The toothpaste isle can be an intimidating place: there is an almost overwhelming selection of this one single product! How to choose one out of the of the dozens of brands and varieties, many with appealing fancy names and shiny packaging? Sometimes, keeping it simple is a good way to go. And because the basic toothpastes don’t have an especially high level of marketing, branding, and hype (and the pricing that goes with that), retailers typically relegate them to the bottom shelf. Why give the “bottom shelf”, basic-of-the-basics a chance?
One reason is that a lot of the “fancier” toothpastes are whitening products that contain abrasives. These abrasives that help “whiten” your teeth are actually just scrubbing off surface stains… and taking a little bit of your enamel with them! Avoid whitening toothpaste, and go for in-office and at-home bleaching treatments or whitening strips for whiter teeth. These actually whiten the tooth at the level of the dentin, which makes a real difference in color without remove removing enamel.
Another reason is that a lot of the non-basic products don’t really anything too much more special to offer other than name, packaging, placement, and marketing. Most of them will come with claims and promises of whiter teeth, “brighter” smiles, or a healthier a mouth… but we’ve just established that whitening toothpaste is not good for your teeth, and when it comes to oral health, the REAL work is done by the physical act of BRUSHING and FLOSSING. There is absolutely no substitute, and no toothpaste is going to help make up for poor brushing and flossing habits. Two minutes of brushing along the gum line twice per day, and a thorough daily flossing, are the foundation of good oral health, period. The focus must be on that, and boxes and tubes marked with words such as “cavity prevention” don’t do the work for you.
For some people, a specialty product like a sensitive toothpaste may be a better fit, and for those who are especially cavity-prone or with specific health conditions, we recommend MI Paste (which you can purchase at the Mall of Georgia Dentistry office) for an extra boost. Please ask us about this at your next appointment if you think you require something extra. But for maintaing an already healthy mouth with an adequate bushing and flossing routine, there is really no need for anything other basic toothpaste, plain and simple 🙂