Walking down the toothpaste aisle can be overwhelming with all of the choices available – fluoride, whitening, breath strips, spearmint, freshmint… the list goes on and on. But believe it or not, picking the right toothpaste for you can help prevent stained teeth, cavities, gum pain, and even more serious dental issues.

ada-sealIf you’re looking for a quick, simple answer, choose an ADA-approved toothpaste that contains fluoride and cavity protection. The ADA seal on the tube will let you know if it has has been approved and tested for “objective clinical and/or laboratory studies that demonstrate safety and effectiveness, FDA-approved ingredients, manufacturing standards that assure purity and uniformity, and packaging and advertising claims that are supported by the science,” as published on the American Dental Association website.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or are included in a special case, you may need different protection than a standard toothpaste with fluoride and cavity protection. These symptoms or special cases may include:

Yellowing Teeth
Look for an approved whitening toothpaste, but be aware that it may not work on advanced discolorations that require additional attention from your dentist.

Cavities
Do you suffer from cavities frequently? Using a fluoride gel after brushing your teeth may help. It’s important that you do not rinse your teeth for at least 30 minutes after brushing with the fluoride gel in order to let it work to its full potential.

Sensitive Teeth
Toothpastes containing a desensitizing ingredient like strontium chloride or potassium nitrate will help ease the pain in your teeth and gums. These ingredients can be found in many brands, including Sensodyne.

Tartar Buildup
Tartar protection can be accomplished by picking a toothpaste containing ingredients like pyrophosphates or zinc citrate. Look for these ingredients on the label as well as the ADA-approved seal.

Dentures
Using a toothpaste for regular teeth will work just as well for dentures, but using an additional effervescent solution or tablet may work more effectively than just brushing.

Children
Using harsh abrasives on young teeth may cause tooth damage. Upon the first sign of a tooth, you may use a very small amount of fluoride-free toothpaste to keep your child’s mouth clean and healthy. Switching to a fluoride-containing toothpaste is not advised until the age of 3, but be sure to check with your child’s dentist first before making any changes.

If you’re feeling unsure about which toothpaste is right for you, please request an appointment with Drs. Creason & Weber online or by calling (616) 842-0822. On top of routine cleaning visits and exams, we also offer digital x-rays and preventative care. We are currently accepting new patients.

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