the ingredients. Keep in mind that the more ingredients there are, the more likely it is that you will have a sensitivity to an ingredient. Make sure you understand what is in your toothpaste before using it.

Look for the ADA Label

When shopping for toothpaste, look for one with the ADA seal of approval. When a toothpaste features this label, it means that it has met the requirements set forth by the American Dental Association. This is only one criteria, however; there are reputable toothpaste brands that do not elect to carry the seal.

Avoid Sugary Toothpaste

Sugar in excess is correlated with tooth decay, not to mention a host of other health problems. While it is up to you to determine if any sugar is acceptable in your diet, it is a good idea to avoid it in your toothpaste. This is particularly an issue with children’s toothpastes because they are trying to make them palatable, so be sure to thoroughly read the ingredients of any toothpaste you buy for your child.

Consider Personal Preference

At the end of the day, there is no one toothpaste that works for everyone. It is dependent on your preferences and body chemistry. While one toothpaste may make your mouth feel free and clean, another might not feel as effective. You might find that you’re sensitive to an ingredient in one toothpaste and another is just fine. If you have an allergic reaction to any toothpaste, stop using it immediately and seek medical attention.

Discuss Oral Hygiene with Your Dentist

The right toothpaste can go a long way towards helping your oral health, and is an indispensable part of your routine. That being said, there is much more to a proper oral hygiene regimen. In addition to brushing twice a day, you need to be flossing at least once a day. In addition, antimicrobial mouth rinses are extremely helpful in killing bacteria that causes plaque. Other people may benefit from prescription mouth rinses or home whitening kits; talk to your dentist about these options, and work together to formulate the right oral hygiene routine for you. We would be proud to help you!

At Smiles by Dr. Santos, we want to do everything we can to ensure our patients have optimal oral health. If you need a recommendation for a toothpaste, we’d be happy to help! Come to our dental clinic in Manahawkin for an appointment today.