If we offered you a choice of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ice cream, you probably know what you would pick. But what if we added 15 more options? 30 more?
You might make the same choice. You might make a different choice, and your choice may vary from day to day. Some days you may feel like more than one seems like the one that you want.
You may have had a similar experience in the toothpaste aisle. With so many different options, how do you know if you are getting the “right” one? Is there a “right” one?
The short answer is there is no single “right” option for you, but the staff at Beaumont Family Dentistry wants to help you narrow your choices.
The bottom line for any patient from Lexington, Richmond, Winchester, or anywhere in Central Kentucky is that our dentists want you to brush for two minutes, twice a day, every day, to prevent tooth decay.
The ADA Seal
If you are considering a new toothpaste, the first thing you should look for is the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
This is a voluntary program for the manufacturers of oral health products, including toothpaste. Those products are tested by ADA laboratory staff and by 150 scientists with dental expertise.
The toothpaste must meet four criteria to receive the ADA Seal:
- Clinical or laboratory studies must prove the product is safe and effective.
- The product must contain FDA-approved ingredients.
- The product must be manufactured so that it meets standards for purity and uniformity.
- The claims made on the packaging must be supported by science.
Now, this is just the start.
For instance, almost any toothpaste can make claims about whitening your teeth, and since almost any toothpaste will remove some stains on your teeth, that is true technically. That doesn’t say anything about how much whiter the toothpaste will make your teeth, however.
Many types of toothpaste have received the ADA Seal, so this still leaves you will several options.
The ADA recommends using a fluoride toothpaste, so make sure fluoride is listed as one of the ingredients.
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the enamel on the outside of your teeth. Your enamel, which is the hardest substance on the human body, protects your teeth from tooth decay. Using a fluoride toothpaste helps to keep your enamel healthy.
This is why dentists also offer fluoride treatments as part of their routine care for patients.
You may want to look for a certain kind of toothpaste if you have particular oral health concerns or problems.
Patients who have gingivitis may want a toothpaste with ingredients that reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease. This is an example where the ADA Seal is valuable. If a toothpaste is making this claim on its packaging, then the seal offers validity to this claim.
Now, brushing with an anti-gingivitis toothpaste is something you should do in addition to flossing. Scrubbing the outside of your teeth and gums is not going to clean between your teeth or under your gumline.
Patients with sensitive teeth may want to consider a desensitizing toothpaste. An ADA accepted toothpaste can help to reduce the pain you may experience due to your tooth sensitivity.
If your teeth have become more sensitive, this could be a symptom of a potential problem. Please make plans to visit one of our dentists in Lexington if your teeth are more sensitive than normal.
Feel free to talk to one of our dental professionals to find out if you may benefit from using any specific kind of toothpaste.
A Matter Of Taste
The flavor of your toothpaste is important, but not because of any health benefit.
The most important thing is that you use it to brush twice a day, every day.
If you don’t like the flavor of your toothpaste, it may discourage you from using it. If you’ve ever run out of toothpaste and used your child’s toothpaste, you know that the tastes are quite different.
Being honest, we are all more likely to use toothpaste if we enjoy or (at least) we can tolerate its flavor.
Brushing your teeth is essential to having a healthy mouth, along with flossing daily and making routine visits to Beaumont Family Dentistry for cleanings and examinations.
Our dentists see patients from all over Central Kentucky — Lexington, Richmond, Winchester, and everywhere in between. To make an appointment, contact the office closest to you. With three locations, one of our offices is probably just a short drive away.