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Lucy Stock is a columnist for the Irish News

Brush Up On Brands of Toothpaste

by Lucy Stock BDS DipImpDent RCS (Eng)

Published in the Irish News . 02.10.2013

I get asked all the time “What toothpaste should I use?” With so many on the market it can be difficult to choose the right one.

The most important ingredient to look for when choosing toothpaste is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Its use has been instrumental in the dramatic drop in tooth decay and cavity occurrence that has taken place over the past 50 years. The fluoride makes your tooth enamel stronger and less likely to suffer acid damage. Luckily it can also stop decay enlarging within a tooth by remineralizing and hardening the area. If you are plagued with sensitive teeth then toothpastes like Sensodyne ProNamel can be a good idea. They contain potassium nitrate, which blocks receptors that turn hot and cold signals into pain. To maximize the toothpastes effect, spit after brushing, but then don’t rinse with water to allow the toothpaste to seep into your teeth and strengthen them. 

Whitening toothpastes, like the Rembrandt toothpastes, do not typically contain bleaches. Instead, they contain abrasive particles or chemicals that effectively polish the teeth or bind to stains and help pull them off the tooth surface. Although you might be concerned that the abrasiveness of whitening toothpaste could damage your teeth, studies suggest that whitening toothpastes are no harder on tooth enamel than other types of toothpaste. They use such a low level of hydrogen peroxide (less than 0.1%) that the toothpastes main benefit is to reduce stains rather than change the colour of your teeth. 

Colgate Total is one of the many tartar control toothpastes on the market. Tartar is the hard creamy stuff on your teeth that’s difficult to remove. If it’s left on teeth for a long time it can ultimately lead to gum disease. Chemical compounds, including pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, are often added to toothpastes to reduce the build – up of tartar on teeth. However with gum disease, brushing alone is just not enough, aids to clean between the teeth are essential to banish bleeding gums.

If you are wishing to try natural toothpastes to avoid artificial flavors and colors, make sure the brand you choose has cavity-fighting fluoride. A good all rounder toothpaste is Oral B Proexpert. So with the many options and combinations available, you can try different brands, varieties, and flavors to find the best toothpaste for you.