The toothpaste isle at your local grocery store can be overwhelming. Row after row of tubes boasting such things as cavity control, tartar control, whitening, sensitive… the list goes on. There is just so much variety- how do you know which one is best for you?
Most of the time, there’s really nothing special in the packages with the catchy terminology, like “anti-cavity” or “cavity protection”. All fluoride-containing toothpastes (and you’d be really hard pressed to find one that isn’t!) are going to offer a degree of cavity protection. Unless you are talking about special remineralizing toothpastes that you won’t find on store shelves (like MI Paste and Clinpro) then generally, any variety that contains fluoride will be as “anti-cavity” as the next.
It’s best to avoid “whitening” toothpastes since they usually contain abrasive that can wear down enamel over time. And they aren’t very effective at removing stains or whitening the tooth because the tooth shade lies inside, in the dentin, where toothpaste can’t reach.
If you have sensitive teeth or if you are doing some at-home bleaching that is causing sensitivity, then you may want to look for a sensitive toothpaste that contains Potassium Nitrate. This ingredient can help soothe the nerves inside the teeth and reduce sensitivity.
Most of that fancy packaging and specific terminology is just marketing. A sensitive toothpaste is a good idea for anyone with sensitive teeth, and you should pass on the “whitening” toothpastes.
If you are truly cavity-prone and think you might require a little something extra, then give our office a call. We have products like MI Paste and Clinpro available at Mall of Georgia dentistry and we’d be happy to talk to you about those and other options. Otherwise, even your basic low-priced bottom-shelf variety of toothpaste will fit the bill. So don’t worry about getting one with glittery packaging and a lists of promises. Just pick one you like it and use it twice a day for two minutes with a nice soft brush, and then smile away!