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When you stand in front of the toothpaste section in a store, you’ll have no shortage of options to choose from. Some say they’ll whiten your teeth, some say they can help with sensitive teeth, and some claim to be all-natural and therefore better. Does it really matter what kind of toothpaste you choose? In a word, yes.

What is Toothpaste Made Of?

Generally, toothpaste has the same group of ingredients regardless of who makes it. The most important is fluoride, which strengthens teeth and can even remineralize enamel in the early stages of tooth decay. Whatever toothpaste you choose, it’s highly recommended you chose one with fluoride. The other main ingredients are humectants, which keeps the toothpaste moist, and abrasive agents, which are responsible for removing stains on the surface of teeth. Foaming agents to break down plaque and flavouring agents round out the main ingredients of most toothpaste on the market today.

What’s the Best Choice?

Your specific needs will play a role in choosing a toothpaste. For example, if you’re looking for whiter teeth, you would want a toothpaste with abrasive agents. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that whitening toothpastes you find in the store will only lift the surface stains on your teeth. Deeper whitening, like from bleaching or professional-strength whitening trays, is only available through a dentist. If you’d like to discuss our professional whitening options, call Okanagan Smiles today.

If you have sensitive teeth, there are a number of products on the market that can help. Try to find a toothpaste that lists ingredients like strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. These work to calm the nerve of the tooth with repeated use (you will usually start to notice the benefits after 4 weeks) so you can once again enjoy hot or cold items without the fear of pain.

If you’re specifically looking for tartar control, then find a toothpaste with pyrophosphates in the ingredient list. These toothpastes are often labelled ‘tartar fighting’, because they do exactly that. The pyrophosphates prevent tartar from accumulating on your teeth.

We would all like to eliminate as many chemicals from our lives as possible, and to do so many of us look for ‘natural’ versions of products we use every day. A word of caution, though: While you may avoid chemicals with a natural toothpaste, you may also not be getting the cleaning power or cavity protection your teeth need, which can lead to problems down the road.

The Final Word

By far, regardless of what main feature you’re looking for in your toothpaste, the best thing you can do for your teeth is to make sure the toothpaste you choose contains fluoride. Not only will it help strengthen weak spots and remineralize enamel, it is also a fantastic cavity fighter for both children and adults. Brushing your teeth twice a day, along with daily flossing, is the best way to maintain your oral health between check-up visits to Okanagan Smiles.