THERE ARE SO many choices of toothpaste in our grocery stores. With an entire aisle of toothpaste options to choose from, we want to help our patients narrow things down a little based on their individual dental health needs.
Choose a whitening toothpaste to remove surface stains, but remember that it can’t change a tooth’s natural color or fight deeper stains. Whitening toothpaste contains abrasives to polish the teeth and peroxide to break down surface stains. Using it twice a day can lead to visible results after several weeks, but make sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance!
Orthodontic patients should wait until Braces Off Day before using whitening products, toothpaste included, so that they don’t end up with patches of different colors where the brackets were.
Over-the-counter tooth sensitivity toothpaste is a good option for patients with sensitive teeth. It helps rebuild enamel and minimize discomfort, and if the over-the-counter type isn’t enough, the dentist can prescribe a stronger toothpaste.
What about ingredients like activated charcoal or aloe vera? There is little evidence to support the benefits these toothpaste claim to offer. Charcoal, in particular, is abrasive and may actually damage tooth enamel and make teeth more sensitive. Toothpaste with these ingredients also tends to lack fluoride, which helps rebuild tooth enamel.