02 Mar #22: Which toothpaste is best?
Walking down the supermarket aisles in search of toothpaste can be a daunting and overwhelming experience these days. With options like Total 6 hour protection paste, sensitive toothpaste, no fluoride, more fluoride, mint-free, extra mint, whitening and all the different age options for childrens’ toothpaste- it’s no wonder nearly every patient asks us- which toothpaste is best?
Let’s break it down.
CHILDRENS’ TOOTHPASTE OPTIONS
For babies and toddlers who can’t yet spit out toothpaste a NO fluoride option is best. Kids from 0-36 months don’t need fluoride in their toothpaste. They will get enough from our water supply and other dietary sources. Too much fluoride can do harm to their developing teeth which is why dental professionals advise against it.
Thankfully Colgate and Oral B both have ranges that offer age appropriate toothpastes. There are also great ranges of different flavours if your baby isn’t a fan of the common mint. Jack n Jill is another brand that we find popular among babies and toddlers at Diamond Dental as it’s all natural.
Always watch a baby or toddler around fluoride toothpaste and ensure they never ingest a large quantity. Large doses of fluoride in a short period of time can cause fluoride poisoning.
Kids aged 3 to 6:
A low fluoride toothpaste option is good for this age group. They are learning to spit out the toothpaste, but may still suck on the brush a little bit. It offers a bit more protection against cavities, but doesn’t contain enough fluoride to damage the developing teeth.
Kids aged 7 and up:
Can now move onto a regular adult toothbrush assuming they can brush their teeth on their own and are confident spitters! (you’ll be able to tell by how much toothpaste is on your bathroom mirror! 😛 ). There are low mint options if your child doesn’t like the ‘spicy-ness’ of adult toothpaste.
Adult toothpaste options:
A good general toothpaste will contain fluoride and have the ADA stamp of approval. At Diamond Dental we think of toothpaste like a soap- as long as you are cleaning your teeth we don’t tend to mind which toothpaste you use. If your teeth are in generally good health, the act of brushing and flossing is more critical than the type of toothpaste used. With that in mind if you have a particular favourite toothpaste and your teeth and gums are healthy, then there would be no reason to change toothpastes.
If you have sensitive teeth to cold water, ice creams, etc then a sensitive toothpaste should assist your general sensitivity. Sensitive toothpaste works by blocking/covering the tubercles in the enamel of your teeth which stops the cold from getting to the nerve. Colgate have a great ‘Pro Relief’ toothpaste and any of the Sensodyne range is good too. At Diamond Dental, our dentists recommend rubbing the paste on your teeth before you go to bed at night and let it soak in while you sleep for really great results.
Most whitening toothpastes active ingredient is bicarbonate soda. They can work well for lifting smoking stains, coffee and food stains etc but for general whitening don’t tend to work. They will lift superficial staining but yellowing teeth require a bleaching agent that you can purchase from your dentist.
High Fluoride toothpaste:
If you visit your dentist and they discover a high amount of tooth decay, they may recommend a high fluoride toothpaste to assist in keeping the caries under control. We recommend Neutrafluor 5000 which can only be purchased from a chemist. Most patients need only use this toothpaste for a short period of time until we establish the cause of the rampant tooth decay.
If you ever have questions regarding yours or your family’s dental needs, feel free to get in touch with our Wantirna office on 98874447.