Toothpaste types: What toothpaste should I use?

Update in January 24, 2024

There are many options available to choose from when it comes to the different kinds of toothpaste that are readily available today. Some of the most common types of toothpaste include anti-decay toothpaste, desensitizing toothpaste, anti-calculus toothpaste, anti-plaque toothpaste, and whitening toothpaste.

What’s in Toothpaste?

Toothpaste is not always paste. It can be a gel, powder, or paste that you brush onto your teeth and gums to help get rid of accumulating plaque and improve your oral health. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), toothpaste is important to oral health because it helps to remove plaque and its bacterial buildup on teeth and fights off periodontal (gum) disease. Most toothpaste also contains fluoride, which bolsters tooth enamel and fights tooth decay.

The exact composition of different kinds of toothpaste may vary slightly depending on the benefits being touted by the particular brand (such as whitening teeth or reducing gum inflammation). In general, tubes of toothpaste include the following ingredients:

  • Gentle abrasives, such as magnesium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, calcium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and phosphate salts.
  • Glycerol, sorbitol, or other so-called “humectants,” substances that keep the toothpaste from drying out.
  • Thickeners like seaweed or mineral colloids, synthetic cellulose, or natural gum to give the toothpaste a homogeneous appearance and texture.
  • Fluoride to help make tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay.
  • Flavoring agents that do not cause tooth decay, such as saccharin.
  • Detergents, such as sodium lauryl sarcosinate, to make the toothpaste foamy.

Is It Safe to Use Fluoride Toothpaste?

Even though fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical, it turns out to be harmful when ingested in extremely large quantities.

According to the ADA:

“For children younger than 3 years, parents and caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using a fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. For children 3 to 6 years of age, parents and caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Teeth should be brushed thoroughly twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Children’s brushing should be supervised to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste.”

Fluoride becomes more of a concern in children because of how too much fluoride can affect the developing adult teeth later in life. Fluorosis appears as white spots or sometimes as rough pitted surfaces. It is mostly of cosmetic concern since it does not affect dental function. It can affect children up to the age of 8.  Note: no type of toothpaste should be ingested in large quantities, fluoride or not.”

Major Types of Toothpaste

Contrary to what you might think, all toothpastes are not the same. In fact, toothpaste comes in many different varieties, each of which has its own special uses and ingredients. Here is a list of the major types of toothpaste you’ll find on the market:

Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes are exactly what they sound like – they whiten your teeth! These types of pastes are perfect for anyone experiencing aging or yellowing of teeth or for those who consume regular coffees and teas.

Teeth-whitening toothpaste contains a more abrasive cleanser in it that helps eliminate or reduce these stains.

However, these abrasive ingredients have a significant disadvantage. They can wear down the enamel over time.

It is therefore advised not to use tooth whitening toothpaste for prolonged periods. You can choose to use the standard toothpaste if you need to brush more than twice a day.

Children’s toothpaste

This type of toothpaste typically contains less fluoride than those designed for adults. This is because of the health risks posed to children who might accidentally ingest too much fluoride. Children’s toothpaste also has fewer abrasives in it since kids’ teeth are much more sensitive than those of adults.

This type of toothpaste also has fewer abrasives in it. This is because children’s teeth are much more sensitive. Children’s toothpaste is also candy-flavored to make it more appealing and increase overall use.

Tartar Control Toothpaste

This type of toothpaste contains sodium pyrophosphate, which prevents the formation of tartar or ‘hardened plaque’ on your teeth. It also contains sodium hexametaphosphate, which also keeps tartar and stains from forming above your gum line.

But, tartar control toothpaste is only preventative. If you already have stubborn tartar on your teeth, then you’ll need to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning.

Sensitive Teeth Toothpaste

Occasionally, teeth can become sensitive leading to pain while eating and drinking. Once this occurs, it can be difficult to engage in daily activities. Toothpastes which target sensitivity contain special compounds that block the nerves in your teeth from sensing hot and cold. While they offer great relief for people with painful teeth, it can take up to 3-4 weeks to see their full results, so some patience is cautioned. the sensitive teeth toothpaste contains potassium nitrate, which minimizes the painful sensations of the sensitive teeth.

Herbal Toothpaste

Herbal toothpaste is the best option for individuals who need natural alternatives or those who are sensitive to ingredients contained in the regular toothpaste.

However, most of these kinds of toothpaste do not contain fluoride, which is highly recommended by dentists due to the enamel protective properties and teeth strengthening.   You should also be careful when purchasing certain types of herbal toothpastes. It should not contain dyes, cinnamon, or any other untested ingredients.

Smoker’s toothpaste

This toothpaste is formulated specifically for those who smoke tobacco. Smokers often find that their teeth become stained as a result of drawing tobacco smoke into their mouths. As time passes, tar causes teeth become tainted with yellowish-brown patches. Toothpaste for smokers usually contains cleansing agents designed to make teeth look whiter.

How Much Toothpaste Should You Use?

The quantity of toothpaste on your toothbrush for effective cleaning is probably less than you’re using now. Use no more than a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. This size is enough to form enough foam that will cover all your teeth. Kids below six years should use a minimal amount of toothpaste when brushing – about the size of a grain of rice.

If you’re not sure about your toothpaste or any other of your oral hygiene treatment, Ideal Dental can help you come up with a good plan and can recommend the best toothpaste for you. certified and licensed dental professionals are readily available to meet your dental needs.

Tips for Choosing a Toothpaste

Here are some tips to help you choose the best toothpaste to meet your family’s dental needs:

  • Opt for ADA approval.Whatever your toothpaste needs, be sure to choose toothpaste that has earned an American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Toothpastes that have earned this distinction have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness by an independent review board of scientific experts. All toothpastes earning the ADA seal contain fluoride — the most important ingredient in any toothpaste.
  • Consider your needs and the needs of your family members.As long as you select a fluoride-containing toothpaste, the best toothpaste is a matter of personal choice and preference. If you’re committed to an all-natural lifestyle, you may want to opt for ADA-approved toothpastes that contain only natural ingredients. For people trying to instill good oral hygiene habits in your children, why not choose fruit-flavored toothpastes with sparkles to entice them to brush their teeth? Some people are eager to restore whiteness to their teeth with whitening toothpastes. Others like the feeling of brushing their teeth with toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.

With so many options and combinations available, you can try different brands, varieties, and flavors to find the best toothpaste for you.

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