First Things First: A great place to start when looking for a toothpaste is to look for the ADA's (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance. This is granted after the toothpaste has gone through clinical trials and has meet their standards of being safe and effective.
Next: Key Ingredient: All toothpastes that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance contain fluoride. Most Dental experts agree that fluoride is the first ingredient you should look for when choosing a toothpaste. This mineral , naturally found in water, protects the teeth. Fluoridated water has been found to reduce tooth decay by nearly 40%!
Give Me More: After you have identified the ADA's Seal of Acceptance and the presence of fluoride you can choose a toothpaste that also helps with specific things; such as:
- Whitening. Keep in mind these product do not contain teeth whitening bleach, but rather use chemicals or polishing agents to remove surface stains that may make teeth appear brighter.
- Tartar Control.Tartar is the hard deposits that collect on the root or crowns or the tooth. These toothpastes can help reduce tartar.
- Prevent Gum Disease. Plaque, made up of mostly bacteria, is a sticky substance that can build up on teeth and may cause cavities and gum disease. These toothpastes help control plaque and can also help reduce Gingivitis; a mild inflammation of gum tissue.
- Fight Bad Breath. These product may contain active agents that either kill bacteria in plaque or neutralize bad odors.
- Desensitizing. These products may prevent irritation to the nerves causing discomfort by hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods.
Hopefully these tips in choosing the right toothpaste will help you out the next time you find yourself in the toothpaste aisle. If you find yourself with more questions and need a recommendation, ask your hygienist at your next visit!