Are You Using The Right Toothpaste For Your Personal Oral Care Needs?


Dr. Allen Sun of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. Allen Sun, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

When shopping for toothpaste in your local store you’ll likely face dozens of brands to choose from. Your purchase decision may be made based upon personal preferences, budget, recommendation from a friend, or even experimentation. However, it must be said that choosing the right kind of toothpaste requires some careful thought.

To begin with, always check the package to make sure that the toothpaste you choose bears the CDA (Canadian Dental Association) seal of recognition which means that adequate evidence of safety and efficacy have been demonstrated in clinical trials. Toothpaste doesn’t only polish your teeth; it also removes the bacteria that cause dental plaque and bad breath. When dental plaque bacteria meet with food debris, they create an acid that attacks the teeth which can cause tooth decay. An accumulation of dental plaque bacteria can result in more dental problems including gum disease, moreover these microorganisms also produce volatile sulphur molecules which are a major source of common bad breath.

Woman putting toothpaste on a toothbrush.

What’s the right toothpaste for you?

The ingredients in toothpastes help control oral bacteria and fight dental problems. Fluoride helps prevent cavities by making the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay, and promotes remineralisation that helps to repair early decay. It’s the essential ingredient Most toothpastes also contain detergents that create a foaming action to help remove food particles and dental plaque. Abrasives add a little extra cleaning power to help remove stains, but can damage your tooth enamel if you brush too vigorously. Breath fresheners can also be added to help make your mouth feel fresh & clean.

If you have sensitive teeth you may need a toothpaste without heavy abrasives. A desensitizing toothpaste works by creating a barrier and blocking irritants from reaching the tooth’s nerves. Tartar control toothpastes don’t actually remove dental tartar, but they do help to prevent dental tartar from accumulating.

If you have dental implants, full or partial dentures that can stain and absorb odours you may ask your hygienist or dentist to recommend an effective toothpaste to meet your special needs.

“When brushing your teeth put a “pea sized” dab of toothpaste on a soft toothbrush that won’t damage your gums.”

Contrary to what all those toothpaste commercials show, the amount of toothpaste or gel needed for effective cleaning does not have to be a “heaping” amount! When brushing your teeth put a “pea sized” dab of toothpaste on a soft toothbrush that won’t damage your gums. Select a starting point on the left or right side of your mouth, then holding your brush at a 45 degree angle towards your gums, gently brush using short, circular strokes for at least two minutes. Brushing your tongue will help to reduce bacteria and unpleasant odours in your mouth as well. Remember to floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth and at the gum line. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Nothing protects your teeth and gums more, and prevents potentially serious dental problems, than having a regular dental check-up including an oral cancer screening and professional cleaning by our hygienist. We like to see our patients every 6 months or so, to ensure that their teeth and gums remain healthy and functioning properly. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Yours for better dental health,

This article has been updated from it’s original posting in January of 2016.

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