The dental isle in your local store can be very overwhelming. There are so many different types of toothpaste to choose from, but which is best for you? Which one works the best? Can you trust the advertising claims on the toothpaste label, such as reducing tartar, decreasing cavities, whitening, reducing dental sensitivity, reversing gingivitis, or rebuilding enamel? To find out which toothpaste is best for you, ask your general dentist. Your general dentist will evaluate your dental health ask you about your concerns and symptoms, and recommend the best toothpaste for you.
Some toothpaste can be cosmetic only, therapeutic only, or both cosmetic and therapeutic. First of all, you want to make sure your toothpaste has fluoride in it (for toddlers and younger children-ask their pediatric dentist when they can begin a fluoridated toothpaste). If you read the active ingredients list on the tube of toothpaste, it will tell you how the type of fluoride and the amount of it in the toothpaste. Fluoride was added to toothpaste in the 1950’s, and has been acknowledged to be a major cause to the significant decrease in tooth decay.
Does a toothpaste with the ADA Accepted label (American Dental Association) necessarily work better than one without it? Yes, and no. Toothpastes that carry the label have undergone scientific, rigorous, and unbiased testing to ensure that the product does in fact do what the advertisement claims it does. It is not a mandatory process, companies voluntarily submit their products for testing. So, it is difficult to tell whether or not a product that does not carry the ADA label was either never submitted for this voluntary testing, or, if it was submitted and failed. However, one can have peace of mind that the toothpaste carrying the ADA label does in fact do what it claims to do backed up by strong, scientific data.
Your dental hygienist and general dentist have a wealth of knowledge to be able to guide you in choosing a toothpaste that is most importantly therapeutic, but also cosmetic if you so desire.