Which toothpastes do dentists REALLY recommend?

Which toothpastes do dentists REALLY recommend?

We’ve all seen the commercials: “4 out of 5 dentists recommend _______ toothpaste.” The problem is, just about every single toothpaste brand out there says that four out of five dentists recommend their toothpaste. That math doesn’t seem to add up. Are these four dentists going around recommending every toothpaste, willy-nilly? What’s the fine print? Here’s the truth about those toothpaste ads and the kinds of toothpaste that dentists really recommend.

Which four dentists?

When toothpaste advertisements, or advertisements for other products like mouthwashes or whitening strips for that matter, contain the statement “4 out of 5 dentists recommend,” there usually is a disclaimer after an asterisk with tiny print. It says something along the lines of “of dentists sampled.” What this means is that of the dentists that the company asked, four of the five said they would recommend the toothpaste. But this doesn’t tell you how many dentists they asked total, whether the number was an average they rounded up—perhaps from 3.5 dentists—whether the dentists surveyed work for the company, or if they were provided with free products in return for their review.

Companies can manipulate their sample size so that it provides them with the answer they want to advertise, throwing out the rest of the data, which makes it not statistically significant, and not definitive proof of the quality of their toothpaste. “4 out of 5 dentists” statements do not mean that 80 percent of dentists endorse this particular product, but that’s what this phrasing is intended to make customers believe. Also, companies provide dentists with products like toothpaste and toothbrushes—think about the free toothbrush you get every time you see the dentist—for their participation in the survey. Not to mention that the statement doesn’t indicate that dentists recommend this product over other similar products, or exclusively, or that in practice, the dentists mentioned actually recommend it to their patients.

Which toothpaste should I use?

In general, dentists are more likely to specify the type of toothpaste you should use, rather than the exact brand and formula. And these recommendations are, naturally, going to depend on your specific needs.

In general terms, dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste for adults, as fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. For young children, who are prone to swallowing toothpaste, brushing haphazardly, and disliking strong, burning, mint flavors, there are specifically formulated children’s toothpastes. If you have sensitive teeth, you may require a toothpaste formulated to reduce sensitivity—though you should check with your dentist if you’re having sensitivity, as it might be a sign of a greater problem.

One type of toothpaste we don’t recommend: toothpaste containing clay or other “natural” abrasives. These products are often too abrasive and can strip teeth of enamel. If you’re interested in a green or natural toothpaste, definitely consult with your dentist to find one that won’t cause more harm than good.

Most other toothpaste on the market are going to meet that general requirement of containing fluoride, so from there, toothpaste choice can be a matter of personal preference. If you’re not sure though, ask us what toothpaste we recommend for your specific needs the next time you come in for a cleaning!

 

Time for a checkup? Set up an appointment today with Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry!

5 Serious Health Conditions Linked to Gum Disease

5 Serious Health Conditions Linked to Gum Disease

Your mouth is, in effect, the gateway to the rest of your body. Everything that’s in your mouth can travel throughout your bloodstream, into your lungs, and into your digestive system. While that’s good when you’re eating fruits and vegetables, it’s not always so great if you’re lax about brushing and flossing regularly. Did you know that poor oral hygiene has more serious implications than just bad breath or cavities? Here’s 5 serious health complications that can be triggered, caused, or worsened by poor oral hygiene.

Diabetes

Inflammation that occurs from infected teeth, swollen gums, or periodontitis, has a negative effect on the body’s ability to produce insulin. This can make symptoms of diabetes considerably worse. What’s more, individuals with diabetes tend to be more susceptible to infections like periodontitis, which can eventually lead to tooth loss, making it even more important to observe proper oral hygiene habits.

Respiratory Problems

This one doesn’t immediately make sense, but if you think about it, there’s all kinds of bacteria in your mouth. If you have poor oral hygiene habits, your mouth develops more bacteria, and not always the good kind. Imagine breathing those bad bacterias in every single day. Eventually, they’re going to end up in your lungs, and that can even lead to pneumonia. Infections in your teeth can lead to infections in your lungs.

Heart Disease

Just as those infections from your mouth can get into your lungs, so does bad bacteria reach your heart. If your mouth isn’t clean, and you’re constantly swallowing bad bacteria and infection, that can get into your bloodstream, and end up at your heart. Essentially, the bacteria from periodontitis and gum disease causes your arteries to harden (atherosclerosis) which raises your risk of heart attack and stroke significantly. Additionally, those bacterias can cause the lining of your heart to become inflamed or infected, a dangerous condition called endocarditis.

Dementia

Studies have shown that there may be a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s. Essentially, the bacteria from gingivitis or periodontitis can enter your brain through nerve channels, or through the bloodstream, which could potentially lead to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Cancer

There are many links between gum disease and various types of cancer. Since your mouth is where everything in your body starts, when there’s bad bacteria in your mouth, it can quickly spread to the rest of your body, triggering serious conditions like cancer. What’s more, many dentists are able to spot certain types of cancer early on through routine dental checks, making it all the more important to make sure you’re seeing your dentist every six months.

Preventing These Diseases

While having great oral hygiene doesn’t mean you won’t get diabetes or Alzheimer’s, it can certainly lower your risk. So what do you need to do to make sure you’re following good oral hygiene practices?

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day. (If not three times.)
  • Floss daily.
  • Consider implementing an oral mouth rinse into your daily routine.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride as this helps strengthen teeth and gums.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, or if you’re looking to schedule an appointment, make sure to get in touch with the Creason, Weber & Mountford Family Dentistry. We’re currently accepting new patients, and we’d love to see you! Give us a call at 616-842-0822, or request an appointment online today!