Protect Your Smile: Learn the Types of Toothpaste
Too Many Options? No Problem!
Strong, consistent oral care is a necessity if you want your smile to stay healthy and bright. That means resupplying before you run out of toothpaste, trading out your toothbrush every three months, and replenishing your spool of floss.
While the bristles of a toothbrush make a difference, other factors that can impact the overall health of your smile. One of the most important includes the type of toothpaste you choose.
Walking down the toothpaste aisle at your local drug store can be overwhelming. Not only are there a bounty of brands, but each brand has numerous products that affect your teeth differently, taste differently, and come in all different sizes.
For your convenience, we’ll discuss the various types of toothpaste to ensure your next trip is care-free and leads to effective oral care. If you’re still not certain and live near Longview, TX, contact Dr. Edward Hobbs. He’s a leading dentist and will help you decide what’s best for your smile.
Before we delve into the specific types of toothpaste and their benefits, it’s important to understand the similarities between them.
For example, something that almost all bottles of toothpaste include are:
- Abrasive agents: Scratchy, rough material that typically includes calcium carbonate and silicates is used to remove food, bacteria, and stains from your smile.
- Flavoring: While mint is the most recognized flavor of toothpaste, there are a variety of other options, including cinnamon, bubblegum, cherry, and lemon-lime.
- Moisture retention agents: As the name implies, ingredients like glycerol help prevent the toothpaste from drying out. This simple addition is the reason you never have to throw out a half-used bottle of toothpaste.
- Viscosifying agents: Ingredients such as the gooey molecules found in seaweed are excellent for maintaining the texture and thickness that people have come to expect from their toothpaste.
Types of Toothpaste
Below you’ll find four of the main toothpaste types and their unique benefits. If you’re interested in learning more about theses products, or anything dentistry-related for that matter, Dr. Keith MacDonald is the top dentist in Archdale, NC. He’ll be able to answer all of your questions, correct any imperfections in your smile, and elaborate on the benefits of the kinds of toothpaste discussed below.
#1) Fluoride Treatment
If you have children or remember visiting the dentist when you were younger, you’ve likely heard of fluoride. Over the last fifty years, this naturally occurring mineral has been used to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Fluoride works in two ways. First, it strengthens your tooth enamel, meaning your smile will suffer less from acidic damage. The second-way fluoride helps protect your teeth is that it can reverse the early stages of acid damage. It does this by remineralizing areas that have started decaying.
Toothpaste that contains fluoride disperses the treatment across your entire smile and will supply the teeth with the proper amount of minerals they need to maintain a healthy look and feel.
#2) Tartar Control
Tartar control toothpaste typically goes hand-in-hand with fluoride treatment.
Plaque is a layer of bacteria that sits on the surface of your teeth. If it’s not removed correctly, it will harden into tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove and can cause damage to both your teeth and gums, ultimately leading to gum disease.
Tartar control toothpaste may use a variety of ingredients to prevent excessive tartar buildup. Some of the most common are pyrophosphates and zinc citrate. Another includes an antibiotic called triclosan, which works to eliminate the bacteria in your mouth.
#3) Sensitive Teeth
According to WebMD, one in eight people currently live with sensitive teeth. Fortunately, the leading brands offer people a solution that will reduce some of their discomfort.
Toothpaste made for sensitive teeth typically contains potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These chemicals help tooth sensitivity by blocking pathways that reach the nerves inside the teeth.
While relief can be immediate, it can take up to 4 weeks to experience the full effects. Toothpaste for sensitivity is designed to make everyday tasks, such as eating and drinking, easier.
#4) Whitening Toothpaste
Over the years, interest in pearly white teeth has grown. For this reason, whitening toothpaste is being sold for everyday use.
Contrary to popular belief, whitening toothpaste doesn’t contain bleach. But then how does it make your teeth look brand new? It contains abrasive particles that polish the teeth and remove stains.
You may be worried that abrasive whitening toothpaste may damage the enamel of your teeth, but studies have shown that whitening toothpaste is no worse for your teeth than other types.
If this is something you’d like to learn more about, we encourage you to speak with Dr. Edward Hobbs, who we mentioned before. Not only will he help you find the perfect toothpaste, but he also specializes in more obscure oral-related issues, including TMJ and sleep apnea.
Choosing the Right Toothpaste
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there are toothpaste options for every dental issue you can imagine. The best way to find one that’s right for you is to speak with your dentist. During the conversation, make sure that you’re honest about what’s bothering you.