• May 15, 2016


Stop by the toothpaste aisle of any grocery or drugstore and you’re sure to be overwhelmed by the choices. There seem to be an infinite amount of blue and green boxes staring back at you, all with the same dental buzzwords on them. How in the world can you pick one out of all those like-sounding products?

Choosing toothpaste shouldn’t be that hard, at least not as our team at Brandon Family Dental sees it. You should be able to walk in, get a product you like and trust, and head out the door. Between all those fancy names, confusing products, and flashy colors it can be really difficult though! Let us help make it a bit simpler for you.

What You Should Always Look For

When you’re choosing a toothpaste you’re always going to get a few basics. Pretty much every product in the world contains an abrasive agent to help scrub your teeth and a detergent that causes your toothpaste to foam up when it’s in your mouth.

Beyond that it can get a bit tricky, but there are a few things you need to be sure you’re getting when you’re selecting a new brand of toothpaste.

Fluoride: You simply can’t compromise on this important detail. Fluoride is completely safe in the amounts you’ll get in toothpaste and is a fundamental part of healthy teeth. Plaque bacteria assaults your mouth constantly, and every day it wears away just a little bit of your teeth’s enamel. Fluoride rebuilds lost enamel, which is why it’s a must-have in any toothpaste you purchase.

ADA Approval: Look at the package of any reputable toothpaste and you’re going to find the seal of the American Dental Association. Good toothpastes go through a testing and safety assessment process that verifies they don’t contain any harmful chemicals and that they’ll actually clean teeth. Without that seal you can’t be sure what exactly you’re getting. And don’t worry – this isn’t the kind of thing that anyone can slap on their product without consequences. You can trust the ADA seal.

American Manufacture: In 2007 there was a massive recall of Chinese manufactured toothpaste. The product was sweetened with diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical that has caused plenty of poisonings in the past. Without the oversight of the ADA products can be mixed with anything under the sun. Don’t buy anything that wasn’t manufactured here in the USA.

Flavor: The most basic thing about choosing a toothpaste isn’t what it can do or what it contains – it’s whether you and your family like it. Make sure you’re choosing something everyone can agree on when you buy a new kind of toothpaste for the home.

Specialty Toothpaste Products

Anti-this, anti-that … what do all those labels really mean? Can you even trust toothpastes to do what they say they can, or is it just a case of clever marketing? Both are true in this case: some products do work, while others don’t quite live up to expectation. Wondering if you should spend your money on a particular product? Here’s your guide.

  • Desensitizing toothpaste definitely works when used continuously. It takes a while for it to kick in because the active ingredients have to block the tubules in your teeth that cause your sensitivity. Once it does you can keep them plugged by brushing with it every day.
  • Whitening toothpaste won’t bleach your teeth like professional whitening does – sorry. What it will do is scrub your teeth a bit harder than regular toothpaste. This keeps your smile at the same shade it is now – perfect for right after you’ve had some professional whitening done!
  • Anti-plaque toothpaste often contains a mild antibiotic or bacteria fighting agent that kills off extra bacteria in the mouth. It’s not going to miraculously eliminate oral health problems but it can definitely keep them in check.
  • Anti-tartar toothpaste supposedly gets rid of the calcified plaque that settles at your gumline and below it. While it won’t actually eliminate tartar it will stop the development of more of it.
  • Anti-cavity toothpaste is another term for fluoride toothpaste. Don’t be confused by these two terms – they’re interchangeable.

Don’t Forget About Professional Care

You could brush with the best toothpaste in the world and still end up with gum disease and cavities. Part of a healthy smile is getting a cleaning and exam twice a year so we can identify problems and prevent other ones from occurring – you can’t avoid it!

For all the money and time you spend brushing and flossing you could lose it all without the care we can offer at our Ortonville office. Do your smile a favor and schedule a visit today! Call us at 248-469-0218 or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!